Captain Marvel is Marvel’s first female-led superhero film as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, casting an actress in the role of Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, was a long and arduous process, just as it was casting every other major character in the MCU. A number of actresses vied and tested for the role, but it eventually went to Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson (Room, 21 Jump Street), who officially joined the shared universe in 2016.
Captain Marvel will be Marvel’s second period-piece, behind Captain America: The First Avenger, and is based in the early 1990s. It’s as yet unclear how the film will fit with the MCU’s overall continuity, with actors like Samuel L. Jackson and Lee Pace reprising roles from other Marvel films. The studio is keeping tight-lipped about just why they’ve stepped back in time to the ’90s, but it’s presumably for story purposes. The film will need to account for Captain Marvel’s absence in the MCU over all these years, which should make for an intriguing storyline.
Jude Law has signed up as the male lead in Captain Marvel, and it was originally reported that he was playing the part of Mar-Vell, the hero who inspired Carol Danvers. Curiously, Law has refused to confirm this, and the studio declined to name his character as part of EW’s first look. That’s leading many to speculate that Marvel has a plot twist in mind regarding Law’s mysterious Kree warrior. He’s been described as a devout warrior with a passionate “belief in the divine leadership of the Kree people,” which doesn’t sound particularly like Mar-Vell.
It’s been confirmed that Law is commander of the Kree Starforce, an elite military unit that Carol has joined after gaining her powers. The other members of the Starforce – including Ronan the Accuser – are traditionally villains in the comics.
Despite being set before the start of the MCU as we know it, 2019’s Captain Marvel will feature a lot of familiar faces.
Samuel L. Jackson was at the forefront of getting the Marvel Cinematic Universe off the ground, and he will be making his sixth appearance as the former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2019’s Captain Marvel. But, it will technically be Nick Fury’s first appearance canonically, seeing as the film is primarily set in the 1990s. That also means Fury will have both of his eyes in the film, not just one working eye and one eye-patch.
It was later confirmed at the start of filming that Clark Gregg, Lee Pace and Djimon Hounsou are all returning, reprising their roles as Agent Coulson, Ronan and Korath respectively.
The shape-shifting Skrulls are Captain Marvel’s villains. Ben Mendelsohn plays their ruthless leader, Talos, who spearheads an invasion of the Earth. The plot is loosely inspired by the Kree-Skrull War, an arc that essentially saw Earth become a No-Man’s-Land in the galactic conflict between the two vast, warlike alien races.
As for how Marvel is able to use the Skrulls, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn explained after the Skrulls announcement that only some Skrulls are wholly owned by 20th Century Fox, whereas Skrulls as a race are co-owned by both Fox and Marvel Studios. That’s what allows them to be a part of the MCU, even this late in the game.
Little is yet known about the plot of Captain Marvel. It’s confirmed that the movie is no origin story, but will instead kick off with Carol Danvers already serving as a member of the Kree Starforce. She travels back to her homeworld of Earth in order to deal with a Skrull invasion, but apparently discovers dark secrets in her own past.
The official synopsis of Captain Marvel reads:
“The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Set in the 1990s, “Captain Marvel” is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
Leading up to Captain Marvel’s official confirmation, it was believed that Marvel would try to find a female director for the film, just as Warner Bros. hired Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman. And they did look at some top-tier female directors, but they ultimately settled on directing duo, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Mississippi Grind). They’ve only directed a few films, and they are newcomers to tent-pole films, but then again, so are most blockbuster directors nowadays.
Screenwriters Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve wrote the first draft of the script, turning it in in December 2016. The duo were eventually replaced with Geneva Robertson-Dworet, whose first major screenplay is 2018’s Tomb Raider. Although Robertson-Dworet rewrote Captain Marvel’s script, the crux of the story Perlman and LeFauve wrote will be retained in the final cut.
Captain Marvel was originally slated to enter production in March 2018, but cameras started rolling on the project in January 2018. As it turns out, Marvel Studios was awarded $20.7 million in tax credits if they started filming the movie within 180 days of receiving the credit. Otherwise, the credit would expire. And that 180-day frame concluded in late January, hence why principal photography began much earlier than expected. However, Marvel was allowed to put the production on a 120-day hiatus – after completing filming for one or two weeks – and return in March without losing the tax credit. Filming finished in July.
Release Date: March 8, 2019