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Captain Marvel (film)

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Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel logo.jpg
Directed by Anna Boden
Ryan Fleck
Produced by Kevin Feige
Screenplay by
Based on
Starring
Music by Pinar Toprak
Cinematography Ben Davis
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • March 8, 2019 (2019-03-08) (United States)
Country United States
Language English
Budget
  • $118.6 million (gross)[1]
  • $97.8 million (net)[1]

Captain Marvel is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is intended to be the twenty-first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, with Meg LeFauve, Nicole Perlman, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Liz Flahive, and Carly Mensch also contributing to the screenplay. Brie Larson stars in the title role, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte, Mckenna Grace, Clark Gregg, and Jude Law. Set in the 1990s, the story follows Danvers as she becomes Captain Marvel after the Earth is caught in the center of an intergalactic conflict between two alien worlds.

A film based on Carol Danvers has been in development at Marvel Studios since as early as May 2013. A release date was first set in October 2014, and Perlman and LeFauve were hired as a writing team the following April after submitting separate takes on the character. Larson's casting was announced at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International, making it Marvel Studios' first female-led solo film. Boden and Fleck were brought on board to direct in April 2017, and Robertson-Dworet soon took over scripting duties, the story of which borrows elements from the 1971 "Kree–Skrull War" comic book storyline. Location filming began in January 2018, with principal photography beginning that March, taking place in California and Louisiana. By the start of filming, the remainder of the cast was filled out as were the additional screenwriters.

Captain Marvel is scheduled to be released in the United States on March 8, 2019, in IMAX and 3D.

Premise

Set in the 1990s, Captain Marvel follows Carol Danvers as she turns into one of the galaxy's mightiest heroes after the Earth is caught in the center of an intergalactic conflict between two alien worlds.[2]

Cast

  • Brie Larson as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel:
    A U.S. Air Force pilot whose DNA is fused with that of an alien during an accident, which imbues her with the powers of superhuman strength, energy projection, and flight.[3][4] Larson described Danvers as a "believer in truth and justice" and a "bridge between Earth and space. She's fighting between the flaws that are within her and all this good that she wants to try and spread and make the world a better place."[5] Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige stated that Larson was cast because she has the ability to balance the character's vast powers with her humanity and relatable flaws.[6] Larson was initially hesitant to accept the role, but "couldn't deny the fact that this movie is everything I care about, everything that's progressive and important and meaningful, and a symbol I wished I would've had growing up."[7] Regarding concern that Larson was too young to portray Danvers, an accomplished airman, initial screenwriter Nicole Perlman consulted with the Air Force, who said it was not out of the realm of possibility for someone "to go very far" between the ages of 28 and 34.[8] Larson trained for nine months,[9] visited Nellis Air Force Base and met with active duty airmen, including Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt and Thunderbirds pilot Major Stephen Del Bagno,[2][10] to prepare for the role.[11]
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury:
    The head agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.[12] Fury appears without his signature eye patch as the film is set in the 1990s before he loses his eye.[13] Feige stated that the film explores a period of Fury's life when he has no idea about superheroes and that Carol Danvers is the first superhero that he comes across,[14] elaborating that Fury "has reached a point in his career where he thought the Cold War is over and the best days are behind him. And when he encounters certain things in this movie, it sets him on a path that leads us to where we are 19 films later."[15] Jackson is digitally de-aged by 25 years, the first time Marvel has done this for an entire film.[16]
  • Ben Mendelsohn[17]
  • Djimon Hounsou as Korath: A Kree mercenary who works for Ronan.[18]
  • Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser: A Kree fanatic.[18]
  • Lashana Lynch[2]
  • Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva: A Kree geneticist.[19][20]
  • Algenis Perez Soto[2]
  • Rune Temte[2]
  • Mckenna Grace[2]
  • Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson:
    An agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who works closely with Fury.[18] Gregg stated that Coulson would be younger in the film and "a bit of a new guy in S.H.I.E.L.D. ... It's the earliest we will have seen him [in the MCU], so when he says, 'Mr. Stark, this isn’t my first rodeo' in Iron Man, this is maybe the rodeo he's talking about."[21] Gregg is digitally de-aged by 25 years, the first time Marvel has done this for an entire film.[16]
  • Jude Law as Mar-Vell / Walter Lawson: Danvers' mentor, who trains her to use her new powers.[22][23]

Additionally, Robert Kazinsky,[24] Annette Bening,[25] Vik Sahay,[26] and Colin Ford have been cast in undisclosed roles.[27]

Production

Development

By May 2013, a script for Ms. Marvel, the moniker Carol Danvers used in the comics before she took the mantle Captain Marvel, had been written for Marvel Studios.[28] Producer Louis D'Esposito stated later that year that the studio was interested in a female-driven superhero film, saying that they have plenty of "strong female characters" from which to choose and suggested Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Pepper Potts, or Peggy Carter as possible candidates.[29] Kevin Feige, President of Production at Marvel Studios, said that if Marvel was to make a female-led film, he would prefer it to be a new character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe like Captain Marvel, who could receive an origin story.[30] In August 2014, Feige stated that Black Panther and Captain Marvel were "both characters that we like, that development work has been done on and is continuing to be done on" and that the studio is often asked about it by the public, "more than Iron Man 4, more than Avengers 3 ... I think that's something that we have to pay attention to."[31]

We've been talking a lot about archetypes and what we want this movie to be about and just how to write a strong female superhero without making it Superman with boobs ... we'll catch ourselves and say, 'Wait a minute, what are we saying [here] about women in power?' Then we have to say, 'Why are we getting so hung up on that? We should just tell the best story and build the best character.' And then we have this constant back-and-forth about how to tell a story that is compelling, entertaining, moving, kick-ass, and fun, and also be aware of what those larger implications might be.

—Co-screenwriter Nicole Perlman[32]

In October 2014, Feige announced that Captain Marvel would be released on July 6, 2018, as part of the studio's Phase Three slate of films,[33] making it Marvel's first female-led film.[34] He said the film would be based on the Carol Danvers version of the character and that the film "has been in the works almost as long as Doctor Strange or Guardians of the Galaxy before it came out, and one of the key things was figuring out what we wanted to do with it. Her adventures are very earthbound, but her powers are based in the cosmic realm."[33] Feige added that a writer and director would be announced "quite soon", and female filmmakers were being considered, though he could not promise that Marvel would "hire from any one demographic".[35]

In February 2015, Marvel pushed back the release date to November 2, 2018.[36] In early April, Feige revealed that Captain Marvel appeared in an early draft of the Avengers: Age of Ultron screenplay, but was removed as "it didn't feel like the time. We didn't want to introduce her fully formed flying in a costume before you knew who she was or how she came to be."[37] He also said that Marvel would be ready to announce writers for the film "hopefully in the next week or two",[38] and by mid-April, Guardians of the Galaxy co-screenwriter Nicole Perlman and Inside Out co-screenwriter Meg LeFauve were announced to be writing the screenplay.[39] The duo were put together as a writing team after impressing Feige with separate takes on the character,[40] and began work on the film within a month.[41] LeFauve found the character being a female superhero to be both "wonderful" and a challenge, particularly because of how powerful the character is which could lead to the "Superman curse. 'What's her vulnerability?' is what we have to figure out."[42]

By May, Marvel had discussions with Ava DuVernay about directing Captain Marvel or Black Panther,[43] which Feige confirmed a month later, saying that he had met with DuVernay amongst a number of other directors and expected a decision to be made by mid- to late 2015.[44] That September, Feige said that the casting process would not begin until 2016, as "we're scripting the film, figuring out who we want Carol Danvers to be, and really what the structure of the movie will be and what her part will be in some of our other Phase 3 films." Producer Jeremy Latcham elaborated that "getting the character right first is going to lead the charge. We want to make sure we know who it is before we can start figuring out who should play it."[45] In October 2015, Marvel changed the release date once again, moving it back to March 8, 2019.[46]

Brie Larson promoting Captain Marvel at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International

Feige stated in April 2016 that a director would be announced "in the next month or two" and that the first cast members would be announced in mid-2016. He also mentioned that the film would be about Carol Danvers' journey to become Captain Marvel.[47] The next month, indie filmmaker Emily Carmichael's name surfaced as a possible contender to direct the film,[48] and by June, Brie Larson emerged as the frontrunner to play Captain Marvel.[49] Larson was confirmed for the role at San Diego Comic-Con International 2016.[4] Also at Comic-Con, Feige said the search for a director had been narrowed down to "a short list of 10", and was hoping to be able to announce the choice "by the end of the summer".[50] Perlman revealed in August that the character's origin story had been changed for the film due to similarities with Green Lantern's,[51] with Feige expanding by saying, "I think we have a very cool and unique way of telling" her story, centered on Danvers finding her limitations and vulnerabilities; he added that the character would be "by far the most powerful character" in the MCU films, and would be a "very important character in our universe".[52] Producer Nate Moore later explained that they sought to break away from the traditional structure of many MCU origin stories, "which is you meet the character, they have a problem, they get powers at the end of the first act, and the end of the second act they learn about the powers, the third act they probably fight a villain who has a function of the same powers," in order to give audiences a new experience.[53]

In October 2016, Feige admitted that the announcement for a director was taking longer than he previously expected, and explained that the studio was now waiting for "a little more of the story [to be] set" so they could talk to potential directors about it. Once again talking about hiring a female filmmaker to direct the film, Feige said that he did not think it would be a requirement "to make a great version of Captain Marvel, but it's something we think is important," even if that female filmmaker does not know a lot about the comics, as "they just have to fall in love with it once they are presented with it. It's amazing to see all of the filmmakers read through [the source material] and know, 'Oh, a female's writing it now'", speaking in particular to Kelly Sue DeConnick's run in the comics.[52] Feige expected a director to be announced by the end of 2016;[54] however, Perlman and LeFauve turned in a script treatment around December, pushing additional meetings with director candidates into early 2017.[55]

In February 2017, Perlman stated that despite her and LeFauve being hired almost a year previously, the duo had only recently gotten their "marching orders" for the script, stating one of the reasons for the delay was figuring out where the film would fit within the MCU. Perlman also discussed the character's femininity, feeling that it was important to make sure she is not "somebody who is a hero in spite of her femininity ... being a woman is part of [her] strength." The writers were also considerate of tropes that could be diminishing to a female character but not for male characters, "things you wouldn't think twice about for Iron Man but you would think twice about for Captain Marvel."[8]

Pre-production

Marvel hired Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck to direct Captain Marvel in April 2017, after the duo impressed Marvel "time and time again" over numerous meetings with their vision for the character, and because of their experience working in both television and film.[56] Feige noted that he and Marvel were impressed with Boden and Fleck's ability to create character-driven stories in all of their works. He added, "The stories they've told have been so diverse, but regardless of the subject matter, they can dive into it and hone in on that character's journey." Ultimately, Feige felt the film "needs to be about the three-dimensional, multilayered Carol Danvers character. You have to be able to track her and follow her and relate to her at all points of the movie, regardless of how many visual effects and spaceships and bad guys are filling the frame."[57] Filming was scheduled to begin in January 2018, at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayette County, Georgia,[58] but Feige was expecting it to not begin until February 2018.[59]

By July 2017, Samuel L. Jackson was set to appear in the film, reprising his role as Nick Fury.[12] At the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, Feige revealed that the film would take place in the 1990s and the Skrulls would act as the film's villains, allowing elements from the "Kree–Skrull War" storyline to appear.[13][60] By setting the film in the 1990s, Feige noted it would allow Danvers to "be the singular hero, but place it within timing of the MCU."[14] In response to this announcement, Graeme McMillan of The Hollywood Reporter compared the film to Captain America: The First Avenger and the DC Extended Universe film Wonder Woman, as they were also set decades before present day. By setting the film in the 1990s, McMillan felt it would create the question of "what happened to Captain Marvel to take her off the playing field ahead of the Marvel movies that we've seen to date?", and noted Danvers' story might echo the "Captain America narrative", where "a hero from the past... disappears from the world before re-emerging".[61] Also in July, the California Film Commission awarded a $20.7 million tax credit to the production,[62] going towards the first $100 million spent on qualified in-state expenditures,[63] making California the main filming location for Captain Marvel. D'Esposito called this "very exciting" given Marvel Studios' headquarters and post-production facilities are also in the state, allowing them to streamline the production process for this film and others.[62] Awarding of the tax credit was dependent on filming beginning within 180 days.[64]

Geneva Robertson-Dworet was hired by Marvel by mid-August to take over the scripting duties for Captain Marvel after LeFauve left the project to co-direct Gigantic for Disney Animation.[65] Perlman confirmed her departure from the project as well, and said that the story she and LeFauve worked on in earlier drafts would be retained in the final screenplay.[66] Robertson-Dworet described the film as an action-comedy, and likened her script to an initial one she wrote for Tomb Raider (2018) before that film took a more dramatic tone. She added that it was important to the entire creative team to keep the comedic elements of the film and the "very funny voice" of the character, since Danvers "is one of the funniest comic book characters. She's so sassy, she's such a smartass, she won’t take shit from anyone". Robertson-Dworet also credited Boden for helping to shape Danvers' voice in the film and the desire "to carve our own path and make sure we weren’t retreading the same territory [after the release of Wonder Woman], and showing all facets of what women are capable of."[67] Feige added that Captain Marvel would have "homages to our favorite '90s action films", such as the action from Terminator 2, "cool street level fights, street level car chases, and fun stuff like that", since the 1990s action genre was one Marvel Studios had yet to explore. He also stated much of the film would take place in outer space.[14]

By October, filming was slated to begin in March 2018. Feige described the film then as "a big part of heading towards" the then untitled Avengers film, set for release after Captain Marvel, and concluding the story being told across the first three phases of the MCU.[68] Ben Mendelsohn entered negotiations to join the film as the main villain,[69] having previously worked with Boden and Fleck on their film Mississippi Grind. They had him in mind for the Captain Marvel villain when they first began working on this film's story, and once they had met with him about the role, Mendelsohn "quickly agreed to pursue" it.[17] By November, Jude Law was in negotiations for the role of Walter Lawson / Mar-Vell in the film.[22] In January 2018, DeWanda Wise was cast in an undisclosed role, and Mendelsohn and Law were confirmed to have been cast.[23]

Filming

Location shooting occurred at the end of January 2018.[70][71] Set photos taken at that time showed Larson in a green and black uniform instead of the character's familiar red and blue suit. Feige responded by saying that Marvel accepts the risk of set photos being leaked as a consequence of location shooting, and felt that "most people are savvy enough to know they're looking at a behind-the-scenes photo, completely out of context." He added that a large amount of scenes in the film would be shot on location.[71]

A month later, Gemma Chan joined the cast as Minn-Erva.[20] In mid-March, Wise withdrew from the film due to a scheduling conflict with her television series She's Gotta Have It.[72] The following day, Lashana Lynch entered into negotiations to replace Wise.[73] By the end of the month, Lynch was confirmed while Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, and Clark Gregg were set to reprise their roles as Korath, Ronan the Accuser, and Phil Coulson, respectively, from earlier MCU films. Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte, and Mckenna Grace were also set to star.[2][18] At the same time, Marvel credited Boden and Fleck and the writing team of Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch with writing the screenplay along with LeFauve, Perlman and Robertson-Dworet.[2] With the inclusion of Korath, Ronan, and Coulson (characters established and killed in earlier films), Richard Newby of The Hollywood Reporter felt the film "provide[d] the MCU with another unique opportunity to strengthen the presence of some characters who may not have lived up to their potential and to give great actors, particularly those who portrayed ill-fated villains, a chance to bring more to their roles than their initial opportunities allowed... Captain Marvel allows these characters to become more prominent, and while their fates are sealed for now, their pasts and the stories that reside there can entirely change our perception of them."[74]

Principal photography began on March 19 in Los Angeles,[75] under the working title Warbird,[76] with Ben Davis serving as director of photography, marking his fourth time working as cinematographer in the MCU following Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Doctor Strange.[2] A carnival scene, set in 1986 and featuring Danvers and Fury, was filmed later that week at the Jim Hall Racing Club in Oxnard, California.[77] Filming of Captain Marvel in Los Angeles, along with other big-budget films that took advantage of California's improved tax credit program, helped raise on-location feature film production in the area by 11.7% in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same period in 2017; it was the first two-figure increase in production since the fourth quarter of 2015.[78] Filming at Shaver Lake outside Fresno, California was set to take place in April under the working title Open World,[79] but was pushed back to mid-May.[80][81] In late April, Feige stated that filming was a little less than halfway completed.[15] The following month, Annette Bening joined the cast in an undisclosed role.[25] The California portion of shooting concluded by June 23, with production moving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and New Orleans for the final two weeks,[2][82] where filming officially ended on July 6.[83]

Music

In May 2018, Clark Gregg indicated the film's soundtrack would include songs from the 1990s.[21] Pinar Toprak signed on to compose the film's score by the following month, making her the first woman to score an MCU film.[84]

Release

Captain Marvel is scheduled to be released in the United States on March 8, 2019,[46] in IMAX and 3D.[85][86] It was originally scheduled for release on July 6, 2018,[33] before moving in February 2015 to November 2, 2018, to accommodate Spider-Man: Homecoming.[36] In October 2015, it moved again to accommodate Ant-Man and the Wasp.[46]

Marketing

In April 2017, NBC Olympics released a photo of American skier Mikaela Shiffrin wearing a Captain Marvel inspired ski suit in cross-promotion for the 2018 Winter Olympics.[87] Concept art from the film was shown at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con.[13] In June 2018, Feige revealed a look at Larson as Danvers at CineEurope.[88]

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