Spoilers follow for Avengers: Infinity War!
With the first official photos of Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel recently revealed and word coming that a trailer is about to hit, let’s take a look at everything we know about Carol Danvers’ much-anticipated movie and how she will fit into the MCU.
As that symbol showed up at the end of Avengers: Infinity War in the after credit scene, attention began turning to Marvel Studios’ 2019 lineup. Next year will kick off with Captain Marvel, a movie that marks the debut of Brie Larson as Air Force pilot-turned cosmic superhero Carol Danvers and has a release date of March 6, 2019.
Marvel has been pretty tight-lipped about the project so far, but that’s starting to change… so here’s everything we know so far about the cast, story and how Captain Marvel fits into the larger MCU!
Get the lowdown on the MCU’s Skrulls, the villains of Captain Marvel, in the video above.
We know that development has been underway on a Captain Marvel movie since at least 2013, with Marvel Studios recognizing the growing need to add a female-driven superhero film to the MCU. At the time, Carol Danvers was named as one of several potential candidates alongside Black Widow and Agent Carter (who later starred in an ABC TV series). The Captain Marvel movie was officially announced in October 2014, as Marvel boss Kevin Feige revealed the studio’s Phase 3 lineup of films.
Watch our primer on Carol Danvers above from a few years back. The piece includes a concise history of the character and her journey to becoming Captain Marvel (along with some fun speculation from before we knew how her journey to the big screen would pan out!).
Captain Marvel was originally scheduled for release on July 6, 2018, a date that eventually went to Ant-Man and the Wasp. The film was pushed back first to November 2, 2018 and then to March 8, 2019.
Feige revealed at SDCC 2016 that Marvel Studios had narrowed down its list of potential directors, which included Niki Caro, Lesli Linka Glatter and Lorene Scafaria. However, the official announcement didn’t arrive for nearly a year, as Mississippi Grind’s Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck were revealed as directors in April 2017. Guardians of the Galaxy co-screenwriter Nicole Perlman and Inside Out co-screenwriter Meg LeFauveere were on scripting duties.
Marvel hired Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider) to pen a new draft of the screenplay in August 2017. She described it as “more of an action-comedy.”
Brie Larson will star as Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot who gains superhuman powers and becomes a warrior fighting alongside the alien Kree in outer space.
Larson will be joined by Jude Law, who is rumored to be playing Mar-Vell (an alien warrior and Carol’s mentor), Gemma Chan as the Kree Minn-Erva and Ben Mendelsohn as the leader of the villainous Skrull aliens, Talos. (As a shapeshifter, he also lives a double life as a human S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in the film.) Lashana Lynch plays Carol’s close friend and fellow Air Force pilot Maria Rambeau. She has a daughter named Monica, and her call sign “Photon” is a reference to the comic-book character Monica Rambeau, who was known as Photon as well as… Captain Marvel for a time on the printed page.
The film will also feature several returning characters from past MCU films. Samuel L. Jackson will return as Nick Fury, although since the film is set in the 1990s, this younger Fury (Jackson will be de-aged via CG) is just a “desk jockey” at S.H.I.E.L.D. He doesn’t even have his eye patch yet! Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson and Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill are also returning, as are Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser and Djimon Hounsou’s Korath.
Other actors whose roles have yet to be revealed include Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte and Mckenna Grace.
If you’re wondering how Captain Marvel can feature characters like Ronan and Korath when they already died in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, that’s because the movie is set in the past. Most if not all of Captain Marvel will take place in the ’90s, a time when these Kree villains are still alive.
Watch our timeline of the MCU above.
Look for the film to take advantage of the retro setting by paying tribute to classic ’90s action movies. “We hadn’t necessarily done anything like that before either, so there are definitely homages to our favorite ‘90s action films within Captain Marvel,” Feige told Entertainment Weekly. Feige also revealed that Captain Marvel is actually the first superhero Fury encountered during his long tenure at S.H.I.E.L.D.
It remains to be seen how the film will explain Carol’s absence in current MCU films. Given her ties to the Kree Empire, it’s likely that she’s spent a great deal of time away from Earth since the ’90s.
The Comic Book Inspirations
Captain Marvel will start with Carol already in space and in possession of her powers, reports EW, as part of the elite military team Starforce on the Kree planet Hala. Jude Law’s character is the leader of the group, while other members include Gemma Chan’s Minn-Erva and, interestingly enough, Korath (Djimon Hounsou, whose character was a bad guy in Guardians of the Galaxy). Ronan is, according to the report, “an outcast with extremist views, but here, he’s still a high-ranking member of Kree society.”
Feige revealed at SDCC 2017 that the comic book storyline “The Kree-Skrull War” is a major influence on the film. As such, the film will also mark the debut of the Skrull Empire, a long-time cosmic rival to the Kree.
“Captain Marvel will be our 21st film in the cinematic universe, and we’ve never seen the Skrulls. How come?” Kevin Feige told IGN. Answering his own question, he continued, “We thought it would be fun. There’s an entire section of our comics that deal with the Kree/Skrull war, and we haven’t tapped into that at all, and we thought that would be an amazing, huge part of the mythology to belong to Captain Marvel.”
For more on the premise of The Kree-Skrull War and how it might influence the movie, check out our breakdown of that classic comic book storyline.
Future Captain Marvel Appearances
Naturally, Captain Marvel isn’t the only place fans can expect to see Carol Danvers in the years ahead. The character is widely believed to be joining the Avengers in The Avengers 4, due out a couple months after the release of Captain Marvel in 2019. No doubt she’ll continue to play a recurring role in the MCU as Phase 4 gets underway.
As it turns out, though, Marvel originally considered debuting Captain Marvel much sooner. Feige told Badass Digest that the character was included in an early draft of Avengers: Age of Ultron, where she would have appeared as part of Captain America’s revamped Avengers team. “[Captain Marvel] was in a draft,” he said. “But to me, it would have done that character a disservice, to meet her fully formed, in a costume and part of the Avengers already when 99% of the audience would go, ‘Who is that?’ It’s just not the way we’ve done it before.”
Of course, those who stayed through the end credits of Avengers: Infinity War saw the tease for Captain Marvel, as a disappearing Nick Fury seemed to send a distress call… somewhere. The last thing we see after Fury enters oblivion is the Captain Marvel logo on his little beeper device. Yep, she’s coming!
For more on that end credits scene, check out the video explanation below.