Fans of Marvel Studios and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (including me!) have been anticipating CAPTAIN MARVEL – the Studio’s 21st film and 1st female-led movie, since the original announcement. Set in 1995, the film follows Air Force fighter pilot Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) as she transforms into Captain Marvel, the MCU’s mightiest superhero, and attempts to save Earth from a war between two alien races – the Skrulls and the Kree.
In the lead-up to this film, Marvel Studios treated the media to a press conference in Beverly Hills featuring the amazing cast and creators. Read on for a behind-the-scenes, spoiler-free look into CAPTAIN MARVEL before it premieres on March 8th. You’ll hear from the following talent: Brie Larson (Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel), Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury), Jude Law (Yon-Regg), Gemma Chan (Minn-Erva), Lashana Lynch (Maria Rambeau), Clark Gregg (Coulson), Director Anna Boden, Director Ryan Fleck and Producer Kevin Feige.
Though Captain Marvel is a female hero, this film will appeal to all because the focus is on a well-rounded person who could be absolutely any color or gender. Though she is superhuman, Carol Danvers is relatable. According to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, this is due to both the directors, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, and Brie Larson.
Kevin Feige: It’s Anna and Ryan’s focus on character. And it’s our belief that they wouldn’t have lost the character amongst the spectacle, fun and effects. That made us realize that they could bring Carol to life.
Ryan Fleck: That’s what we wanted to bring to this story – an intimacy and character-focused storytelling. The visual effects were challenging at first, but we were working with the best in the business here and they’ve done, you know, one or two of these movies before. I can’t think of a better studio to take that leap with. I mean, they are just the best collaborators at Marvel and really let us tell the story we wanted to tell.
Kevin Feige: And because it ultimately is always about the story, the process never overwhelms story. We’ll alter the process if it fits the story, and that’s how you end up with a great movie like this.
With a character-focused story, Captain Marvel is still just writing on a page until an actress breaths life into the character. Enter Brie Larson, who brought forth her humanity and relatability.
Brie Larson: I was a little worried about playing a superhero that would be perfect – because I don’t feel like that’s realistic, or something aspirational at all. So getting to play a character that’s a major risk taker means it’s not always going to work out the best. She’s going to fail. And those are the defining moments of her character, where she doesn’t lay down, she gets back up. That’s for everybody. There isn’t a person who can’t relate to that, I don’t think.
The road to being a superhero is not easy, however. Larson hit the gym for hours each day for 9 months, and admitted to crying from pain or vulnerability many times. But those moments taught her something she brought out in the character of Captain Marvel.
Brie Larson: What I learned from Captain Marvel is that I’m stronger than I realized. Of course this movie is assisted with visual effects, because I can’t personally shoot photon blasts. But I can stand here and say that I am really strong. I was able to dead-lift 225 pounds; I was able to hip-thrust 400 pounds. I was able to push my trainer’s 5000-pound Jeep up a hill for 60 seconds. So this concept, when it comes to like gender norms or what the human body is capable of or in particular maybe what a female body is capable of, it’s capable of a lot!
A training highlight – pushing Jason Walsh’s almost 5000lbs Jeep(with a full tank of gas and Alyssa behind the wheel for safety!)for 60 seconds. In Captain Marvel @nike Metcons! It’s a strong vibe but I like it. pic.twitter.com/f98n6so8TU
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) February 12, 2019
Carol Danvers does not carry the movie by herself – she is joined by a best friend in work and in a previous life: Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch). Maria and Carol graduated and worked in the Air Force together. The two women work hard and play hard together. Maria is a single mom, and Carol also bonds with her daughter – they become each other’s family. It’s an essential part of this film.
Brie Larson: I think what they’ve gone through together, going through military training together, being the only women and then using each other to lean on each other through that type of like support and a recognition of their experience is really special. This is the great love of this movie. This is the love lost. This is the love found again. This is the reason to continue fighting and to go to the ends of the earth for the person, the thing that you love.
All of the creators and cast learned something about themselves or their characters while creating Captain Marvel. Let’s hear from each of them.
Clark Gregg: I’ve had a long journey – 11 years. So for me to come back around to a very innocent, excited space – an origin moment – I found it really moving. And I’ve gotten the thrill of taking my young daughter to a bunch of Marvel movies, but now I’m taking a 17-year-old young woman to see Captain Marvel next week and I’ve never been more excited to take her to anything ever.
Lashana Lynch: My takeaway is forever an appreciation for single mothers. So to have that opportunity to represent them and say a universal ‘thank you for your work’ was really special. I was also able to take some military training. Flying an F-16 is like your eyeballs coming out of your sockets and landing in your back pocket!
Gemma Chan: I now know that if you’re going to play a blue character you have to go to work at 3:00 a.m.
Anna Boden: I just remembered this story of how Ryan and I, when we made our first short film together and we’re at Sundance and we won an award. When we got onstage I literally hid behind him. So this whole process has helped me be more confident in my voice and just be a little bit more comfortable just being seen.
Ryan Fleck: For me, I’ve always sort of known this, but I learned just how kick ass my directing partner is. She’s awesome.
There’s one more element to this movie, and that is Goose the Cat. The cuddly feline is a scene stealer in more ways than one. If you’d like to learn more about Goose (aka Reggie) and how I actually met him, head over to my post on Skywalking Through Neverland.
CAPTAIN MARVEL soars into U.S. theaters on March 8th. Book your tickets now!