Captain Marvel is one of the most anticipated superhero films in the next few years. It’s not due out until March 8, 2019, but the attention surrounding the film has been amplified since Brie Larson was introduced as the title character at San Diego Comic-Con last month. Details are still scarce, but in a new interview on the Any Time with Vin Forte podcast, co-writer Nicole Perlman, who also co-wrote Guardians of the Galaxy, hinted that the film will feature an origin story, just not the one from the comics.
If you were just going to do a straight adaptation of the comics, her origin story is very similar to Green Lantern and obviously, that’s not what we want to do so there’s a lot of reinvention that needs to happen. She’s her own person and she’s a great character, but we also have to be very aware of what has happened in other Marvel films and make sure that her particular storyline is unique and fun and also fits in within this world that’s going on at the same time. It’s a little bit of an interesting story gauntlet.
It’s interesting that Perlman brought up Danvers’ origin at all since it strongly suggests we will see it in Captain Marvel. Does this mean we will not see Carol Danvers at all or at least not suited up in Avengers: Infinity War in May 2018? It’s possible, but not necessarily the case since Danvers could show up in costume in that film and then have her solo movie either set before Avengers: Infinity War, or set in the present with her origin story told via flashbacks.
Marvel Studios has not confirmed Brie Larson will play Danvers in Avengers: Infinity War or the Untitled Avengers movie that will follow in May 2019, but it seems likely she will appear in at least one of them. Those films, as far as we know, are still being shot together with production beginning late this year or early next year. Casting Larson now seems premature for a film three years away, but not at all if she is to play Danvers in either or both Avengers movies that are filming in a few months.
So what is the Green Lantern similarity Perlman referred to? It’s fairly vague in that both Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) gain their powers during a tragic event with an alien who’s come to Earth. Jordan inherits his power ring from Abin Sur, an alien and member of the Green Lantern Corps who fatally crashes on Earth.
In the comics, Carol Danvers works for NASA after a successful career in the United States Air Force. While at NASA, she befriends a Kree soldier named Mar-Vell (who was called Captain Marvel at the time). Eventually, Danvers is kidnapped by Yon-Rogg. Mar-Vell confronts Yon-Rogg to save his friend and during the battle, Danvers is knocked unconscious and lies next to a massive piece of Kree machinery called the Psyche-Magnitron, which explodes.
The machine has the power to make someone’s wishes into reality and Danvers, wanting to survive the explosion, instinctively wished for the powers of Mar-Vell. She got what she wished for as Mar-Vell’s genetic structure became infused with Danvers’ own DNA. She gained all of his powers and did not even realize it for a while after.
Aside from being tied to aliens, the origins of Hal Jordan and Carol Danvers are different. Besides, very few moviegoers even saw Hal Jordan’s origin in Green Lantern (2011) and those who did probably won’t remember it all that well. There are some similarities, but I don’t think that’s the main reason Danvers’ is getting an updated origin.
I think it has more to do with Perlman’s comments about being aware of what’s happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and crafting a story that fits within the bigger picture. To date, there is no Mar-Vell in the MCU and there is no hint that we will meet him between now and March 8, 2019. The Kree have been introduced, but none of the ones we’ve met have been framed as heroes.
Ronan (Lee Pace) was Kree and the lead villain of Guardians of the Galaxy. He was acting against the new laws of his people, but they we not exactly bothered by his actions. They dismissed Nova Prime’s (Glenn Close) pleas for help in dealing with him.
The rest of the MCU’s Kree knowledge comes from Marvel Television’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Kree blood is what brought Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) back to life after his death in The Avengers. The Kree also came to Earth long ago and put humans through brutal experiments resulting in the creation of Inhumans, people who develop enhanced abilities when their Kree DNA is activated during a process called terrigenesis. The Kree shown in the present day on AoS have been murderous warriors with no sign of a hero like Mar-Vell.
While there are a few Marvel diehards, like me, who continue to stick with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel Studios cannot and will not expect moviegoers to be aware of anything the series has revealed about the Kree Empire. As far as most Marvel movie fans are concerned, their knowledge of the Kree will come only from Guardians of the Galaxy, probably Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, maybe Thor: Ragnarok, and maybe Avengers: Infinity War. That’s assuming Carol Danvers’ origin has anything to do with the Kree, which it may not.
There are other ways in which Carol Danvers can become Captain Marvel. Sticking with the Kree for one last second, she could be Inhuman. That’s doubtful, though, since the entire concept of Inhumans has only been mentioned on television. Her powers could be derived from an Infinity Stone. The Power Stone from Guardians of the Galaxy would make sense, as would the Aether (Reality Stone) from Thor: The Dark World. The Aether has the power to shape reality, kind of like the Psyche-Magnitron from the comics.
The third option (and every option after) is something that would probably be better than my goofy speculation. This is why Marvel Studios hires professional writers like Perlman and her writing partner, Meg LeFauve (Inside Out). While Perlman could not really share any plot details, she did speak about the importance of Captain Marvel and how happy she is to be working with LeFauve. It’s not at all lost on Perlman that Captain Marvel will be the first Marvel Studios film led solely by a female hero.
Marvel came back to me and said ‘Are you interested in doing this project?’ And I was like ‘Oh gosh, yes, but it’s also a big project to take on.’ So when I met Meg I was like ‘this person is so fantastic and I’m so lucky to be working with her.’ She and I are tackling this script and I can’t really say anything about the process.
I can’t say anything about what we’re doing with it, but just that I don’t think I’ve ever had a project where I’ve been more mindful about the impact that it could have and the importance of it. [Carol Danvers] is obviously just such an incredibly kick-ass character and Kelly Sue DeConnick did a great run with her story arc recently.
It’s been good to have a partner to go through that with. It’s been an incredible experience. If we can pull it off, then it could be an incredibly important, but also really fun and kick-ass superhero film. So that’s what we’re trying for and that’s about all I can say on that front.
Marvel Studios has yet to name a director for Captain Marvel, but the film is already in good hands. Perlman was invaluable in getting Guardians of the Galaxy a green light several years ago. She developed that project and wrote the first several drafts while she was in Marvel Studios’ writing program and picked the team lineup (Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket, and Drax). That was an especially bold choice given that that lineup had only been Guardians in the comics for a couple years at that point. LeFauve co-wrote Inside Out, one of Disney•Pixar’s best films which won last year’s Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Combine Perlman and LeFauve with the brilliant Brie Larson, a Best Actress Oscar winner in her own right (Room), and whoever lands the directing job is going to be working with a wealth of talent. No Psyche-Magnitron will be needed for fans to get their wish of Captain Marvel being something special.