It’s been a decade since the Marvel Cinematic Universe began with 2008’s Iron Man, and it’s since given us 20 films and even more superheroes.
Though each solo film has featured heroes that vary in terms of powers and personality, you’ve probably noticed something: not one of the films has been led by a woman (though Evangeline Lilly’s The Wasp shared top billing with Ant-Man in 2018).
That’s all about to change with the upcoming Captain Marvel. Here’s everything you need to know about Marvel’s first female-driven superhero film.
When is Captain Marvel released in UK cinemas?
The film will be flying into UK cinemas on 8th March 2019. This is the same day as the planned US release, so hopefully we might remain unscathed by spoilers!
Friday 8th March is also International Women’s Day, and it’s hard to believe that date was chosen by accident…
Who is Captain Marvel?
In the source comics Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, is an officer in the US Air Force whose DNA is fused with an alien’s during an explosion, giving her the powers of superhuman strength, flight and energy projection.
The Kree alien whose DNA she now possesses is actually Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel from the comics, though Danvers has held the name in the source material as well.
In 2012, Carol Danvers became the seventh character to take on the Captain Marvel alias in the comics. Other pseudonyms she has held throughout her comic-book history are Ms Marvel, Binary and Warbird. Confusing, we know.
In the film version of the story, it seems that Carol is adopted by the Kree following her accident and turned into one of their soldiers, with no memory of her previous life. The events of the film mark her first return to Earth, where she begins to recall details of who she used to be.
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Do you have to see Avengers: Infinity War before Captain Marvel?
In short: not necessarily (but you still should).
Like most origin films, we will be introduced to a new hero and unfamiliar circumstances. Also, Captain Marvel is set to take place in the 1990s, well before the era of the Avengers. Both of these facts mean prior knowledge is not required, so die-hard MCU fans and newbies alike should be able to enjoy the film.
Fans of superhero films have most likely seen their fair share of origin stories and are well-versed on the typical zero-to-hero formula they follow. Though as producer Nate Moore promises that Captain Marvel will “subvert” this traditional origin story arc, there are plenty of questions to ponder.
“Captain Marvel is an origin movie in that you haven’t seen her before, but we think we’ve stumbled upon a structure there that isn’t the traditional structure of what origin movies typically are,” Moore said according to Cinema Blend. “We’re very conscious of making sure that audiences don’t get things that feel like they’ve seen them before.”
And trailers give some hints as to the topsy-turvy origin story we’ll be seeing in the new film, where Carol is already a superpowered member of Starforce, with only hazy memories of her life on Earth that begin to reemerge when she returns to her home planet. Teaming up with SHIELD agent Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson, digitally de-aged), Carol must discover the truth about her past while also protecting Earth from new invaders.
Fans of the Avengers comics might notice that the plot takes inspiration from the Kree-Skrull War story arc that spanned from June 1971 to March 1972. The blue-skinned Kree made their first MCU appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, and in new pictures we’ve also been introduced to the shapeshifting Skrulls.
Also, we are sure to see US Air Force pilot Carol Danvers in her sky-high element, as star Brie Larson has reportedly been learning to fly a plane.
More footage has also arrived more recently teasing more details of the story including shape-shifting baddies the Skrulls, led by Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos.
Who is in the cast?
Oscar-winner Brie Larson will star as our fearless heroine Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, with Jude Law playing her mentor, originally credited only as “Leader of Starforce” but now believed to be a Kree soldier called Yon-Rogg, who in the comics becomes a foe of Carol Danvers in later years.
And even though this is set in pre-Avengers times, a few familiar faces are scheduled to pop up. Samuel L Jackson (pictured) and Clark Gregg appear as ‘90s era versions of Nick Fury and Agent Phil Coulson, with the actors digitally ‘de-aged’ to play their younger selves.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed that both actors’ appearances would be altered to match the period, and footage released from the film has confirmed that fact.
Pictured – Leader of Starforce (Jude Law), Ronan (Lee Pace), Korath (Djimon Hounsou), Att-Lass (Algenis Perez Soto), Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Bron-Char (Rune Temte) and Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan)
There will also be no shortage of aliens in this film. Lee Pace will reprise his role as Kree alien Ronan the Accuser alongside Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer (both previously appeared as their older selves in Guardians of the Galaxy). Humans star Gemma Chan, meanwhile, will play Kree sniper Minn-Erva, while Annette Bening will portray the Kree’s Supreme Intelligence, essentially their ruler.
Ben Mendelsohn will play leading skrull baddie Talos (pictured below), while Lashana Lynch is set to play Maria Rambeau, a fellow pilot of Carol’s whose daughter Monica eventually became a superhero in Marvel comics.
Ben Mendelsohn as Talos in Captain Marvel (Marvel)
Carol Danvers’ family will be comprised of Kenneth Mitchell as Joseph, Colin Ford as Steve and Mckenna Grace as young Carol.
Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte, Robert Kazinsky and Vik Sahay will also appear, though their characters are currently unknown.
Who plays the cat in Captain Marvel?
One of the unexpected highlights in Captain Marvel is reportedly her four-legged friend Goose, a reimagined version of Captain Marvel’s alien pet from the comics (where he’s called Chewie) portrayed by four different cats called Reggie, Gonzo, Archie and Rizzo.
The majority of the time, the role of Goose is played by Reggie, with the other three cats serving as “stunt doubles” (i.e., they’re trained to do certain one-off tricks) or body doubles if Reggie got too tired – and according to the stars, they were surprisingly easy to work with.
“The one we worked with the most, Reggie, was pretty professional,” Samuel L Jackson told RadioTimes.com. “There were three others that did different things. I don’t know when they were, but most of the time we worked with Reggie.
“Reggie was pretty good about hitting his mark, and you’d give him a snack, talk softly to him and give him a snack after he does his thing. Kind of OK. Kind of like us, with a cheque.”
“Do you know what, these cats were really well-trained,” agreed Gemma Chan.
“I was actually holding the cat. But they’re very snack-oriented, as I am.”
Star Brie Larson had a bit more trouble, however, as she’s actually allergic to cats.
“It became this joke because the crew would watch me all day doing crazy stunts,” Larson told EW.
“But then the cat showed up on set and I was like, ‘We need to have a plan! We need to have a conversation!’”
Accordingly, two more Goose-s (Geese?) were added to proceedings – one a puppet Larson could hold, one computer-generated – and the difficulty was overcome.
Does Captain Marvel have any post-credits scenes?
Jude Law and Brie Larson in Captain Marvel (Marvel, Disney)
Yes! According to reports from those who saw the film early, Captain Marvel will have two extra scenes after the main movie finishes – one halfway through the credits, rumoured to tease big things in future Marvel movies, and another after the credits have finished entirely. Better get ready to wait at the end of the movie, Marvel fans…
When is the Captain Marvel premiere?
The UK premiere for Captain Marvel took place on Wednesday 27th February. Brie Larson took to the red (and blue) carpet for the gala screening – but even she was upstaged by a young fan in full Captain Marvel costume.
Brie Larson meets a young Captain Marvel fan during the UK premiere (Getty Images for Disney)
“She’s my hero!” Larson said on Twitter after the event.