**WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW FOR CAPTAIN MARVEL**
90s-set superhero movie Captain Marvel ended up as a bit of a stealth Avengers prequel alongside its solo story, explaining why Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) formed the group in the first place, where their name came from and just what will happen to the heroes in eagerly-awaited sequel Avengers: Endgame.
However, all that Avengers tie-in (including an enticing post-credits scene) doesn’t mean that Captain Marvel isn’t interested in setting up its own franchise, with a few moments in the finished movie suggesting that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers in solo action, and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige hinting the same in a recent interview.
“The making of a first film is in some ways a brainstorm on the future and on what can be,” Feige told Screen Rant.
“So what it will be again is not clear. But what it could be is pretty amazing.”
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So what about the first film tells us what a future sequel “could be” about? Well, the movie ends with Carol shooting off into space with the surviving Skrull refugees, helping them find a new home elsewhere in the galaxy after leaving Fury with a special pager allowing him to call her back in an emergency.
As we know, Fury eventually does use that pager in the closing moments of Avengers: Infinity War, and the Captain Marvel post-credits tease shows what happens when Carol answers the call in Endgame – but the new movie hints that there are more adventures for Carol set in the years between these two events, specifically relating to the character of Kree baddie Ronan.
Ronan, lest you’ve forgotten, was the main baddie in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film played by Lee Pace, who’s brought back in a cameo role here as his younger, pre-Guardians self. And after Captain Marvel (Larson) handily destroys his bombardment thanks to her newfound abilities (derived from the Tesseract “core”), it’s hinted that the two will cross paths again…
“We’ll be back for the weapon,” Ronan says after ordering a retreat.
“The core?” replies an underling.
“The woman,” Ronan answers ominously.
This is an odd back-and-forth for the filmmakers to include unless they intend to follow up on this thread – why include Ronan at all if you didn’t want to use him? – and considering Pace’s Ronan died at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems more likely that we’ll see him and Carol Danvers clash again at some point in the years between 1995 (when Captain Marvel is set) and 2014, the time period of the first Guardians movie. Unless there’s time travel involved, of course.
As to what else could happen in a Captain Marvel sequel, well, Carol gives us a clue herself, suggesting that she’ll head back to the Kree homeworld and cause some mischief at some point in her future.
“Tell the Supreme Intelligence I’m coming to end it,” Carol told Jude Law’s Yon-Rogg (below) as she sent him packing.
“The war, the lies. All of it.”
So perhaps a future movie will show what happens when Carol returns to the Kree planet, encounters old mentor Yon-Rogg again (unusually, his villainous character survives the film) and takes on both Ronan and the Kree culture’s Supreme Intelligence, further joining the dots between this film and the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie without having to be TOO tied in to the main Marvel continuity (if it’s in space, it doesn’t brush up against the decades on Earth with little to no superhero activity).
After all, by the time of Guardians of the Galaxy Ronan is an excommunicated zealot, the Kree have an Emperor and they’re making peace treaties – quite a difference from the society’s set-up at the time of Captain Marvel, and leaving some room for Carol to change things up in a sequel.
Then, after spending a while sorting out the Kree et al, Carol could zip off and help the Avengers in Endgame, essentially making Captain Marvel 2 another prequel, and to us that all fits together quite nicely – Endgame leaves quite a few gaps in Captain Marvel’s timeline, only suggesting that she’s been off helping other worlds in her years away, and continuing that work offscreen during most of the new film. Who’s to say another movie couldn’t fit in around then, perhaps also explaining her snazzy new Endgame haircut?
Sure, it might be a little confusing – a movie set in one time period, then an appearance in a big Avengers movie, then a sequel set before or during the Avengers movie that would now be a few years in the past – but it’s essentially what Warner Bros are doing for their two period-set Wonder Woman things without much bother.
And if a sequel does stick in the 90s, or bring Carol back between then and Endgame, Carol could also pop over and visit her Earthbound friends as well, with Samuel L Jackson in particular keen to reunite with his co-star for a sequel.
“Oh, of course,” Jackson told RadioTimes.com. “Definitely. I think it’d be interesting to see what their dynamic is with the not-so kinder, gentler Fury, and her.”
Or, perhaps she’ll use time travel to return to the 90s after Endgame, making for a slightly complicated Marvel timeline (a sequel set both before AND after a whole collection of films) but allowing her to reunite with best friend Maria (Lashana Lynch) and her daughter without missing out on years of their company, and without confusing audiences by having Carol’s character fail to move on after Endgame by just revisiting an earlier version of herself again.
Or maybe any Captain Marvel sequel would be some weird mix of prequel, sequel, time-travel flashback and spin-off set to be even more groundbreaking than the first movie. Unless any of you have a handy Pym-powered time machine, we’re probably in for a bit of a wait before we find out…
Captain Marvel is in UK cinemas now