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14 things we learned on the set of Captain Marvel

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Jan 8, 2019

Way back in May 2018, when the world was still recovering from Avengers: Infinity War, we visited the set of Marvel's next film, Captain Marvel, and spoke with Executive Producer Jonathan Schwartz about what we could expect.

Here are 14 things we learned while visiting the set.

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Captain Marvel Brie Larson

The Earth to Space ratio in the film is about 50/50

Watching the trailers for Captain Marvel, it might seem confusing as to what exactly the timeline for the film is. We learned that the film will begin in space, with Carol already in the role of Captain Marvel, working with Starforce and believing that she is a member of an alien species known as the Kree. Captain Marvel is then captured by the Kree's enemy, the Skrulls, and ends up back on Earth, in the '90s, trying to figure out what's going on. This is where she meets Nick Fury and tries to recover information about her past while simultaneously attempting to save the galaxy.

"The movie starts in space, gets to Earth relatively quickly and it goes back to space for kind of some of the third act. So it's kind of space-Earth-space," said Schwartz. "There is a big Earth plot that ends up tying into a lot of our more cosmic goings on."

Captain Marvel - Nick Fury / Samuel L Jackson

There will be a Nick Fury origin story (kinda)

Captain Marvel crashes down to Earth and meets Nick Fury. Of course, these days he's a legend but back in the 1990s, he was in a different part of his life.

"We're meeting Nick Fury at a very interesting time in his life," said Schwartz. "It's kind of the mid-'90s, the Cold War is over, the War on Terror hasn't begun yet. It's a little bit of a slow period for worldwide espionage. And I think Fury is kind of wondering what his place in the world is, in a world where he feels maybe a little obsolete. And then aliens come down from outer space."

This is his first superhero experience, so yes, it's a shock to him.

"I think he reacts very much as any of us would," said Schwartz. "First, seeing a person in a teal green Starforce outfit tell you, 'Say, I’m an alien from another planet, and there’s Skrulls infiltrating your world!' OK. But, very quickly, he encounters the Skrulls on his own, and sort of realizes that he’s wrapped up in something much bigger than he could have ever imagined.”

Captain Marvel Brie Larson

You'll see the full spectrum of Carol's powers

Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful Marvel superheroes and according to Schwartz, we'll get to see her power demonstrated in this film.

"By the end of this movie, we'll have seen the full run of power's out of Carol. So that's flight and strength and photon blasts. You know I think part of what made us excited about the character was that she was such a powerful character in the comic books and one of the most if not the most powerful character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and seeing all that brought to bear is one of the big pleasures of the movie.”

But that doesn't mean she doesn't have any weaknesses.

"I wouldn’t say she’s that powerful for the entire movie, and a lot of the movie is kind of about her understanding her true power," Schwartz expanded. "So, it kind of becomes an issue for more the end of the movie, and more going forward than it does for this movie."

Skrulls Captain Marvel Marvel Studios

The Kree-Skrull War is an important background for Captain Marvel

The Kree-Skrull War was first introduced in Marvel Comics in the 1970s but now it's headed to the '90s. The war will be the background for most cosmic-related parts of Captain Marvel. But don't worry, the movie is called Captain Marvel, not War of the Kree.

"You'll see as much as is necessary to get Captain Marvel moving on her story," Schwartz explained. "It's a conflict that's dealt with in a very real way hopefully without overloading the audience with exposition which we never want to do. But I think the thrust of the movie is to get our characters in the action as quickly as we can and get that story moving."

Secret Invasion, skrull Marvel Comics

There have been Secret Invasion discussions

Secret Invasion is a storyline which appeared as a Marvel Comics cross-over in 2008-09 which revealed a long-term scheme by the Skrulls who shapeshifted and replaced many of the Marvel superheroes. So since the Skrulls are appearing in Captain Marvel, could that mean a potential that one of our favorite superheroes has been a Skrull in disguise for YEARS?

"I wouldn't go into this movie saying 'Which one of these superheroes is a Skrull?" Because Carol is more or less the first superhero to show up on Earth," said Schwartz. "But are we planting seeds for future movies? Always."

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Sorry, there will be no mentions of Carol's Ms. Marvel past

Carol Danvers took up the mantle of Captain Marvel in the 2012 run of Marvel Comics written by Kelly Sue DeConnick (who consulted on the film), but one of her previous aliases was Ms. Marvel. When asked whether or not Carol's Ms. Marvel history would be addressed in the film, Schwartz said it wouldn't be.

Phil Coulson, Captain Marvel

You'll see Fury and Coulson meeting for the first time

By now, we've seen (almost) 10 years of Nick Fury and Agent Coulson interactions but in Captain Marvel, we'll get to see the very first, in addition to a slightly different Coulson than we've witnessed before, said Schwartz.

"The great part about it is we just get to focus on him as he is so we don't need to worry about the stuff he's going to encounter later. There's lots of fun parallels I'm sure. But we get to see Coulson in his first meeting with Nick Fury at a much younger age where the Kree aren't even part of his vocabulary yet."

Captain Marvel Brie Larson Carol Danvers

Brie Larson (and others) actually went up in fighter planes

We've previously mentioned just how badass Larson was when training for the role of Captain Marvel, but Schwartz told us Larson also went up in a fighter plane. But she wasn't the only one. Lashana Lynch, who plays Maria Rambeau, and director Anna Boden went up in the plane as well.

Captain Marvel Brie Larson

Everything you know about the MCU in the '90s is happening

If you remember, the MCU is a pretty hopping place in the 1990s. Howard and Maria Stark were murdered by the Winter Soldier and King T'Chaka kills his brother, for starters. So it's interesting to think about how Captain Marvel will work within this previously established framework.

"It's all happening in the background," said Schwartz. "Part of what we liked about the '90s like I said, was giving Carol her own turf. There are a lot of setups, and there are a lot [of] connections to other things happening in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I think what's most important is giving Carol space for her own adventure."

But what about forces such as Hydra, which has been operating for a long time within the MCU?

"I wouldn't go into this movie expecting a Hydra plot," said Schwartz. "I think the Skrulls get to be their own thing. But if you remember your Marvel history they're definitely there."

Captain Marvel Goose cat

There is a cool cat named Goose

In the Captain Marvel comics, Carol has a cute cat named Chewie. Well, she thinks it's a cat. Chewie is, in fact, an alien, as many of us suspect cats are, amirite? Well, in the movie, there is also an orange adorable cat but this one is named Goose. Yes, that's a Top Gun reference. There were actually four cats who play the role of Goose, who Lashana Lynch told us is also not just a cat.

"It's not fully a cat. It's a mysterious cat," she said. "The cat does things that we didn't expect for it to do, and it's very surprising, and it could happen at random times."

Captain Marvel Lashana Lynch

Captain Marvel leaves the door open for more Monica Rambeau stories

In Marvel Comics, Monica Rambeau, daughter of Maria Rambeau, Carol's best friend in Captain Marvel, becomes Captain Marvel herself. So, since Monica will appear, could it be possible this is a set up for her to become part of the next generation of MCU superheroes on-screen in some way? Of course, we don't have the answer, but Schwartz says Captain Marvel doesn't eliminate that possibility.

"I hope there's more story to tell with Monica, certainly the movie leaves it open for that stuff," Schwartz said. "I think one of the things that was really fun about the stories that came together and the Monica relationship and the Maria relationship with Carol was being able to tell this story of female friendship, and intergenerational female friendships."

captain marvel brie larson

The tone of Captain Marvel will be similar to Doctor Strange

Marvel has shown their range when it comes to the tone of their movies. It's hard to believe that Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War are in the same universe when looking solely at the tone. So where will Captain Marvel fall?

"It's kind of somewhere in between," said Schwartz. "You know, Carol in the comics is a very funny character in her own way. In a way that doesn't feel like Doctor Strange, in a way that doesn't feel like Iron Man, like Robert Downey Jr., that gets to be her unique voice, and that's the voice that we tried to get across. Which isn't joke-a-minute, [like] Rocket Raccoon [in] Guardians of the Galaxy, which is super funny, and isn't super grounded, kinda heavy, as some of our other movies have been. I think it inhabits a place a lot like Doctor Strange, that takes the movie and the stakes of the movie pretty seriously, but allows the characters to have fun within it."

Captain Marvel Ronan Mar-Vell Jude Law Anna Boden

We'll see an earlier version of Ronan 

Since Captain Marvel takes place years before our current slew of MCU films, we're getting to meet some of the characters we've come to love as their younger, less jaded selves. But, we'll also meet a villain at an earlier stage of his life. We last saw Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume One when Thanos sent him to procure one of the Infinity Stones. In Captain Marvel, we'll see Ronan before all of that mess.

"Just like it’s an earlier version of Nick Fury, it’s an earlier version of Ronan, who has not become the radical zealot that we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume One," explained Schwartz. "So he has his own station in Kree society, on Hala, and has his own role to play in the Kree military that intersects with Starforce in an interesting way.”

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Will we get any answers about Fury's post-Infinity War beeper usage?

In the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War, we saw Nick Fury disappear after using a beeper to page Captain Marvel. But where has she been for the last few decades and why did he wait until now to page her? Yes, that happened 20ish years post-Captain Marvel in the official timeline, but we will have to get some answers in this film, right? 

"I think we will understand over the course of these movies why Fury makes the decisions that he does," said Schwartz. "He's always a mysterious guy and he always has his own reasons but hopefully, we can clarify some of that for the audience."

So, yeah. Gonna have to wait on that one.

Captain Marvel hits theaters March 8. Tickets are on sale now.

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