Directing any movie is an intense undertaking, but those entering the Marvel machine and tackling an entry in the MCU need all the help they can get. It makes sense that those select members of that exclusive directorial club lend each other a hand when they need it. So where Captain Marvel star Brie Larson got advice on being a potentially overpowered superhuman from the rest of the Avengers, the film’s directors (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck) turned to a superfriend of their own.
In an interview with TotalFilm, the pair explained that they were nervous novices to the genre, having only directed TV and grounded indies like Half Nelson and Mississippi Grind. So before they even accepted the job, they reached out to the most successful solo Marvel film’s director, who also happened to ascend to the top while making his superhero debut: Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler.
“When we were first circling this movie we got a great piece of advice from Ryan Coogler,” said Fleck. “He said, ‘It’s multi-years of your life. You better damn well like this character. And you better be telling a story you want to tell.’” As someone that also made the leap from indies (Fruitvale Station) to the total opposite, Coogler has the experience they could relate to and the results every director dreams of.
So they went for it. But that doesn’t mean it was a cake walk. However, even when times are tough, the keys Coogler mentioned kept the directorial duo going. “There have been a lot of moments where we’ve been driven to sheer exhaustion,” Boden said. “Just being able to be like, ‘Phew. We love this movie and we love this character’ has been really important.”
Captain Marvel is now poised to make the same splash as Black Panther did in 2018 as an early-in-the-year superhero contender with an underappreciated demographic key to its cinematic audience and an Avengers movie quickly following on the horizon.
Fans can see just how well this advice paid off when Captain Marvel hits theaters on March 8.