The Air Force Thunderbirds announced on Thursday that pilot Maj. Stephen Del Bagno died in an F-16 crash. Del Bagno recently worked with Brie Larson as a consultant for her role in Captain Marvel.
Earlier this year, Larson visited Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada in preparation for her Captain Marvel role. Del Bagno was one of the pilots Larson worked with during her time on base. On Wednesday, he was killed in the accident.
Upon hearing the sad news, Marvel Studios shared their condolences, saying, "We lost a friend yesterday."
Larson replied to the Marvel Studios tweet saying, "I’m so sad. Will have more to say tomorrow. We miss you Cajun."
As promised, Larson tweeted a heartfelt message today, including a photo of Del Bagno, while saying he directly impacted her portrayal of Danvers in the film: "There is no Carol without you. You helped create her and I am forever grateful."
In the Captain Marvel comics, Carol Danvers joins the Air Force at 18, hoping to become a pilot before being recruited into Air Force Intelligence instead. While we don't know much about what will happen in the upcoming film, due out March 8, 2019, it's clear Larson's time working with Del Bagno and other members of the Air Force has influenced her performance.
“He was an integral part of our team and our hearts are heavy with his loss,” said Del Bagno's fellow Thunderbird, Brigadier Gen. Jeannie Leavitt (pictured above while consulting Larson), the 57th Wing Commander in Nevada, via a statement.