One of the most transformative aspects of a film is its ability to share human experiences. In Captain Marvel, many of the experiences depicted belong to its lead, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), and they are uniquely female.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times during the movie's Hollywood premiere, co-director Anna Boden said one moment, in particular, was always intended to be in the film's final cut. In the scene, Carol stands in front of a store when a man rides up on a motorcycle, makes a comment, and upon Carol's "F*ck Off" stare in his direction tells her to "lighten up" adding, "You got a smile for me?" This scene was shot on the first day of filming.
“It’s just one more person who she comes across who tries to tell her how she ought to be,” said Boden. “And her journey of self-realization is about rejecting all those people telling her how or who she ought to be and then embracing who she is.”
Executive producer Jonathan Schwartz recounted how Boden fought for the scene, acknowledging how the men in the room just didn't have the same life experience.
“And then totally separately, a whole controversy sprung up about Brie’s countenance and how she wasn’t smiling in the marketing materials," Schwartz told the LA Times. "So it sort of dovetailed into something like, ‘Oh yeah, this is something that women really do encounter and deal with.’”
Co-writer Geneva Robertson-Dworet focused on another aspect of the female experience in the film. At the premiere, she told The L.A. Times, “We wanted to see more representation of strong female friendship." When working their way up through the ranks of the Air Force, Carol and her best friend Maria (Lashana Lynch) were two of the only women there — a fact which bonds them together rather than drives them to competition, as we've seen in so many films. But that point-of-view where women are exclusively fighting one another for dominance just isn't faithfully representative of the female experience.
“There’s an expectation that women will be competitive with each other, but our experience has been that it helps us lift each other," added screenwriter Nicole Perlman. "I feel like the movie is really infused with that spirit.”