While Marvel Studios has made some serious headway on Captain Marvel, the studio will be beat to the “female-fronted superhero movie” punch by Warner Bros. and DC Films, which will unveil Wonder Woman next summer. It’s been a long road to Captain Marvel, and indeed by the time the film comes out Marvel Studios will have released 20 films with males taking the lead role (although Ant-Man and the Wasp is reportedly a co-lead turn for Evangeline Lilly’s character). That is inarguably a little ridiculous, but Marvel’s track record for quality is so great that anticipation for Captain Marvel—however late it may be—remains high. Especially now that Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson has been set in the lead role of Carol Danvers.
Captain Marvel has officially been in the works at the studio since 2014, shortly after which Marvel set Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman and Inside Out co-writer Meg LeFauve to pen the screenplay. Aside from that and Larson’s casting announcement in July, we’ve heard precious little about what Captain Marvel would actually entail. However, speaking to press after a sneak peek of footage from Doctor Strange (via The Playlist), Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige did confirm one key piece of information: it’ll be an origin story:
“I think Benedict [Cumberbatch] is one of those ways. Benedict is an amazing actor and totally different than Hemsworth and totally different from Downey. And, we want to stay true to who he was in the books. The metamorphosis of what he goes through is more drastic than Tony [Stark] and that was fun to chart. I guess Black Panther isn’t really an origin story since we saw him already in Civil War, but his stand alone certainly introduces you to 99% of his world which you never saw before. And Captain Marvel is certainly an origin story from the start.”
This is actually a piece of news we kind of already knew. Joss Whedon previously revealed that while shooting the final scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron, he was hoping Marvel would let him have Captain Marvel fly into that hanger as part of the new Avengers team, to be formally introduced down the road. That specific shot was subsequently replaced by footage of Scarlet Witch flying down, as Feige argued that instead of having Captain Marvel show up fully formed, he wanted to allow for an origin story to be told.
As for what that origin story might entail, in the comics Carol Danvers was a test pilot who got caught in the explosion of an alien Kree device only to resurface with superhuman strength, flight, etc.
While Captain Marvel won’t be released in theaters until March 8, 2019, the studio is close to landing a director. Recently, reports surfaced that the shortlist includes Homeland alum Lesli Linka Glatter, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World director Lorene Scafaria, Whale Rider helmer Niki Caro, and relative newcomer Rebecca Thomas of Electrick Children fame. With the studio meeting with these and potentially other filmmakers, we should hopefully learn official word soon. For now, we at least know that whoever directs, they’ll be building Captain Marvel from the ground up.