We know precious little about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe beyond Avengers 4, which hits theaters in May 2019. Indeed, Marvel Studios hasn’t officially confirmed any release dates beyond that, even though we know Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 are coming. By all accounts, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 are going to shake up the MCU for good, and things might look incredibly different a year from now.
But much like Black Panther served as a palate cleanser before this April’s Infinity War, we’re getting another new standalone movie early next year before Avengers 4: the long-developing Captain Marvel. This will be Marvel Studios’ first solo film led by a female superhero, with Brie Larson taking on the title role. Moreover, it’ll be the MCU’s first prequel, as the movie takes place in the 90s and co-stars a two-eyed Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
Production on Captain Marvel is currently underway with directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half-Nelson, Mississippi Grind), and now some tantalizing details about the film’s tone have been revealed by screenwriter Geneva Robertson-Dworet, who compares Captain Marvel to an earlier, lighter draft she wrote for the Alicia Vikander-fronted Tomb Raider reboot during an interview with EW:
“Captain Marvel has a very funny voice, and it’s more of an action-comedy, more like what we were talking about doing in the first draft I wrote for Tomb Raider…. [but] that tone survived in Captain Marvel,” she explains, noting that her work on Tomb Raider began in the fall of 2015, well before she boarded the MCU project. “I love funny female characters, so as Tomb Raider got more serious, I got even more committed to the idea of Captain Marvel being hilarious.”
Action-comedies aren’t new for the MCU—you could classify Iron Man 3, Ant-Man, and many others as such—but Robertson-Dworet is quick to note that this tone wasn’t something she came up with out of thin air, it’s rooted in the Captain Marvel comics:
“Carol Danvers is one of the funniest comic book characters. She’s so sassy, she’s such a smartass, she won’t take shit from anyone, and the comic books do an amazing job at capturing that voice, and it was important that the entire Captain Marvel creative team [kept to that].”
The screenwriter also says the Captain Marvel script was directly influenced by another female-fronted superhero movie, Wonder Woman. Robertson-Dworet says the tone of the DC movie gave them even more confidence to go in a different direction:
“Certainly we were writing after Wonder Woman had come out. We already saw one example of what a superheroine looked like on screen. So we wanted to carve our own path and make sure we weren’t retreading the same territory, and showing all facets of what women are capable of.”
Avengers 4 marks the conclusion of contracts for a lot of MCU standards like Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans, so a lot is riding on Captain Marvel to not just be a great movie, but a compelling introduction to a potential staple of the MCU for years to come. Here’s hoping it delivers when Captain Marvel opens in theaters on March 8, 2019.