It's taking twenty-one films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to get to the first one with a solo female lead. When Captain Marvel finally hits in 2019, starring Brie Larsen, it will represent more than just another superhero film. While it won't be the first modern superhero movie with a female lead, since Warner Bros. is taking that title with 2017's Wonder Woman, Marvel's move into this territory will still be uncharted.
Luckily, Marvel Studios has Nicole Perlman, a slightly unsung hero who co-wrote Guardians of the Galaxy and Meg LeFauve, writer of Inside Out to write the film together. That's an impressive pedigree, and a good launching point for their first female franchise lead. Perlman talked about writing Captain Marvel briefly on the podcast Any Time With Vin Forte, and why they're altering the origin of Carol Danvers getting her powers a bit.
"I don’t think I’ve ever had a project where I’ve been more mindful about the impact that it could have and the importance of it. She’s such an incredibly kick-ass character and Kelly Sue DeConnick did a great run with her story arc recently," Perlman said, acknowledging the pressure of bringing the first Marvel female hero lead to screen. So why are they changing her origin? Well, someone from the Distinguished Competition may be a little too similar, she said.
"But here’s the thing, if you were just going to do a straight adaptation of the comics, her origin story is very similar to Green Lantern. And obviously, that’s not what we want to do," Perlman said of Carol's origin story. "There’s a lot of reinvention that needs to happen. And also, she’s her own person and she’s a great character. We have to be aware of what’s happened in other Marvel film and makes sure that her particular storyline is unique and fun and also fits in within this world that’s going on at the same time. It’s a little bit of an interesting story gauntlet. It’s been good to have a partner. It’s been an incredible experience. If we can pull it off it could be an incredibly important but also really fun and kick-ass superhero film."
Interesting choice of words there with "gauntlet," as Captain Marvel will hit theaters March 8, 2019. That's an envious position for a new franchise to launch: about ten months after Avengers: Infinity War, and only two months ahead of the fifth, as-yet-untitled Avengers movie that is expected to still be dealing with the villain Thanos. Thanos's modus operandi is to use the Infinity Gauntlet to handle the power of the Infinity Stones, giving him godlike status. Doing an origin story for a character in-between two major event pictures, however, and being the last to lead into a massive climax for the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe, would be its own unique gauntlet indeed.
For the uninitiated, Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel, got her powers when an alien Kree device exploded near her and the Kree hero called Captain Marvel. The device fused Kree DNA with her own, giving her the fabulous powers of a superhero. While the Kree will likely still be involved somehow, as they've been firmly established in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Perlman's own previous film had the Kree villain Ronan the Accuser), it's possible that Mar-Vell, the Kree hero who first held the Captain Marvel name, could be left out entirely.
With Brie Larson's casting announced at San Diego Comic-Con, and the two Avengers films shooting back-to-back next year, it's quite possible she'll film some work for Avengers before she even suits up for her own origin in Captain Marvel. None-the-less, Perlman and LeFauve are getting things ready on their end now.
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