'Captain Marvel': Kevin Feige Explains Mar-Vell Gender Swap

The live-action debut of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) is off to a remarkable start at the box office, earning over $455m worldwide in its opening weekend. Captain Marvel is on the verge of becoming a cultural phenomenon despite featuring a major change to one of the movie's characters.

WARNING: Captain Marvel spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution if you have yet to see the flick.

If you've seen Captain Marvel, you'll know by now that the iconic cosmic hero Mar-Vell was played by Annette Bening, who had been pretending to be human scientist Dr. Wendy Lawson — a gender-swapped play on the comic-accurate Walter Lawson name.

According to Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, the decision to change the gender of Mar-Vell was one that made the most sense as they looked deeper at the story of Captain Marvel.

“It was really about the development of this story, and about how best to showcase Carol Danvers growth, and development as a hero," Feige said in a recent press stop. "And the notion that she had a female best friend, a female mentor, seemed important to us."

Feige mentioned that the idea to have Bening play the character came later on in the scripting process when they already had Bening at their full disposal.

"[It] was something that was an idea that Anna had as the script is as she and Ryan were doing their pass at their script, and it all sort of fell together," the producer said. "Particularly then with Annette Bening being able to play both of those spoilery parts."

Bening played both Mar-Vell/Wendy Lawson in flashbacks in addition to the human avatar of the Supreme Intelligence, the artificial intelligence that rules the Kree homeworld of Hala.

Captain Marvel is now in theaters. Other upcoming Marvel Studios properties include Avengers: Endgame on April 26th and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5th.

How many times have you seen Captain Marvel so far? Where would you rank it among the other MCU films? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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