‘Captain Marvel’ Directors Asked ‘Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler for Advice

Captain Marvel directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck sent a distress signal to Black Panther director Ryan Coogler after joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“When we were first circling this movie we got a great piece of advice from Ryan Coogler,” Fleck told TotalFilm. “He said, ‘It’s multi-years of your life. You better damn well like this character. And you better be telling a story you want to tell.’”

Like Coogler, whose career was launched on the back of acclaimed indie drama Fruitvale Station, the Half Nelson and Mississippi Grind filmmakers were new to the sci-fi-tinged world of superheroics when tapped to steer the first solo film headlined by a comics-turned-movie star.

“There have been a lot of moments where we’ve been driven to sheer exhaustion,” Boden added. “Just being able to be like, ‘Phew. We love this movie and we love this character’ has been really important.”

Black Panther went on to become crowned the highest-grossing solo superhero movie with $1.3 billion earned worldwide, toppling Marvel Studios’ own Iron Man 3. Similar atmospheric heights are within reach for Captain Marvel, already on track for an opening projected to be upwards of $160 million.

Unlike Black Panther — where its lead hero was first introduced mostly fully-formed in Captain America: Civil WarCaptain Marvel explores an atypical origin story, unraveling a fun mystery behind Air Force pilot-turned-cosmic superhero Carol Danvers (Brie Larson).

“I think one of the really fun things about this movie, because it is an origin story, is that it’s not your traditional origin story,” Boden told Fandango.

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“What’s going to be fun and surprising for an audience is going to be uncovering the mystery of how this particular superhero got her powers and became who she is, along with [being] on a journey with this character.”

She added, “It was a really fun way to make a movie, a really fun way to imagine an origin story, because it has this nontraditional structure. I think it’s going to be a fun ride for people.”

Starring Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Gemma Chan, Lashana Lynch, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg and Jude Law, Captain Marvel releases March 8.