Marvel Cinematic Universe fans were met with quite a surprise today, as the first set photos from Captain Marvel appeared to surface online. But in the process, they might have revealed something interesting about the film's plot.
The photos show Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) in some sort of city setting, surrounded by cars and extras. What's most noteworthy is how both Smulders and Jackson look -- both are dressed in modern clothing, with Fury wearing his iconic eyepatch.
Considering what we already know about Captain Marvel, namely its 1990s setting, this has left a few fans scratching their eyebrows. While Fury is set to have a large role in the film, Jackson recently confirmed that it would be with a slightly different aesthetic.
"We're going back now, and I meet Captain Marvel in more of an origin story," Jackson recently revealed. "You'll see Nick Fury with another guy's face, somebody that's got two eyes, so that's a whole big deal. You'll see. It's prior to the eye injury, no eye patch."
With that in mind (and the fact that Smulders isn't really aged up or down, the way she probably would be in a '90s-set scene) it's pretty safe to assume that this Fury/Hill scene is set in the present day. But what could that mean for the film itself?
Fans already know that after Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) will soon reprise her role in the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4. Considering the gap of time between the two films, it isn't too hard to assume that the film could be book-ended by scenes in the present day.
Namely, doing this would explain where exactly Carol has been for the past two decades of MCU canon, something that would definitely need to be sorted out in Avengers 4. It also would provide a pretty clear link for how Carol meets up with the rest of the Avengers, if Fury is a sort of link between the two.
In a weird way, this also would follow the precedent left by Wonder Woman, which also used its opening and closing scenes to link its title character to the present-day DCEU. But it's safe to assume, given the time periods and overall energy of both films, that they would be used in different contexts.
The '90s setting of Captain Marvel has already raised some questions amongst fans, namely with how the MCU will deal with the existence of Skrulls. As the film's production pushes on, and more set photos like this come to light, it's safe to assume that that speculation will continue.
Captain Marvel will land in theaters on March 6th, 2019.