Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studio has opened up about the ‘Captain Marvel’ movie which released earlier this year. More specifically, he spoke about the decision not to have a romantic or love interest for the protagonist Carol Danvers or Captain Marvel, played by Brie Larson. Notably, ‘Captain Marvel’ was not only the first project by the MCU in 2019, but it is also their first standalone female superhero film. By all accounts, critical and commercial, ‘Captain Marvel’ has been a success.
For those who have not had a chance to watch it yet, the film deals with Carol Danvers as she undergoes her training to become the perfect Kree elite warrior. However, a mission goes awry and she finds herself on earth, tracking a piece of technology that the sworn enemies of the Krees, the shapeshifting Skrulls, are also after. On earth, she must confront the truth about her past and face her memories, as she finds a new friend and partner in Nick Fury. Eventually, she steps up to the mantle and embraces her power, becoming the version of Captain Marvel that we have known and loved in the comics. One of the central themes in all of this is that of family, friendship and a place of belonging. The film beautifully questions whether we are born in a family, or if we forge our families along the way. One of the purest explorations of this theme comes from the bond between Danvers and Maria Rambeau, her best friend played by Lashana Lynch.
Feige addressed exactly this, elaborating on why the decision was made to portray a friendship in depth, rather than a romantic interest. He said, “Well that was something as we were developing the script and queuing off of the comics as always, it never even occurred to have a love interest. That’s not what the movie was about. It was about Carol finding herself and growing and making mistakes and being bolstered up by her female mentors and female friends. And that relationship with Maria was very important. It was something that was, and frankly, I give all credit to Lashana who was amazing and who, and I don’t know if it’s a spoiler or not, but the unique structure of the origin story that this movie has. Initially, we were like, is that bond going to be strong enough? Are we having not experienced it in real time upfront when they get to Louisiana? Is it going to land? And we saw … the audition and then the dailies. Oh, it’s landing there. They’re amazing.” One cannot help but agree with Feige, because it is Danvers’ friendship with Maria that brings a change in her and turns her towards her own destiny. Maria gives Danvers back the sense of purpose and family that she had on earth before her memories were meddled with. Furthermore, it is Maria’s fierce independence and refusal to be told what to do, that Carol channels in her own way in the final moments of the film, which is when she shines the brightest.
In the future, the ‘Captain Marvel’ sequels are likely to continue exploring this friendship, as Feige has teased the future movies might be set in the past as well. He said, “We wanted to give her her own corner of the universe, her own mythology. While we’re not specific about this in the movie, there’s potential to understand where has she been this whole time? Why haven’t we seen her yet? The answer is revealed and hinted at in this movie as she was dealing with a colossal, universal conflict in another section of the MCU.”
Meanwhile, fans and Brie Larson herself are all aboard the hype train about making Captain Marvel homosexual. Larson even went and shared artwork of herself, on Twitter, with Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’. With reports that MCU could soon have its own gay superhero, there is no reason why Captain Marvel could not jump aboard the metaphorical wagon, in which case, it would be interesting to see if there is something more than friendship in her relationship with Maria Rambeau.