With Avengers: Infinity War finally here, attention is turning to Marvel Studios’ 2019 lineup. Next year will kick off with Captain Marvel, a movie that marks the debut of Brie Larson as Air Force pilot-turned cosmic superhero Carol Danvers. Marvel has kept this new project pretty tightly under wraps, with no official images or footage released yet.
But even so, we do have a fairly good sense of what to expect from the Captain Marvel movie at this point. Here’s everything we know so far about the cast, story and how this movie fits into the larger MCU.
Watch out for spoilers at the bottom of this page for Avengers: Infinity War!
We know that development has been underway on a Captain Marvel movie since at least 2013, with Marvel Studios recognizing the growing need to add a female-driven superhero film to the MCU. At the time, Carol Danvers was named as one of several potential candidates alongside Black Widow and Agent Carter (who later starred in an ABC TV series). The Captain Marvel movie was officially announced in October 2014, as Marvel boss Kevin Feige revealed the studio’s Phase 3 lineup of films.
Captain Marvel was originally scheduled for release on July 6, 2018, a date now claimed by Ant-Man and the Wasp. The film was pushed back first to November 2, 2018 and then to March 8, 2019.
Feige revealed at SDCC 2016 that Marvel Studios had narrowed down its list of potential directors, which included Niki Caro, Lesli Linka Glatter and Lorene Scafaria. However, the official announcement didn’t arrive for nearly a year, as Mississippi Grind’s Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck were officially announced as directors in April 2017. Guardians of the Galaxy co-screenwriter Nicole Perlman and Inside Out co-screenwriter Meg LeFauveere were on scripting duties.
Marvel hired Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider) to pen a new draft of the screenplay in August 2017. She described it as “more of an action-comedy.”
Brie Larson will star as Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot who gains superhuman powers after her DNA is fused with that of an alien Kree warrior. Marvel has yet to reveal any official photos of Larson in character, though a set photo shows her wearing a green version of the traditional Captain Marvel outfit (likely meant to be a Kree training uniform).
Larson will be joined by Jude Law as Mar-Vell (the alien warrior in question and Carol’s mentor), Gemma Chan as Kree geneticist Minn-Erva and Ben Mendelsohn as an unknown villain character (speculated to be Kree military commander Yon-Rogg). Other actors whose roles have yet to be revealed include Lashana Lynch, Algenis Perez Soto, Rune Temte and Mckenna Grace.
The film will also feature several returning characters from past MCU films. Samuel L. Jackson will return as S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury, accompanied by Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson and Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill. Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser and Djimon Hounsou’s mercenary Korath will also return.
If you’re wondering how Captain Marvel can feature characters like Ronan and Korath when they already died in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, that’s because the movie is set in the past. Most if not all of Captain Marvel will take place in the ’90s, a time when these Kree villains are still alive and when a two-eyed Nick Fury is still in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Look for the film to take advantage of the retro setting by paying tribute to classic ’90s action movies. “We hadn’t necessarily done anything like that before either, so there are definitely homages to our favorite ‘90s action films within Captain Marvel,” Feige told Entertainment Weekly. Feige also revealed that Captain Marvel is actually the first superhero Fury encountered during his long tenure at S.H.I.E.L.D.
It remains to be seen how the film will explain Carol’s absence in current MCU films. Given her ties to the Kree Empire, it’s likely that she’s spent a great deal of time away from Earth since the ’90s.
While little has been revealed regarding the plot of Captain Marvel, Feige revealed at SDCC 2017 that the comic book storyline “The Kree-Skrull War” is a major influence on the film. As such, the film will also mark the debut of the Skrull Empire, a long-time cosmic rival to the Kree.
“Captain Marvel will be our 21st film in the cinematic universe, and we’ve never seen the Skrulls. How come?” Kevin Feige told IGN. Answering his own question, he continued, “We thought it would be fun. There’s an entire section of our comics that deal with the Kree/Skrull war, and we haven’t tapped into that at all, and we thought that would be an amazing, huge part of the mythology to belong to Captain Marvel.”
For more on the premise of The Kree-Skrull War and how it might influence the movie, check out our breakdown of that classic comic book storyline.
Naturally, Captain Marvel isn’t the only place fans can expect to see Carol Danvers in the years ahead. The character is widely believed to be joining the Avengers in The Avengers 4, due out a couple months after the release of Captain Marvel in 2019. No doubt she’ll continue to play a recurring role in the MCU as Phase 4 gets underway.
As it turns out, though, Marvel originally considered debuting Captain Marvel much sooner. Feige told Badass Digest that the character was included in an early draft of Avengers: Age of Ultron, where she would have appeared as part of Captain America’s revamped Avengers team. “[Captain Marvel] was in a draft,” he said. “But to me, it would have done that character a disservice, to meet her fully formed, in a costume and part of the Avengers already when 99% of the audience would go, ‘Who is that?’ It’s just not the way we’ve done it before.”
Spoilers follow for Avengers: Infinity War!
Of course, those who stayed through the end credits of Avengers: Infinity War saw the tease for Captain Marvel, as a disappearing Nick Fury seemed to send a distress call… somewhere. The last thing we see after Fury enters oblivion is the Captain Marvel logo on his little beeper device. Yep, she’s coming! For more on that end credits scene, check out the video explanation below: