A female superhero, a woman director, an origin story in reverse and Nick Fury in a younger avatar, multiple firsts set the forthcoming "Captain Marvel", the first movie to release after the death of Marvel creator Stan Lee - apart from the traditional Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) entertainers fans have grown up on.
Oscar winner Brie Larson, who has graduated from comedies to independent drama and film franchises, has taken on the powerful role of Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel in the movie, which marks the first time that MCU has a female superhero as the title character. And making it a reality is Anna Boden, one half of the film's director duo.
Talking about the newness that "Captain Marvel", which she has directed with Ryan Fleck, offers, Boden said: "We and Kevin Feige (Marvel Studios President) and the rest of the people at Marvel felt that we have seen enough traditional origin movies before, wherein there's a human, then we see how he gets superpowered and then you see them save the earth.
"So we got excited about introducing this superhero in a different way and kind of introducing her as someone who is already superpowered. When you meet her, she is a space warrior, she can do proton blasts from wrists... What she does not know is her history and how she became who she is. Over the course of the film, we kind of unpack with her, and go on this journey of self-discovery with her. It's like an origin story in reverse."
MCU has regaled superhero movie buffs with titles like "Iron Man", "Thor", "Captain America: The First Avenger", "Guardians of the Galaxy", "Doctor Strange", "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and "Black Panther", which is the first superhero film to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.
Thrilled for the recognition that a superhero film is getting, the directors hope their take on the character of Captain Marvel touches a chord with the audience. The film, starring Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson and Gemma Chan, will release in India on March 8, International Women's Day.
For Boden, being MCU's first female director and directing the franchise's first female superhero film, makes her "stand a little bit taller" seeing the adulation that she has been receiving even before the movie has hit the screens.
Hopeful that in the future it will not be "newsworthy" for a woman to direct a film like this, she said: "There are so many female voices and diverse voices behind the camera who are contributing to what the social conversation is, what the stories are which people are seeing and hearing, and that is creating more diversity in stories... It has been a real pleasure, very humbling but also empowering."
Boden has been an equal collaborator on "Captain Marvel" with her long-time working partner Ryan Fleck. Their professional chemistry is as attractive as the chemistry displayed by Larson and Jackson in the film's trailer itself.
"It was easy because we are hilarious," Fleck exclaimed as he explained how the humour is on point in "Captain Marvel", much like in other MCU entertainers.
"Humour is a big part of Marvel films. We wanted to bring our version of humour to it... Brie and Sam have such a great chemistry and they came with a pre-existing relationship which worked very well for the film," he said.
Jackson will be seen in his iconic role as Nick Fury. Only, he will be de-aged and will come without the eye patch.
For Jackson, Stan Lee has been one of the "greatest influences" in his life. And so, it's a tad emotional that "Captain Marvel" is the first film to release after his demise in November.
"He'll be missed," said Jackson.
(The writer's trip was on an invitation by Disney India. Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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