It’s hard to believe that Iron Man, the first of the Marvel Studios films, was a complete gamble when it was first released over a decade ago. With the Marvel films now one of the biggest and most successful franchises of all time, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything left for the studio to do that would be a risk for them. Hell, they’ve made films about space raccoons and talking trees that were massive successes.
However, directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s sci-fi adventure Captain Marvel represents the last real frontier for the series and it is one that is seen as something of a risk: It is their first female-led movie. There have been strong female presences in the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but this will be the first time that a woman has taken the lead outside of the TV shows Agent Carter and Jessica Jones.
Set to tie heavily into the events of Avengers: Infinity War and the upcoming finale in the current storyline, Avengers Endgame, the film takes a bold step by going backwards in time to the 1990s to tell the story of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), an ex-U.S. Air Force pilot and member of the Kree special military unit Starforce.
Little is known about the plot at this point, but thanks to the two trailers that have been released audiences have been able to put together than Carol was once an Air Force pilot before being granted amazing powers by the Kree, though it appears to have affected her memory too. Despite this, Carol returns to Earth in order to stop an invasion from the shape shifting Skrulls, a mission that sees her teaming up with the young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).
The 90s setting allows the filmmakers to explore the origins of established characters such as Fury and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) as S.H.I.E.L.D. learn about alien life, Ronan (Lee Pace) and Korath (Djimon Hounsou) turning towards a path of evil that will lead to their Guardians of the Galaxy fate, and possibly throw in some cheeky nods to new characters that will appear later in the timeline such as Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan) and of course Mar-Vell (Jude Law).
What we know for certain – and something that has Marvel fans very excited – is that this will introduce the Skrulls to the MCU. The rights to the Skrulls have previously been tied to the Fantastic Four, which has now returned to Marvel, so this could be the first stages to the return of ‘Marvel’s First Family’.
With connections to the next Avengers film, the return of fan favourite characters and a whole new mythology to explore, Captain Marvel has much more going for it than just being Marvel’s first female led movie.