Something very strange happened in the run up to Captain Marvel. It all looked OK at the start. Brie Larson was pictured curled up on a couch surrounded by Marvel comics, saying how excited she was. The movie theater I saw Avengers: Infinity War in erupted with applause when her symbol was revealed on the dropped pager during the post-credits scene. Everyone was looking forward to the arrival of Carol Danvers in the MCU.
Then things started to change. Marvel, rather unwisely, seemed to start to interject some third-wave feminism into the marketing of the movie to play up the female led aspects. They forgot Blade when they talked up the racial aspects of Black Panther. Then they went and did it again with Captain Marvel and they forgot Supergirl, Elektra, Catwoman and Wonder Woman to name a few when talking about this being the first female-led superhero movie.
Alongside this, star Larson seemed to personally pivot towards this marketing message and in the process began to alienate some of the core audience of comic book fans. It did not help that relationships between Larson and her fellow Avengers was noticeably frosty in interviews and on junkets.
Attitudes towards the movie, and the character, noticeably shifted in fandom. Marvel, of course, didn’t notice. The entire movie-going world was quivering with anticipation after THAT ending in Avengers: Infinity War. Captain Marvel was sandwiched between that movie and Avengers: Endgame with the promise that you HAD to see this movie to get vital information for Endgame, it was bullet proof at the box-office. $1.3b later Marvel could be forgiven for not really thinking there were any negative side-effects.
But there were, and it remains a divisive movie for fans. Without the shield of the Avengers climax as a wrapper, it begs the question can Captain Marvel succeed as a standalone sequel?
Now Marvel have found the director to take on this challenge, Nia DaCosta.
The talented up-and-coming director with Little Woods and the Candyman revival on her resume takes over for Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck who helmed the first movie.
She watched Apocalypse Now and that ignited a lifelong passion for film-making. Obsessed with 1970’s movies, she found inspiration in directors such as Martin Scorsese, Sidney Lumet, Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola.
Inspired by the works of Scorsese, DaCosta enrolled at his alma mater, New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She worked her way up from TV production assistant and met Scorsese in the course of her work. Hard graft and talent now gives her the keys to a mega-franchise entry.
DaCosta reportedly met with Marvel chief Kevin Feige over the weekend and will work with Megan McDonnell, writer on WandaVision, who is set to pen this sequel. Brie Larson returning to star as Carol Danvers.
We wish her luck, and hope she double-checks the marketing!