One of this year’s most anticipated release from the Marvel Cinematic Universe has just opened at No.1 in the Philippines. The March 6 first-day box-office performance of Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel has already broken several records, including the Biggest Opening Day for 2019, Highest screen count for 2019, Highest Origins Opening Day and Highest Female Superhero Opening Day.
This despite mixed reviews about the movie itself; some say it’s spotty and its script leaves much to be desired while others think that it is sufficiently empowering. We, too, had our misgivings about it—although the good outweighed the bad.
Set in the 1990s, the film follows Carol Danvers’ journey as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes. As the story unfolds, Danvers finds herself and a small cadre of allies at the center of a maelstrom when a galactic war between two alien races reaches Earth. This is the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is introducing its first stand-alone, female-franchise title character.
Based on the comic book series first published in 1967, it stars Academy Award winner Brie Larson as the supercharged superhero, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Rune Temte, Algenis Perez Soto, Mckenna Grace, with Annette Bening, with Clark Gregg, and Jude Law. Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, it is produced by MCU head honcho Kevin Feige.
For Larson, this is an opportunity to put herself in the forefront of breaking new ground in the MCU. “It’s such an honor to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and be part of this legacy of characters and storytelling that is so incredibly meaningful to people,” says Larson. “These films are part of what’s shaping our culture, who we are, what morals we value. It’s incredible. I don’t think that I fully understood the scope of what it meant in the cultural zeitgeist until the announcement came out that I was going to be playing Captain Marvel. I’ve slowly started to grasp the vastness and levity of it all.”
To add to the authenticity of her scenes as a fighter pilot, Larson, along with director Anna Boden, and co-star Lashana Lynch visited Nellis Air Force base in Las Vegas for some once-in-a-lifetime training and experiences. Larson also was able to meet and spend time with Brigadier General Jeannie M. Leavitt, who became the United States Air Force’s first female fighter pilot in 1993, and was the first woman to command a USAF combat fighter wing.
“It was just amazing to feel all of that, especially once we were back on set,” Larson says about the experience. “When we were simulating a barrel roll, I was able to recall that exactly, what that feels like, what your body feels like, how hard it is to breathe. It’s all of those little nuances that I hope comes through in the movie so that regardless of who you are, if you’re the Air Force or you’re a pilot or whatever, that you recognize that. That it feels real.”
In stepping up to direct Captain Marvel, Boden also became the first female director in the MCU. Explaining what sparked the directing duo’s interest, she says, “One of the things that drew us to the character was the fact that she was a really powerful, interesting, unique and independent female character. We are so excited to be telling this story about somebody who’s not just powerful but also really complicated and human.”
“We really wanted to explore the life she has and the humanity that grounds her, as that element excited all of us, Fleck adds. “We felt like we could tell a story that was really about a character journey of reconnecting with her own humanity.”
Boden says that the heroine is unlike any of the other characters, who is her own unique self, and who goes on a journey of self-discovery along with the audiences who go to see her. It’s a mystery film, a film of self-discovery, and something that really surprises, and at the end of the day we hope it turns your expectations on their head.”
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