Marvel has been making a big marketing push in recent days for its upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. In addition to promoting its next film to hit theaters, Marvel is also stoking anticipation for what’s next from the studio, including Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok, in addition to what else we’ll see over the next couple of years.
But the Marvel project which may be drawing the most curiosity right now is Captain Marvel, the studio’s first featuring a female lead hero. Very little is known about the project, other than a targeted March 8, 2019 release date and Academy Award winner Brie Larson being cast in the title role.
With the marketing machine in full churn this week, there were many rumblings that Marvel would announce who will direct the Captain Marvel movie. It was already unusual for the star of the film to be cast before directors were hired, but Marvel doesn’t necessarily do business like other film studios. These productions are already well under way in terms of design and pre-visualization work when directors hop aboard.
Sure enough, that decision has finally been made. Variety‘s Justin Kroll reports that Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck won the coveted gig. Boden and Fleck are largely known for smaller, independent films such as 2006’s Half Nelson and the 2008 baseball film Sugar. But the duo arguably stepped up to bigger fare in 2015 with Mississippi Grind, a gambling story starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn. So taking on a blockbuster project was arguably the next move.
Boden and Fleck are certainly a curious choice for Marvel. The two have written every film they’ve directed, telling more personal, character-driven stories. But they’ve recently directed TV shows like The Affair and Billions, which they had no hand in writing. Telling someone else’s story and being the cog in a much larger machine will be a different way of doing business for them. The Captain Marvel script is being written by Meg LeFauve (Inside Out) and Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy).
This is also a surprising choice because Boden and Fleck hadn’t been previously mentioned as filmmakers Marvel was looking at for Captain Marvel. Emphasizing female directors in their search, among the names rumored to be interested in the movie were Niki Caro (now directing a live-action Mulan for Disney), Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), Lorene Scafaria (The Meddler) and Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland). But with Boden, a female director will be behind the camera.
On Monday, several members of the movie press were invited to a tour of Marvel Studios, in which reporters were allowed sneak peeks at concept art and film footage for movies to come. Among the notable accounts from the tour, Slashfilm’s Peter Sciretta gave a detailed account of what he saw, The Wrap’s Umberto Gonzalez had several takeaways, and Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan raved about the sneak peek he got at next February’s Black Panther.
However, the writers who toured Marvel may have been most intrigued by the concept art seen for Captain Marvel, because so little is known about the film. Most of what was shown consisted of costume designs, described as very close to the character’s comic book look. Though that could change so early in the film’s production.
In Marvel Comics, Carol Danvers is an Air Force pilot who takes a position with NASA and eventually encounters an alien race during a mission. Her genetic structure is altered in experiments, which gives her superhuman strength, bulletproof skin, the ability to fly and shoot energy from her hands. It’s not yet known how exactly that story will translate to the movies, but those are the basics that will probably be followed.
Captain Marvel is currently scheduled for a March 8, 2019 release.