Captain Marvel, which opens in Hong Kong on Thursday, is making headlines for being the first female-led film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Starring Brie Larson as the title character, the film is also getting fans excited because it’s set in an era that hasn’t been explored before in the MCU. It predates all the other Marvel films except for the first Captain America, which was set during the second world war.
Here are 12 more fun facts about the latest movie in the Marvel timeline.
- Anna Boden, who directs the film with Ryan Fleck, is the first female director in the MCU.
- Captain Marvel is based on the Marvel comic book series of the same name, first published in 1967. The filmmakers were drawn to a run of comics by Kelly Sue DeConnick, whose take on the character would be the general inspiration for the film. DeConnick has been particularly excited by the move to make the female-character-led film, saying that “the message that it sends to little girls and women of all ages is something that renders me inarticulate, truly”.
- For one of the scenes in the US city of Los Angeles, filmmakers took an old strip mall in North Hollywood and built a new facade for the buildings, including a branch of Blockbuster, the video rental store (remember, these are pre-internet days!) and a dry cleaners. The set looked so authentic that people drove there, thinking it was a real street.
- Like with other Marvel movies, not everything happens on Earth. production designer Andy Nicholson and his team took an existing sand mine and quarry in Simi Valley, Los Angeles, and, with the help of thousands of pounds of sand, transformed it into a visually dynamic setting.
- Brie Larson, who plays Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, and Lashana Lynch, who plays fellow test pilot Maria Rambeau, visited Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas for some once-in-a-lifetime training and experiences in an F-16 fighter jet.
- Larson also was able to meet Brigadier General Jeannie Marie Leavitt, who became the United States Air Force’s (USAF) first female fighter pilot in 1993, and was the first woman to command a USAF combat fighter wing.
- Costume designer Sanja Hays’ team made eight Captain Marvel suits for Larson. The hero suits are made mostly from leather, with a special blue finish that shimmers in the light.
- Of course there are baddies: the shape-shifting aliens called Skrulls. They have dark purple, asymmetrical costumes, which set them apart from their enemies, the Kree Starforce whom Captain Marvel is working with. They are decked in teal and black with symmetrical, strong lines.
- The Kree Starforce has a variety of deadly weapons at their disposal. The Starforce Commander (Jude Law) has gravity gauntlets, a pistol and a dagger, while agent Korath (Djimon Hounsou) carries a pistol and two swords, and agent Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan) sports a sniper rifle and a pistol.
- To create the mid-90s versions of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), the filmmakers turned to visual effects supervisor Chris Townsend and the artists at the visual effects house Lola, who transformed the actors into the younger versions of their characters. It helped that both Jackson and Gregg both look great for their age!
- It wasn’t just top human actors who lent their talents to this film. The filmmakers auditioned several different cats to play the part of a feline character named Goose. They ended up with four cats – Reggie, Archie, Gonzo, and Rizzo – who all specialised in different tricks.
- Larson trained for four hours a day, five days a week, to prepare for the role. By the end of the intense training, she was able to pull a Jeep down the road – a tremendous achievement for an actress who had never done much strength training!