For everything still set to join the MCU party over the coming years, fans and professionals alike have more than enough material from the franchise's first 11 years to reminisce upon due to its excellence. While much of the attention focuses on the blockbuster events that came in the four Avengers movies to date, the Infinity Saga's solo movies are nothing to sneeze at in retrospect.
In recent weeks, Marvel has given fans a deeper inside look at how many of these films were made thanks to the release of The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Some popular stories from the book have centered around the ever-popular Spider-Man, including Tom Holland's early days portraying the character and Marvel's secret meetings over a potential The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Others have looked at the bigger picture with Avengers: Endgame, whether it be about the female-centric A-Force scene or on the pure grind that Joe and Anthony Russo pushed through to complete the film.
Through all this, one film that hasn't received a ton of attention is Endgame's direct predecessor in the release timeline - 2019's Captain Marvel.
This solo outing had the tall task of introducing a brand new character in Carol Danvers, who would be a key player alongside the Avengers in their ultimate battle against Thanos. However, the tell-all on the MCU's history recently revealed how much of a challenge her debut was to bring to life.
The Constantly Changing Captain Marvel
An excerpt from The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe shed some light on the development process for 2019's Captain Marvel. Specifically, it showcased how different the Marvel Studios method of filmmaking was for directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.
Boden explained how the movie's "script (was) constantly changing" due to the actual film being so in flux throughout the entire development process:
“So the script is constantly changing because the movie is constantly changing and growing, all throughout development, all throughout production, and all throughout post. And there is a real desire to be responsive to what the movie is becoming in any moment.”
This was a unique experience for the director due to her normal strategy of having her work planned out as thoroughly as possible. Despite having to throw that process out the window to an extent, she found a way to "be very flexible" and utilize all that preparation she'd done in a new way:
“I am a super planner. I like to know what I’m doing, have a lot of private time to meditate on it, to really think about it, and to figure out how to best execute it. And then to come on set on the day with a plan that I understand so well that when something comes and changes, I can be very flexible in the moment - because of all the preparation I’ve done ahead of time. That is my style.”
Boden spoke on how she and the team behind Captain Marvel "very often rewriting the day before (they) were shooting a scene." Although she was "fighting (herself) at every moment" trying to make the movie the best it could be, each day's rewrites were "always making that scene better."
Fleck added his own commentary, happily expressing how this method makes for a great partnership between himself and Boden. Together, they were able to use their combined skills to "navigate the Marvel process" successfully:
“That’s always been why Anna and I are a good team, because she’s such a hardcore planner, and I’m a little bit more flexible and adaptable on the day. So, we were able to navigate the Marvel process. I think we were suited for it.”
Captain Marvel Directors Showing Their Flexibility
Marvel Studios is certainly no stranger to letting its actors and directors take their own path with improvisation and similar filmmaking strategies. After all, this is a team that let director Taika Waititi create an almost completely improvised movie in Thor: Ragnarok, which turned out to be a release that gained rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
Captain Marvel took this to its own unique level, with scenes reportedly being changed as late as the day before they were scheduled to shoot. For a movie setting up a hero that had been teased for nearly a year thanks to the post-credits scene in Avengers: Infinity War, the constantly-changing script certainly added a new level of challenges to delivering an exciting story.
How drastic those changes were is still a mystery, although it makes the work done on Captain Marvel that much more impressive as it helped close the Infinity Saga.
Brie Larson's heroine is also set to play a key role in Phase 4 with her sequel, The Marvels, coming in early 2023, setting up a partnership with Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan. While some may think there may not be much room for improvisation and flexibility with a project this big, Marvel has proven time and time again that the process works at every turn.
Captain Marvel is available to stream on Disney+. The Marvels is currently filming and will release in theaters on February 23, 2023.