Marvel Studios’ cinematic universe keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. So far in 2015, Marvel has announced Peter Parker’s Spider-Man will be joining The Avengers next year in Captain America: Civil War; Marvel TV introduced two new series in Agent Carter and Daredevil; and Scott Lang is set to join the universe with the release of Ant-Man. However, for some fans one of the more anticipated films of Marvel’s film slate is Captain Marvel, which will be the studios’ first female-led superhero movie.
Since Captain Marvel isn’t scheduled for release until 2018, the feature is still in early development. While there are rumors that Carol Danvers herself is already cast, the feature is currently in the script-writing stage with Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Meg LeFauve (Inside Out) tackling the job. While at Comic Con International 2015, Perlman discussed the difficulty in writing Captain Marvel as opposed to Guardians.
While talking to Wired, Perlman explained her writing process with LeFauve, how the two are approaching the feat of penning Marvel’s first female-led superhero movie and how it’s much more complicated than writing Guardians of the Galaxy. She also mentioned that she doesn’t want Captain Marvel to simply be “Superman with boobs.”
Read Perlman’s full quote:
“We’ve been talking a lot about archetypes and what we want this movie to be about and just how to write a strong female superhero without making it Superman with boobs… Meg and I are doing a lot of brainstorming and we’ll catch ourselves and say, ‘Wait a minute, what are we saying [here] about women in power?’ Then we have to say, ‘Why are we getting so hung up on that? We should just tell the best story and build the best character.’ And then we have this constant back-and-forth about how to tell a story that is compelling, entertaining, moving, kick-ass, and fun, and also be aware of what those larger implications might be. It’s a lot more complicated than just writing Guardians.”
There have been plenty of rumors surrounding the film, especially pertaining to who will play Carol Danvers – with Emily Blunt, Ruth Wilson and Jessica Chastain being named. As for the director, it was said that Unbroken director Angelina Jolie was a frontrunner and when it seemed when Marvel was courting Ava DuVernay (Selma), it was possible she could helm the feature. Although there hasn’t been anything official from Marvel on who will direct Captain Marvel, studio head Kevin Feige said he expects to have a director by the end of the summer.
In terms of the script, it seems Perlman and LeFauve are taking care to both craft a story and realize it will have bigger implications, which sounds like a good balance. As we’ve seen with Agent Carter, making sure a property addresses feminism isn’t necessarily a recipe for good television. Of course, the difficulties of writing Captain Marvel, especially in comparison to Guardians of the Galaxy, are to be expected since most films and television series are analyzed for whether or not they hold up as feminist, especially those resting on the shoulders of a female lead.
That being said, fans of Captain Marvel should take heart in the writers’ efforts to make sure the film has a good story, first and foremost, rather than something that can, on paper, be touted as a “feminist triumph” simply for having a female lead. The story Perlman describes, “compelling, entertaining, moving, kick-ass, and fun” sounds like an exciting superhero movie, but it remains to be seen if that’s what she and LeFauve will deliver.
For those who are worried about the implications of Captain Marvel in the larger conversation about sexim in Hollywoon, and specifically superhero properties, Perlman is aware the film will have more pressure on it than Guardians of the Galaxy. However, from Perlman’s comment it seems she knows that writing the script will be a challenge in balancing the story with those issues and she seems more than willing to take it on in order to give movie fans an all-around exciting Captain Marvel experience.
Ant-Man opens in theaters July 17, 2015; Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.