Captain Marvel's new look in Avengers: Endgame was Brie Larson's choice. Even though Marvel Studios is currently in the final few weeks of building hype for the end of Phase 3, it has already been a massively successful year with the release of Captain Marvel. It is their first female led movie and crossed the $1 billion mark at the box office in less than a month.
The movie served as the true introduction to Brie Larson's version of Carol Danvers aka. Captain Marvel, and it has quickly been teased how she'll play a larger role in the immediate future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Larson will reprise the role later this month in Avengers: Endgame in an expected major role, but it wasn't until recently that the marketing showed her with the other surviving heroes. When she did arrive though, there was some who criticized her new look. This wasn't about the updated costume, but rather her the noticeable addition of more makeup.
The outrage online stemmed from people believing Carol's look was the product of her being put under the "male gaze." When Slashfilm had the chance to interview Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo recently, they asked them about this topic. Thankfully, Joe Russo cleared the air to reveal that this was Larson's decision and not theirs, and that the more natural look Carol has in Captain Marvel is the result of Larson further growing with the character:
She [filmed Avengers: Endgame] before she filmed Captain Marvel, and I think she was experimenting with what the character was. And those were the choices that she and her hair and makeup team had made. And I think as she started to gain a deeper understanding of the character, especially as she approached her own movie. She started to make different choices and as an artist she should be afforded that right to make whatever choice that she wants to make.
Since Marvel shot Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame back-to-back (and originally concurrently), this was the first time that Larson was playing the character, even though Captain Marvel hit theaters first. There was no completed script for her solo film at the time either, so Carol's evolution as a character was happening backwards. It will still be somewhat strange to see Carol with lipstick and other makeup on, but we've also only seen her in one dialogue-only scene. Since Larson ultimately went for the more natural look in Captain Marvel, it is possible she first experimented with this look during Avengers: Endgame and fans will see this expected look for Carol later on in the film.
Even though the main focus from her look has been the added makeup, it will be fascinating to see if the strange shooting schedule results in any other differences in how Larson plays Carol. She still clearly has confidence in her powers and ability to be a leader, and still isn't afraid to speak her mind. As long as Larson, the Russos, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely get the core and personality of Captain Marvel right in Avengers: Endgame, then hopefully how much makeup she's wearing or what hairstyle she has will be less focused on.