1990s Movies That Captain Marvel Must Reference

Captain America 1990

This would be a bizarre but also a potentially hilarious opportunity for the MCU to wink at how in the 1990s, Marvel movies weren't global blockbusters - or even any good at all. The 1990s saw the release of Captain America, a godawful feature film starring Matt Salinger as the star-spangled hero (whose mask sported rubber ears). The film was so bad it never got its intended 1990 theatrical run and was shelved for two years before being released straight-to-home video.

How could this work in Captain Marvel? Well, in the MCU, Steve Rogers was still frozen in ice, unbeknownst to the general public. However, Captain America's legend from World War II was still kept alive - S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Phil Coulson, who will also appear in Captain Marvel and once more portrayed by Clark Gregg, grew up idolizing Cap and collecting his trading cards. It stands to reason there was a very bad attempt at making a Captain America movie in the MCU as well - it could be this very camp classic, in fact!

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If Captain Marvel is indeed about a hero traveling to outer space and saving the world, homaging arguably the most bombastic 1990s movie about heroes traveling to outer space and saving the world is a must. 1998 saw the release of Armageddon; fresh off the success of his Nicolas Cage/Sean Connery action classic The Rock, Bay returned with another blockbuster starring Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck as oil drillers drafted to save the Earth from an incoming meteor - by drilling into it. There was plenty of global destruction in the early part of Armageddon as smaller meteorites smashed into locales around the world, but what fans most remember is Bruce Willis making a noble sacrifice as the film cranked up Aerosmith's ubiquitous hit "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing".

Captain Marvel could have some fun winking at the overblown, frantic drama of Armageddon, though it would be best if there was no homage to Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler's cringe-inducing romantic moment involving animal crackers.

Joel Schumacher's Batman

Val Kilmer Batman Forever

Marvel rules the superhero movie roost today, but in the 1990s, the biggest superhero name was unquestionably Batman. Following Tim Burton's 1989 mega-success Batman and his idiosyncratic 1992 follow up Batman Returns, director Joel Schumacher took over the Bat-reigns and, for better or worse, defined the superhero movie in the 1990s. Schumacher's campfests Batman Forever and Batman & Robin infamously introduced nipples on the Batsuits and cranked up the day-glo absurdity, with some of the era's biggest A-list stars like Jim Carrey and Arnold Schwarzenegger portraying hyperbolic villains. Meanwhile, the Batcowl was passed from Val Kilmer to George Clooney.

The fact that Batman isn't a Marvel property could be an issue here, but it'd be a major missed opportunity if Captain Marvel didn't find a way to reference the Batman films of the '90s, even if it's merely a crack about how Carol Danvers' Kree uniform definitely doesn't need nipples.

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Independence Day

Will Smith as Steven Hiller in Independence Day

Independence Day is the most popular alien invasion blockbuster of the 1990s - and possibly ever. Roland Emmerich's film remains beloved by fans. It cemented Will Smith as a movie star as well as showcased the nerdy talents of Jeff Goldblum. While Captain Marvel's plot details are being kept secret, the film probably doesn't involve city-sized spaceships laying waste to the most famous landmarks of America like the White House and Empire State Building. After all, the people of the MCU would doubtlessly remember a full-scale alien invasion if one happened in the 1990s.

But there's plenty about Independence Day that Captain Marvel could homage, specifically some of its memorable dialogue, like the President played by Bill Pullman's quotable speech. Since Captain Marvel reportedly involves aliens like the Kree and the Skrulls, the film would be remiss if it didn't include a nod to Will Smith's most famous quip: "Welcome to Earth!"

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Key Release Dates
  • Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
  • Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
  • The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
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