Captain Marvel's directors thought about other ways for Nick Fury to lose his eye during the film. The mystery of Fury's damaged eye was one many fans expected the movie to address, seeing as it takes place in the 1990s (well before audiences met the one-eyed Fury in 2008's Iron Man). What they didn't anticipate, though, was how, exactly, he would lose it. Yes, while many people speculated Fury would damage his eye during a big battle, he ultimately lost it when Goose - a Flerken disguised as an orange cat - got annoyed by Fury's teasing and blinded his eye with his claws.
Naturally, this came as a surprise to just about everyone, whether they liked it, loathed it, or felt something in-between those extremes. It was also a far cry from how Fury lost his eye in the Marvel Comics, though that was unavoidable (given the differences in Fury's Marvel Cinematic Universe backstory versus the comic book version). During a recent interview, however, Captain Marvel's helmers confirmed they did consider alternate explanations for this particular element of Fury's history.
Speaking to CBM, Captain Marvel directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck touched on the issue of Fury and how he lost his eye. Here's what Fleck had to say, regarding the alternate ideas they had and why they went with Goose clawing it, instead:
"There were definitely a lot of discussions and that was not the first idea on the table. You're probably going to ask me what some of the other ideas were and I don't know if I can tell you that, not because I'm hiding anything, but because there were just so many absurd ideas we had. There was a strong contender for a while that a fight with the Skrulls seemed like the most obvious choice but then the more we thought about it, it just became too obvious.
"Since this is just as much Nick Fury's origin story as Captain Marvel's, we thought that it would be a fun piece of his backstory that moving forward, he was [creating] a new narrative for himself that he didn't really talk about but he was fine with people wanting to muse about a potentially more serious way he could have lost his eye."
Arguably, having Fury lose his eye because he irritated Goose is a funny subversion of what most people had in mind, going into Captain Marvel. After all, Fury had played up the mystery around his damaged eye in MCU films past (most notably, when he said "Last time I trusted someone I lost an eye" in Captain America: The Winter Soldier), which suggested the truth was far more serious than the reality. And while yes, this was clearly ret-conning on Captain Marvel's part, the explanation still works in the context of the franchise. Boden noted as much during the interview with CBM, pointing out that Fury "didn't go around flaunting that he basically got a cat scratch!" That's to say, there's nothing in the previous MCU movies that explicitly contradicts this take on his backstory.
More than that, the explanation for how Fury lose his eye fits Captain Marvel better thematically than, say, having him damage it in a more predictable way like fighting the Skrulls (as Fleck pointed out). The film as a whole rejects typical toxic masculinity and machismo by presenting Fury as someone who's respectful of Carol Danvers in ways the other men in her life (specifically, her Kree mentor Yon-Rogg) never were, and having him damage his eye by doing something macho could've clashed with that. Goose clawing his eye might be the sillier explanation, but it also compliment the movie's subtler critique of the way men exaggerate their own badass nature and deeds.
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