Captain Marvel may see a totally new hero enter the MCU, but despite being set in the past, it will see the return of some major characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The 21st film set in the MCU stars Oscar winner Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, a former United States Air Force pilot who has spent some time away in outer space as a member of a Kree military unit called Starforce. Carol is half-Kree and possesses superpowers that make her the most powerful hero in the MCU.
The first trailer for Captain Marvel revealed that not only has Carol been in outer space, but she has an abrupt return to Earth; she seems to have no memory of her homeworld or the life she left behind. In addition, Captain Marvel is set in the 1990s, which means some familiar faces (a couple of them are deceased in the present day MCU) appear in the film.
Related: Captain Marvel Trailer Breakdown
You can always expect cameos in Marvel movies, but this time they're doubling as surprise backstory. Here are the known MCU characters shown in the trailer who will be joining Carol Danvers on her mission of self-discovery.
Captain Marvel looks to be an origin story of sorts for Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Long before he was the enigmatic, trenchcoat-wearing director of S.H.I.E.L.D., at this point in his life, Fury has a full head of hair, two eyes, and wears the standard black suit and tie of a S.H.I.E.L.D. field agent. By his own admission, Fury was a desk jockey about to quit the agency. This was before Carol Danvers crashes to Earth, whom Fury in his voice over recognizes as "a renegade soldier" who "comes from above", when he helps her out by bringing her into S.H.I.E.L.D.
Fury meeting Captain Marvel in the 1990s adds nuance to his future encounters with the superheroes he helped assemble into the Avengers. An invasion by the Skrulls is the threat facing Earth in the film, which marks Fury's first encounter with aliens, and colors his knowledge of the existence of other worlds that could menace Earth. Captain Marvel also marks the first appearance of Fury's beeper, which he used to contact Carol before he faded to dust in the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War.
Though his life and career continued for five seasons on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as far as most of the people in the movies' MCU are aware, Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) was killed by Loki during The Avengers. Captain Marvel will show Coulson in his rookie years with the spy agency (and sporting a fuller head of hair) and the affable Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s first meeting with Nick Fury, his future mentor. For fans of the show, however, it goes a bit deeper: meeting the half-Kree Carol Danvers is a major foreshadowing of how Coulson will be resurrected via Kree technology two decades later.
Ronan (Lee Pace) the Accuser was the villain of Guardians of the Galaxy, a powerful but insane zealot who allied with Thanos and wanted to use the Power Stone to wipe out the Kree's enemy, the planet Xandar. Though Ronan died in that film, Captain Marvel brings Ronan back to his earlier years as a high-ranking and influential member of Kree society. Even two decades before Guardians, however, Ronan already wields his war hammer, the Cosmi-Rod, and the Captain Marvel trailer shows him looming ominously over Earth. Maybe he never was a good guy.
Korath the Pursuer (Djimon Hounsou) is another familiar face fans will remember from Guardians of the Galaxy. He was a mercenary working for Ronan and first encountered Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) when Star-Lord unearthed the Orb, which turned out to be the Power Stone. In Captain Marvel, Korath is a member of Starforce and one of Carol Danvers' teammates in the elite Kree version of Seal Team 6. While his presence in the trailer is rather light, he can be seen in the corner of the frame when the team are on the Kree homeworld of Hala and possibly later when they're in action.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019