Marvel Studios is gradually revealing Captain Marvel's deleted scenes - and they'd have really improved the film. Marvel's first female-led superhero film, Captain Marvel was a phenomenal success, breaking $1 billion in the global box office. Starring Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, it served as something of a prequel to the entire MCU, revealing just how Nick Fury was inspired to launch the Avengers Initiative.
Captain Marvel may have been a success, but it's not a perfect film. Certain subplots weren't effectively for the third act, the Kree Starforce weren't given a chance to shine as characters, and Clark Gregg's much-touted return as Phil Coulson turned out to be nothing more than a glorified cameo.
Marvel is beginning the promotional campaign for the Captain Marvel home release, and as part of that they're releasing deleted scenes online - ones that actually resolve these issues. There'll be six deleted scenes in total:
- "Who Do You Admire Above All Others?" - a scene in which Yon-Rogg meets with the Supreme Intelligence
- "Starforce Recruits" - Yon-Rogg lectures a roomfull of students who dream of joining the Starforce
- "Heading to Torfa" - banter between the Starforce members
- "What, No Smile?" - an alternate version of the scene in which Vers is harassed by a biker
- "Black Box" - Keller attempts to track Fury and Vers
- "Rookie Mistake" - novice S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson helps Director Keller out of an embarrassing situation
The first of these Captain Marvel deleted scenes was discussed on Reddit by a visual effects artist attached to Captain Marvel, and revealed that Yon-Rogg sees the Supreme Intelligence take on his own form, demonstrating just how egotistical he is. It's easy to understand why that one was cut; the film attempted to play Starforce as heroes at first, and that would have made viewers question him. But the others are far more inexplicable.
On the face of it, "Starforce Recruits" (released to i09) sounds like an irrelevant aside in Captain Marvel, but it actually served an important purpose; Yon-Rogg's lecture is interrupted by Vers, who is asked to tell the Kree kids what she believes to be her history. She talks about how she believes the Skrulls took everything from her, including her memories, and how the Supreme Intelligence saved her by giving her an implant. It's basically an amusing infodump, but it was cut, and viewers were left to join those dots together themselves; the implant wasn't particularly well-developed, which meant its significance in Captain Marvel's third act felt a little jarring.
Likewise, it's easy to make a case for cutting the "Heading to Torfa" scene (released to Yahoo), in which the Starforce team bantered about nothing in particular. That banter, however, is also quite important; it helps to develop each member of the team as an actual character. There's an interesting dynamic between Vers and Minn-Erva, with Minn-Erva referring to Vers as "twinkle-fists." That's an Easter egg to the Kelly Sue DeConnick run, and would have even tied the film more closely to Steve Behlming's MCU novel "Starforce on the Rise." The film would have benefited from expanding this relationship.
So far, only three of these Captain Marvel deleted scenes have been released, the final one being "What, No Smile?" (via CaptainMarvelNews). Marvel evidently decided to leave that confrontation to the imagination rather than show it play out on the big screen, but it would have been far more entertaining to keep it in. Captain Marvel may have been a blockbuster hit, but Brie Larson came in for heavy criticism online, with some fans insisting she should smile more. That gives the scene a rather delightful meta quality.
Of the other Captain Marvel deleted scenes, "Black Box" is currently an unknown quantity, but "Rookie Mistake" feels like another loss; it would have been satisfying to see more of Phil Coulson.
All in all, the sad truth is that Marvel seem to have cut scenes that would have actually improved Captain Marvel. They presumably did this because they felt the various scenes detracted from Captain Marvel's narrative flow, but it's hard not to conclude they were mistaken.
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