'Captain Marvel' Directors Respond to Theories That Fury Is a Skrull (Exclusive)
By John Boone
Courtesy of Marvel Studios
It may have taken 10 years and twice as many movies for Marvel's cinematic universe to introduce a female title character. But now that she's here, Carol Danvers is making up for lost time. In just two months, Brie Larson's Captain Marvel appeared in two separate Marvel movies, first in her own origin story, March's Captain Marvel, and then in April's behemoth Avengers: Endgame, as added muscle to help Earth's mightiest heroes take down Thanos. Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck helmed the former and ahead of the film's Blu-ray and DVD release (out June 11), ET caught up with the duo over the phone to answer some lingering questions (like that whole Fury is a Skrull debate) and find out how they reacted to seeing Carol rub elbows with the Avengers.
ET: I visited the set and got to see you in the process of making this movie, but then it comes out to so much love and it goes on to make a literal billion dollars. What has this experience meant to you, now that you've had a second to breathe?
Anna Boden: I think it really speaks to how much the character Carol Danvers means to people and what she signifies. I don't know... Every time somebody sends something to us -- like a card that their kid made or someone's daughter who's dressed as Captain Marvel, dancing at her birthday party -- every time we get something like that, it just fills me up, you know? It's really exciting.
I want to discuss Captain Marvel, but I have to ask: When did you see Endgame for the first time?
Ryan Fleck: Obviously it's out now, and Anna was at the premiere -- I'm actually working in Toronto so I wasn't able to go -- but the first time we saw it was a cut of the movie while we were still editing Captain Marvel, so that we could see what they did and we could share what we did with the Russo brothers so that we were all consistent in terms of creating the same character. When we saw their first cut -- I don't know if it was the first cut, but when we saw a cut of the movie, we were just completely floored and blow away and, like, walked out of there sort of teary eyed, trying to pretend we weren't crying, as we had to go on with our day. [Laughs]
Boden: Haven't you learned anything from Captain Marvel? You don't have to pretend that you don't have emotions.
So you not only had to sit on Captain Marvel spoilers, you had to keep the secrets of the most-tightly guarded movie ever.
Boden: We just got to lie and say we didn't know anything about Endgame. [Laughs] It was our only way that we could keep our mouths shut.
I know you were on the set for Brie's first day on Endgame. When you saw that cut or when you saw the final film, what was your favorite Carol moment? And conversely, was there anything that surprised you about what they did with Carol or that you thought you would have done differently?
Boden: Watching Endgame at the premiere, I was just truly a fangirl in that moment when she came on screen for the final battle. It was all I could do to keep myself in my seat. I think I was fully screaming. And my favorite moment of hers in that movie, I mean, I think it was that shot with her and all the other women of Marvel. I mean, that was just really powerful and meaningful to me.
Fleck: Oh, yeah, likewise.
Was there any disappointment that they got to tackle Carol's iconic short haircut before you would have the chance?
Boden: No! [Laughs] No, we're all in it together. I was so pleased and excited -- I honestly didn't know that they were going to do that until I got a picture from Kevin [Feige] when he was on set when they were shooting that, and he sent a picture. I was like "Oh my God!" It blew my mind. It was pretty cool. We cover all the hairstyles of Carol Danvers in these movies. There's nowhere to go from here.
Where do you think Maria and Monica Rambeau were for the events of Endgame?
Boden: It's something that we thought about and you know, brought up. I'm guessing that they were a couple of the first people who she'd want to check in on, to see if they had also disappeared or blipped away. I can't say for sure, not having been an author of that. But I'm hoping that they were able to reconnect after the events of Endgame.
So you never got a hard-and-fast answer on whether they were snapped or not?
Fleck: That's up for speculation. Perhaps one day there will be clarity.
One of the big theories out of Captain Marvel was speculation that at some point Fury becomes a Skrull because of a certain sandwich scene in Age of Ultron. What was the backstory of the diagonally cut toast line?
Boden: Well, there are two options here. Either Fury became a Skrull or he got over his weird fear of diagonally cut toast, and we'll never know the truth. [Laughs]
Fleck: He actually became okay with people calling him Nick. So, you know, either he's a Skrull or he just changed, like we all do.
Were you surprised by how deeply the fans dug into canon to break down that moment? Or were you expecting it?
Boden: I guess you always kind of expect that that's going to happen, and the folks at Marvel, who've had a lot more experience with this than we have, they did warn us that on every single movie they discover something about their own universe.
Fleck: That the fans tell them.
Boden: Or the fans have dug up that they didn't know about until the movie becomes part of the public. But really, isn't that the beauty about this kind of an art form? Is that it's about more than the filmmakers' intentions. It's always about what it becomes after it's part of the public.
The biggest star of Captain Marvel, in movie that has Jude Law and Annette Bening and Sam Jackson, is Goose the cat. In my desire for a Goose spin-off, I need to ask: What do you think Goose was getting up to in those six years after Mar-Vell died and before Carol came back to Earth?
Fleck: I feel like he was the base cat. He was the Pegasus cat that everyone just loved and hung out with and it was like, you know, "Oh, there's Goose." Everyone just sort of came together and took care of it. Now, what it was doing behind the scenes when no humans were around, that's up for more fan speculation. But in our minds, that's what Goose was doing at Pegasus, was just being the base cat.
Now that everybody love Goose, there's been a lot of curiosity over how long a Flerken can live and whether he's still around in the present day. Do you have a concrete number on that? Or have you had those conversations?
Boden: I think you have to have Kelly Sue [DeConnick] how long Flerkens live.
Fleck: I would suspect now -- and this is a guess -- that they have a different lifespan than your ordinary cat. They're a Flerken, so I suspect they can live much longer.
A character I was very excited to revisit in this is Lee Pace's Ronan. We leave him at the end of this film promising that he's going to come back for Carol. When we next see him in Guardians, he's after a different Stone. Is that something you were always teeing up for a sequel? That his and Carol's paths would cross again?
Fleck: Uhhh, maybe? [Laughs] I'm going to leave it at that.
Kevin is holding back on everything post-Spider-Man: Far From Home, but when a movie makes a billion dollars, you know there's interest in continuing the story. Amongst yourselves, how much have you begun to think about where you would want to take a next film with Carol?
Boden: We have nothing to say about that at the moment. We have discussed a sequel that has involves going into the future where Yon-Rogg follows Carol and steals an almanac and uses it to go back into the past to make some sports bets and changes the course of history. [Laughs]
Fleck: This is sounding really familiar. What is this? [Laughs] That would be an amazing sequel!
Boden: Of course, you can't print that. That's very top secret information about where the Marvel universe might go.