Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” (their first female-led superhero romp) zoomed into theaters earlier this year and instantly became a fan favorite, amassing over $1 billion dollars and paving the way for a very memorable appearance from Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) in this spring’s monolithic “Avengers: Endgame.” Thanks to Larson’s charismatic performance, a nifty 1990’s setting and some wonderfully unexpected twists, “Captain Marvel” instantly became an essential part of the MCU. And we’re very excited to watch it again, now that it’s available on home video (it’s currently available on digital HD and will be on Blu-ray tomorrow).
We got to sit down with executive producers Jonathan Schwartz and Victoria Alonso about what it was like getting the structure of “Captain Marvel” just right, whether or not the Skrulls can return (in truly villainous form), whether or not time travel was ever an option and reveal the one 90s-era logo they couldn’t get permission to use.
Moviefone: How hard was it to crack the structure of this movie?
Jonathan Schwartz: We played around a lot. It was a, it was a higher degree of difficulty than I think we're usually used to. I think we wanted that on some level. We knew that would be a trickier road to go down, but it felt like a more rewarding road. I think that's what led us to the structure that ended up on screen.
Did you ever start with her as a human woman?
Schwartz: Oh yeah. We, we, we would, whenever you see one of these movies, every version of that movie exists somewhere in a Final Draft folder.
Victoria Alonso: One of the most frustrating moments about working with us is that we take it apart to build it again. And sometimes it's built at the beginning and you take it up apart a thousand times and then when you put it back together, it’s almost exactly as it was. But there's three things that are key that changed and that's what redefined for us for that particular moment.
Well, what was, what's like the most dramatically different version of the movie that you guys put together?
Schwartz: I think we hit on the bones relatively quickly and they've stayed pretty much the same. I think one of the bigger changes along the way was that the Skrulls became what they ended up being in the movie, sort of refugees. And not even a shades of gray intergalactic war, but really the emotional core of the film. And Talos and his family was another layer that also came along relatively late.
Well, I was going to ask about that because a lot of people know the Skrulls from “Secret Invasion” or one of the big comic book crossover events. But these scrolls are very sympathetic. Does this close the door on something like that? Or is that still something that you guys are playing around with?
Alonso: I don't think we ever close the doors on anything. I think it's what it was for this particular chapter of this story.
Schwartz: Look, just because these Skulls are good that doesn't necessarily mean that that pertains to all Skrulls.
Alonso: And that should be the rule. The way you are, the way I am, the way Jonathan is, we don't define humanity and we are a part of it. That was deep and dense.
Schwartz: Soak it in.
Brie has talked about how she filmed “Endgame” before “Captain Marvel.” Was there any course correction on the character or things that you tweaked from her performance or characterization in that?
Alonso: No, I think that it was hard for her because she had to have a fully formed character with all of the remaining Avengers and go film that before she got to do her origin picture. And as unfair as that seemed, as a performer, she had to do that because that was our time frame. But she pulled it off.
Have people come up and tell you how much “Captain Marvel” meant to them?
Schwartz: I am on Twitter a little bit, which I really shouldn't be. And I have seen some really passionate and eloquent Twitter reactions just from people who really thought the movie spoke to them and on a deep level, and then really broke down why in very specific ways that totally mirrored exactly what we were trying to do, which was really nice to see.
Alonso: I've had women come up to me with tears in their eyes saying thank you. Really people that, I don't know, for what it meant to them for, having seen themselves on the screen and for having something to show to their daughters, something that they can look up to, something they can see that even though not perfect, she can reach a level of power that they want to show their daughters.
Well, there was that recent interview where “Captain Marvel” comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick talked about a version of the character that involved time travel, where she actually like got the power herself. Was that ever something that you guys played around with?
Schwartz: It was something we talked about. One of the reasons we sat down with Kelly Sue was to get her take on the character and get all of her ideas. And that was a really powerful idea. It was a road we traveled down for a while. It was tough to make it work. Plus we were sort of about to tee up a big time travel movie, which was another complication.
Alonso: Yes. We couldn’t take away from the time trouble because it was such a big component of “Endgame.” We were just throwing a grenade on something that doesn't need any help exploding.
Schwartz: But the spirit of that idea from Kelly Sue was like really important and really powerful and is still animating the final version.
As producers you get to do annoying things like clear licenses. Where there any 90s-era logos that didn't get cleared?
Alonso: It was so annoying.
Schwartz: There was a Rock the Vote poster that we couldn't clear.
Alonso: We didn’t know.
Schwartz: We wanted to put Carol in a Rock the Vote T-shirt and Rock the Vote wouldn't let us. They would make us pay this exorbitant licensing fee. It was like, What?
Alonso: And we thought it was important. It was about voting and empowering people to actually get the word out, but I guess we couldn’t do it.
Schwartz: We ended up with a Nine Inch Nails T-shirt and Trent Reznor was like, “This sounds cool.”
What do you want next for Carol? Not plot-wise because I know you can’t talk about that, but just her journey.
Alonso: I just want to see her again. She’s a phenomenal character and it will be great to have her be with us.
Schwartz: My favorite part of the movie is the end of the movie where Carol realizes her full power, full potential and humanity and just has a lot of fun kicking ass. And I would hope that in that if we were to see more out of this character, that we would get to spend more time in that space.
“Captain Marvel” is on digital HD now and Blu-ray tomorrow.