The latest adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Marvels, arrives in cinemas today (10 November 2023). The movie, in effect a sequel to both Captain Marvel and The Avengers: Endgame, features a trio of female Superheroes teaming up to save the universe. The originally intended title, Captain Marvel 2, will still be used in countries like China and Japan.
In the movie, Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see her shouldering the burden of a destabilised universe.
When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with that of Jersey City super-fan Kamala Khan, aka Ms Marvel, and Carol’s estranged niece, now S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau. Together, this unlikely trio must team up and learn to work in concert to save the universe as The Marvels.
Brie Larson, who starred as the titular character in Captain Marvel and embodies the character of Carol Danvers, describes the state of mind of her character at the beginning of the film: “The last time we saw Captain Marvel in action, she took a big blow,” says Brie Larson. “She wasn’t able to defeat Thanos. So, although she was a huge part of the team, and she was able to make some big moves, there is still a sense of insecurity, and she’s grappling with that power. There’s also this sense of recognisability and fame as well.”
Realising their powers are entangled, Carol reluctantly teams up with Monica and Kamala to stop the Kree Supremor, Dar-Benn, from unraveling the space-time continuum.
Kamala Khan, played by Iman Vellani, was introduced in Marvel Studios’ Disney+ series Ms. Marvel, and Monica Rambeau, portrayed by Teyonah Parris, was rediscovered as an adult in another Marvel Studios series, the award-winning WandaVision. T
They are all in very different places: Carol is literally floating in space in a vast abyss, Monica has a new career as a S.A.B.E.R. astronaut, and Kamala Khan has become Jersey City’s very own superhero. But when their powers become entangled, everything changes.
“The Marvels are entangled with each other, which means that whenever they use their powers at the same time, they switch places,” says writer Megan McDonnell. “That puts them together and sticks them together until they get it all figured out, because they each need to be able to use their powers. This entanglement is great thematically because now Carol has a team, whether she likes it or not.”
“Quantum entanglement takes us a little bit to figure out,” says Larson. “What we start noticing is that we all start switching places, and it takes a little bit of time, and what we realise is that it’s when we use our powers at the same time, we switch places. It can be different galaxies and different planets. It doesn’t matter; the distance does not matter. It’s just that we, for very specific reasons, become entangled.
“It’s a tough one for Carol because she’s sort of decided to work alone because it’s too painful to try and deal with loss. Carol doesn’t want to put anybody in danger. She’s just kind of holding it all in.
“So, this idea that if she uses her powers, it could potentially put someone else in a situation that they might not be ready for is hard for her. And so, there’s a bit of this self-protective attitude that is telling her to just stay in her ship and not use her powers.”
In time Carol realises she needs the help to get this done, and that they can’t solve the problem unless they figure it out together.
“It’s just a wonderful, beautiful metaphor about where we are at in the world that we need everybody, everybody must pitch in. I think it’s part of the metaphor that for us to progress as a people we have to learn to work together, and we have to learn to use the specific skills that we each have.”
The film stars Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Zawe Ashton, Gary Lewis, Seo-Jun Park, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh, and Samuel L. Jackson. Nia DaCosta directs, and Kevin Feige is the producer. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Mary Livanos and Matthew Jenkins serve as executive producers. The screenplay is by Nia DaCosta and Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik.