It's finally here... After an agonising wait, the first trailer for Captain Marvel has made its debut on talk show Good Morning America, and it promises both a bold new origin story, plus a thrilling expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Oscar-winner Brie Larson stars as the eponymous superhero who will restore a sense of gender imbalance to the MCU – after all, she's the first female character to have led their own movie within the universe. We've dived into the trailer to bring you the highlights.
- Why Brie Larson is the perfect choice to play Captain Marvel
- Your essential guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Avengers 4 is currently three hours long
1. Now that's what we call 1990s
Much has been made of the film's '90s setting – after all, '80s retro has kind of been done to death with the likes of Stranger Things. Those of a certain generation are likely to get a massive kick out of the opening shot, as Larson's formerly space-bound Captain Marvel crashes to Earth through the roof of a Blockbuster Video rental store. Remember those? It's a promising indicator of the visual economy and wit courtesy of co-directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, who guided Ryan Gosling to an Oscar nomination in 2006 for Half Nelson.
Not only that, the whole space-to-Earth axis informs the emotional arc of Larson's character...
2. Nick Fury returns
The process of de-ageing an actor via CGI has come a long way since the relatively crude days of Jeff Bridges in 2010's Tron: Legacy. Marvel themselves have been leading the way with younger versions of Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark and Michael Douglas' Hank Pym, but we defy you to see the joins when Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury pops up in this trailer – the effects really do look flawless.
Given the movie is set in the '90s, Fury is of course younger, and still at the heart of the government S.H.I.E.L.D. operation (one that eventually collapsed owing to Hydra's infiltration in the later Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Nevertheless, the script for Captain Marvel appears to give him more to work with than just an eyepatch and that signature Jackson attitude, alluding to a sense of disillusionment in the character.
That is until Captain Marvel crash-lands and invests him with a new sense of purpose. Fury finds himself captivated by this "renegade from above", one who, presumably, is the first character to alert Fury to war raging outside of Earth in the cosmos. Already, we're liking the dynamic that is developing between the two – no doubt, it was their long history and mutual trust that led Fury to contact Captain Marvel during Thanos' fateful finger snap at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
3. The woman who fell to Earth
Captain Marvel, in fact, began life as a human Air Force pilot named Carol Danvers, and it's this tension between her super-heroic persona and the woman she once was that appears to drive the narrative.
She has fragments of memories from her time as a relatively mere Earthling, but more than that, the movie also appears to have an intergenerational sweep to it, cutting smoothly between Captain Marvel, Danvers and Danvers as a young girl. There are allusions in the trailer to the transformation that turned Danvers into Captain Marvel (in the comics, she was exposed to alien Kree DNA, imbuing her with powers), although the exact nature of the movie's backstory remains to be established.
If Boden and Fleck can match up the intergalactic action sequences with that intimate human focus (think Star Lord's poignant memories of his late mother in Guardians of the Galaxy), then we could potentially be in for another classic Marvel movie.
4. Jude Law as Mar-Vell
There's only a brief shot of the Sherlock Holmes and King Arthur star as Captain Marvel's mentor, but rest assured, as per the comics, he's a vital part of the mythology.
Mar-Vell belongs to the Kree race, whose very genetics are bonded with those of Carol Danvers. He tells Entertainment Weekly: "He is driven by a belief in the divine leadership of the Kree people. So he’s almost a devout warrior — unquestioning, conservative, but inspirational."
5. Coulson's back!
The fanboy S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, who appeared to be killed by Loki in Avengers Assemble only to be resurrected in TV's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is played, as before, by Clark Gregg. That means, as with Jackson, he's also been subject to a bit of CGI cleaning up. Even more importantly, Captain Marvel brings us the first meeting between Coulson and Fury, with Gregg describing it as a "meet cute". Now that we can't wait to see.
6. Punching a granny in the face
Well, that's exactly what happens in this shot. We're not sure why – we reckon the old lady riding the subway is some kind of villain in disguise. That is, after all, the premise of the film's shapeshifting baddies the Skrulls, the leader of whom, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), has disguised himself as the human head of S.H.I.E.L.D. to bring Earth to its knees.
That's the name of the fighting collective to which Captain Marvel belongs (they're essentially an intergalactic squad of badass commandos). They first appeared in the comics in 1992, created to serve the Supreme Intelligence, the absolute ruler of the Kree. They essentially ended up being pawns in an outer-space power struggle, although changes to their backstory may well take place in the movie.
Pictured to the left of Djimon Hounsou's Korath (featured in Guardians of the Galaxy) in the below shot: Crazy Rich Asians' very own Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva. She's the blue-skinned operative whose obsessive interest in the Kree genetic code eventually led her to becoming our hero's dreaded nemesis – at least in the original comics mythology. How much of this will be translated into the movie, we wonder?
8. Time to suit up
We think the final shot of Captain Marvel in her full superhero regalia, all the while flickering and pulsating like a demented art installation, tells you everything you need to know. For the fans, it will be a nostalgic kick in the pants. For everybody else, it's confirmation that the MCU is on the cusp of a radical, and very exciting, change.