How Captain Marvel Will Be Handling The Hero’s Powers

Brie Larson as Carol Danvers in Binary mode in Captain Marvel 2018

There are many reasons why fans are anticipating the arrival of Captain Marvel into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but one at the very top of the list is just the sheer power she brings to the table. It was back in late 2016 that studio president Kevin Feige called her, "by far the most powerful character we've ever introduced," and our hopes have been raised ever since. That said, there has been question regarding whether or not we will see the hero working at her highest levels in her upcoming solo movie, but according to producer Jonathan Schwartz, the answer is an emphatic yes:

By the end of this movie we'll have seen the full run of powers out of Carol. So that's flight, and strength, and photon blasts. I think part of what made us excited about the character was that she was such a powerful character in the comic books, and one of the most, if not the most, powerful characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and seeing all that brought to bear is one of the big pleasures of the movie.

With pretty much all Marvel movies expected to launch multiple sequels, there is some logic in not showcasing everything a character can do in an origin story, but that apparently isn't a part of the thought process being applied to Captain Marvel. As explained by Jonathan Schwartz last year during a press day on the set of the then-in-production movie, fans should definitely not expect a "nerfed" version of the half-human/half-Kree in her big screen debut, and audiences everywhere will get the chance to see of what she's fully capable.

This is an interesting revelation about Captain Marvel, and one has to wonder if it's an element that ties into the special way that the movie is approaching the structure of the standard origin story. One of the standout aspects of the blockbuster is the fact that Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) will be featured utilizing honed superpowers at the very start of the movie, with exploration into her human past occupying more of the second act. The story is going to give her some room to grow and advance her abilities, but she'll be featured much further along on her hero path when the film starts than where most other characters are in their debuts.

In the comics, Carol Danvers started her superhero career as a strong costumed vigilante in the late 1970s, but it was in the 1980s that she really became something special. Trading the name Ms. Marvel for the moniker Binary, she gained the ability to draw cosmic energy from a white hole (the opposite of a black hole), and could possess the power of a star. During our interview with Jonathan Schwartz, he confirmed that the Captain Marvel movie will see her reach this peak.

As awesome as it may be to have an incredibly powerful protagonist, however, there is a potential drawback that forms in the stakes department. Namely, if audiences don't believe there is any chance that a hero could lose any battle, they will disengage and abandon interest. This definitely has a chance of being a problem for Captain Marvel, but based on Jonathan Schwartz's comments it shouldn't really affect the solo film. Going back to the fact that the upcoming movie will still feature development and growth of Carol Danvers' powers, the "too powerful problem" is really going to be more of an issue for other MCU projects down the line. Said Schwartz,

I wouldn't say she's that powerful for the entire movie, and a lot of the movie is kind of about her understanding her true power. So, it kind of becomes an issue for more the end of the movie, and more going forward than it does for this movie.

Of course, this just means that we will probably be having a very similar conversation in a few months when Captain Marvel joins the rest of the (surviving) Marvel Cinematic Universe characters in Avengers: Endgame.

We'll wait and see how all that goes, but for now Captain Marvel will be arriving in theaters on March 8th, sporting a cast that includes Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, and Jude Law.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.