The Captain Marvel Problem Facing Avengers: Endgame And How The Russos Addressed It

At the end of Avengers: Infinity War, the heroes of the MCU threw everything they had at Thanos (Josh Brolin)… and they lost. “All that, for a drop of blood.” They will mount a comeback in Avengers: Endgame, and they’ll have a secret weapon on their side: Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). In fact, some are saying that the introduction of, hands down, the most powerful being in the Marvel universe is going to easily tip the scales in favor of The Avengers – which doesn’t make for compelling drama. When CinemaBlend had some time with Joe and Anthony Russo this week, we asked about the difficulty of bringing in an overpowering superhero like Carol Danvers and how they overcame it in Endgame. Joe Russo started off by telling us:

It's always a concern of ours about overpowering characters, because the reason that people relate to these characters is their humanity, and that they’re flawed. And the reason we love working so much with Captain America was that he was limited, and his heart was his superpower, you know? So we're all acutely aware of the dangers of having an overly powerful character. [But] we like sensitive storytelling, so… we found a thoughtful way through it.

That’s a great tease. Casual fans don’t yet know how powerful Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) can be, but they’ll be keen to all of her superhuman abilities by the end of her origin film, Captain Marvel, which drops on March 8. The character is one of the few who theoretically could go toe-to-toe with Thanos and live to tell the tale. But the Russos know that a straight-up slugfest would likely bore audiences, as Anthony Russo elaborated:

That's what kind of fires us up, I think, on a storytelling level, to be honest with you. Because when you do have powerful characters, you have to work that much harder to find their vulnerabilities and complexities. And Joe was mentioning on a storytelling level… and keep the stakes high! Because that’s where those characters are vulnerable. And actually, that makes for great drama, and you run in that direction. As storytellers, that's been one of the most fun things we've had working with these characters is figuring out ways into them where they are vulnerable and they aren't all powerful.

The classic “break them down, to build them back up.” That tone is coloring virtually all of the early Avengers: Endgame marketing. The survivors of the Snap are figuring out what to do next. But they are reeling. They’ve all lost people – especially Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). They need vengeance. Maybe Carol can help them get it.

Avengers: Endgame opens in theaters on April 26. We’ll see what role that Captain Marvel plays in the outcome of the battle against Thanos soon enough, but in The Russos, we certainly trust.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.