How The Kree-Skrull War Will Play Into Captain Marvel

Skrulls on the beach in Captain Marvel

In the pages of Marvel Comics, there is a long history in the hateful relationship between the alien races known as the Kree and the Skrull – but that conflict was kept out of the first 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While there were certainly plenty of cosmic battles featured in the big screen franchise, that particular fight has not yet made its way to cinemas. That, of course, will change completely with the release of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Captain Marvel, and on the set of the blockbuster last year producer Jonathan Schwartz discussed the heavy significance of the Kree-Skrull War:

It's really focused on the Kree-Skrull War. There are little elements there of other stuff and sort of blink and you miss it moments. But the Kree-Skrull conflict is kind of the heart of the movie.

Last summer I joined a group of journalists at the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City, California to visit the set of Captain Marvel while it was still in production, and it was during a roundtable interview with Jonathan Schwartz that the subject of the Kree-Skrull relationship was raised – and its importance was explained.

In Marvel Comics, the Kree-Skrull War is a cosmic fight that has been waging for centuries – with both sides absolutely despising their enemy. They are generally seen as equally powerful, with the Kree possessing great strength and advanced technologies, while the Skrulls have the innate ability to transform into anyone or anything they see. The real big problem with their conflict is the fact that it doesn’t have any boundaries, and it’s common for innocent planets to get caught in the crossfire. For example, Earth has been “in the way” a lot over the years.

Jonathan Schwartz wouldn’t tell us exactly why or how Earth will be involved in the plot of Captain Marvel – a detail that’s only going to be revealed by the full film – but he did make an interesting point about how the blockbuster will delve into the long history behind the Kree-Skrull War. Essentially, what fans should expect is the basics: enough material so that you understand what’s going on in the story being told, and not so much that it overloads the story or becomes too much of a distraction. Said the producer,

You'll see as much as is necessary to get Captain Marvel moving on her story. It's a conflict that's dealt with in a very real way hopefully without overloading the audience with exposition which we never want to do. But I think the thrust of the movie is to get our characters in the action as quickly as we can and get that story moving.

Some fans may be a bit disappointed by this news, but logically it makes all the sense in the world. Comics have a lot more latitude when it comes to dealing out exposition, but movies have limited real estate to work with, and can only include so much without feeling overstuffed or starting to drag. So while you may go in hoping to learn a lot more about the origins of the Kree-Skrull War and the key events in its history, you may be a touch disappointed – but general audiences will know everything they need to know, and there will surely be plenty of movies in the future that can get more into it.

It won’t be long until fans get to see the first big screen adaptation of the Kree-Skrull War, as Captain Marvel is now just a few weeks away from release – arriving in theaters everywhere on March 8th. We’ll have plenty more coverage coming your way between now and then, so be sure to keep on to the lookout for updates here on CinemaBlend.

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.