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Brie Larson is Captain Marvel

Later this week, Carol Danvers will make her anticipated debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Brie Larson soars across the screen in the Captain Marvel origin story. But it’s worth remembering that this character was so important to the overall plans of Marvel Studios, they once thought about bringing her into the fold in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and even did some early VFX work for the scene in which she would have entered the fray.

This is a fun story that’s actually been around for years, as Marvel President Kevin Feige spoke with Birth.Movies.Death around the time of Avengers: Age of Ultron and confirmed rumors that Carol Danvers was included in very early drafts of the script. Age of Ultron already planned to introduce Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and her brother, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor Johnson), as well as the villain of the title (voiced by James Spader). That’s a lot going on, though Feige confirmed that early on, there were plans to have Captain Marvel be part of the action. He said:

There were drafts that maybe people somehow got their hands on and read early on that included some characters - maybe others, but certainly one, which is why it’s dangerous to read scripts early on, and talk about them early on… [Captain Marvel] was in a draft. But to me, it would have done that character a disservice, to meet her fully formed, in a costume and part of the Avengers already when 99% of the audience would go, ‘Who is that?’ It’s just not the way we’ve done it before.

Kevin Feige even went on to confirm the scene where Carol Danvers would have shown up, according to this very early draft. It wouldn’t have been until the very end, when Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) are putting together the new version of their team. The very end of this scene:

That moment when Scarlet Witch flies down out of the sky and lands in her new Avengers costume? Feige says that Joss Whedon wanted to make that Captain Marvel. The way Feige recalls it:

The way we reveal Scarlet Witch [in costume] at the end of the movie? Those were Captain Marvel plate shots. Joss said, ‘We’ll cast her later!’ And I said, ‘Yeah Joss, we’ll cast her later.’ [Whispers to an invisible associate who isn't Joss] ‘We’re not putting her in there!’ Finally Joss was like ‘Let’s use those plates to let Scarlet Witch fly into frame, give her a big entrance?’ And that makes sense - she’s come to their side, and she deserves the cool intro, which will feed into another movie we start shooting in a few weeks.

That other movie ended up being Captain America: Civil War, and Scarlet Witch did play a big part in that, siding with Team Cap and splitting with Vision (albeit temporarily) as the existing MCU was ripped down the middle. Carol Danvers even could have been introduced in that movie, but Sony and Marvel struck a deal that allowed them to introduce a new Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Instead, Captain Marvel was teased at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, and is about to get her own solo movie.

These are fun stories that confirm how differently the MCU could have shaped up if certain decisions were made at pivotal moments, and how cooler heads – or, Kevin Feige’s instincts – usually prevail to make the right decision, and keep everything on track.

Captain Marvel starts screening on Thursday night, March 7. Do you have your tickets yet?

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