Spoiler Warning: Again, you should see Captain Marvel before reading this article. Come back after you've seen the movie!
Captain Marvel is finally out theaters and it looks like it'll be a healthy opening weekend for the MCU's latest. Fans seeing the movie this weekend finally got the long awaited answers to some questions, including the true identity of Annette Bening's character. She was previously confirmed to play the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree, but there's an extra twist to her character -- or should I say characters.
Annette Bening also plays Wendy Lawson, otherwise known as a Kree named Mar-Vell, the character who most inspires Carol Danvers. In the comics, Mar-Vell is a man (Walter Lawson) who goes by the superhero name Captain Marvel and is a love interest of Carol. Marvel Studios decided to flip the genders for the role, and Kevin Feige shed some light on why they decided to take that route.
It was late in the development of the movie. Frankly, as we were approaching shooting, we were casting male -- We were looking for a male Mar-Vell and developing the script at the same time, as we often do. We spoke to a few people, but as you've now seen in the movie, it's a limited role, because of the nature of the structure of the story. It was, I believe, Anna [Boden] who came up with the suggestion in a script meeting that, "Why don't make the S.I., the vision that she sees, Mar-Vell?" The idea was just before we brought Annette on. So, it was relatively late in the development process and one of a handful of things that happened as the script was taking on its final form, that was an epiphany that Anna had, and it was like, "Oh, of course! That's perfect!" And we stopped looking for another actor.
As Kevin Feige told ET, it sounds like they were originally bringing Annette Bening on board to only play the Supreme Intelligence. In the film, the S.I. is the AI leader of Kree and takes the form of the person most admired by whoever it's speaking to. Co-director Anna Boden had the idea that Carol's vision should be of Mar-Vell. Thus Mar-Vell would also have to be played by Bening.
Because the role of Mar-Vell was limited to begin with, it was an idea that worked out pretty well for the movie. Gender flipping the character certainly doesn't have a negative impact on Captain Marvel and there's never a reason to turn down adding more Annette Bening to anything.
You can see Annette Bening as Mar-Vell whenever you want because Captain Marvel is in theaters right now. To learn more about the movie before your showing, here's what we know so far.