'Captain Marvel' Directors Worked With the Russos to Create Carol Danvers

Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck explain why introducing Captain Marvel in her own movie mattered so much.

Of the dozens of heroes in Avengers: Endgame, only one is strong enough to take a headbutt from Thanos without flinching. But with so much plot taken up by the Avengers quest to gather the Infinity Stones, the Russos didn’t have time to establish Carol Danvers (aka, Captain Marvel), as someone who could stand up to the Mad Titan. That’s where fellow Marvel directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck came in.

Now available on Digital on Demand and on Blu-ray and DVD on June 11, Captain Marvel is the solo debut for Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, an ace Air Force pilot who finds a new life among the stars as the superhero Captain Marvel before crashing back down to earth.

In an interview with Inverse, directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck say the two held “a lot” of meetings with Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, to maintain “consistency” for Carol Danvers across two movies.

It sounds simple. But it’s actually intimidating when you remember that both films were actually managed by two entirely different production crews operating concurrently. Both movies also had to arrive in theaters over a relatively short period. Yet, to Boden and Fleck, it was a pretty seamless process.

“The process was very fluid,” Fleck tells Inverse. “The Russo Brothers were just as curious about what we were doing on our end as we were with what they were doing on their end. There was a lot of connection, meetings where we’d share what we’re up to. So we were able to keep that consistency.”

Captain Marvel Director Interview
Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, behind the scenes of 'Captain Marvel.'

Boden, a longtime collaborator with Fleck, with whom she also wrote the Ryan Gosling comedy Half Nelson (2006) and directed It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010) and Mississippi Grind (2015), says the nature of Avengers: Endgame meant there was no time for Carol Danvers. Therefore, the responsibility fell on their shoulders as the two helmed Captain Marvel.

“In the other big movie, that has a huge ensemble,” Boden says. “So there’s not really the opportunity to see her character and really get to know her in extreme depth.”

So Captain Marvel had to lay the groundwork so when Carol shows up Endgame, audiences already know she’s tough enough to take on Thanos.

“To get to know her in our movie and understand where she comes from adds a certain amount of excitement to seeing her in Endgame as we’re not going to get the full, fleshed out history in that movie,” Boden says. “That was part of the goal with introducing her ahead of time.”

Captain Marvel Avengers Endgame
Brie Larson (center left) joins the ensemble cast of 'Avengers: Endgame.' 'Captain Marvel' directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden had "a lot" of meetings with fellow Marvel directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who were "curious" about what Fleck and Boden were doing with the character.

But who was Carol Danvers to Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck? What was was it about the Marvel superhero that the two filmmakers sweated over the most? As they explain, it was their own affection for Carol/Captain Marvel over who she was in the comics that they hoped to “do right” by.

“Coming in, we really wanted to portray the character that we loved from the comics and that so many other people really love,” says Fleck. He and Boden both rave about the work of writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, whose work on the comic book series Captain Marvel in 2012 helped define the character for a modern audience. (DeConnick cameos in the film as a passerby in a train station who glares at Carol while wearing her Kree uniform.)

“We wanted to bring that to the screen in a way that made fans excited and kept her life, her heart, her grit, all the things we love about that character,” Fleck says.

Says Boden, “I wanted an 8-year-old, going to their first Marvel movie, to be just as excited and as invested as people who have seen all the Marvel films.”


Captain Marvel is available now on Digital HD. It will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on June 11, and Disney+ when it launches on November 12.

Media via Marvel Entertainment, Marvel