Welcome to the 2019 Awards Profile series, where we talk about films coming to a theater near you in the coming year (at least at this time of writing). The series analyzes the films and their awards season potential, most notably for the Academy Awards, based on the talents attached, filmmakers involved, and story and source material.  Monday through Friday until mid-May, AwardsCircuit will bring you a new and exciting project and discuss its chances for success. If you have a suggestion for a movie we should cover, include it in the comments section below. If you miss a film covered, click on the tag or category for “Awards Profile.”

FILM: “Captain Marvel”

DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney Studios
DIRECTORS: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
PRODUCERS: Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito, Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, Mary Livanos, Jonathan Schwartz, Patricia Whitcher, Lars P. Winther
WRITERS: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Nicole Perlman, Meg LeFauve
CAST: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Gemma Chan, Ben Mendelsohn, Lee Pace, Annette Benning, Djimon Hounsou, Clark Gregg, Lashana Lynch
SYNOPSIS: Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. (IMDB)

SCHEDULED RELEASE: March 8, 2019

POTENTIAL HIGHLIGHTS

IT’S FINALLY HERE! After ten years of Marvel films, the MCU is getting its first female superhero solo film, courtesy of Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson. Larson will play Carol Danvers, a U.S. Air Force pilot turned superhero empowered with super-strength, super-speed, flight, and energy projection; in a noteworthy move from Marvel, they’ve also chosen to use Danvers’ most recent title, Captain Marvel, instead of her best-known alias, Ms. Marvel (read Joseph Braverman’s deep-dive about Carol Danvers for more info). Marvel has also stacked the decks for their first female superhero solo film with a young version of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, Jude Law as Mar-Vell, Carol’s mentor, and a host of badass supporting actresses (Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, and Annette Benning). Even Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson (digitally de-aged, just like Jackson’s Fury) is scheduled for an appearance.

For female MCU fans, young and old, “Captain Marvel” is the superhero flick we’ve been waiting for. From the first “Iron Man,” to the first “Avengers,” to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” we’ve been waiting for a female superhero to take center stage, and Larson will finally make that wish come true. “Captain Marvel” is also the last MCU film before “Avengers: Endgame” drops, and with that strong Captain Marvel hint at the end of Avengers: Infinity War,” it looks like Larson’s Captain Marvel could be the key to saving the entire universe. Every MCU fan devastated by The Snap-in “Avengers: Infinity War” will be flocking to theaters to see Captain Marvel’s rise to superheroism, and will leave with their own fan theories about she might influence “Avengers: Endgame.” God, I’m so excited for this film.

POTENTIAL CHALLENGES

The “controversies” for “Captain Marvel” have, thus far, been stupid. Trolls angry about a female superhero getting her own film recently flooded Rotten Tomatoes with hate reviews (despite having never seen the film because it hadn’t, y’know, come out yet). Some were also angry about Larson’s intention to give more interview opportunities to female reporters and reporters of color, because what about white men’s rights?! These events did manage to trigger a positive outcome, with Rotten Tomatoes abandoning the “Want to See” score on their platform; they will also begin tallying audience reviews only after a film’s official release, in a bid to combat the trolling “Captain Marvel” and other blockbusters like “Ghostbusters” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” have also dealt with.

As for actual, film-focused issues, the only potential problem I can see are directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck directorial inexperience with comic book films. Comic book films, which come with a captive audience and high expectations, are tricky projects to nail. However, there also haven’t been any publicized issues with Boden or Fleck; no on-set controversies have surfaced as of the writing of this article. There’s also something to be said for new voices when it comes to comic book films, with directors like Ryan Coogler and Taika Waititi earning heaps of praise for their movies, despite not having directed a comic book film before. I’m giving Boden and Fleck the benefit of the doubt here, and saying “Captain Marvel” will do extraordinarily well under Boden and Fleck.

POTENTIAL AWARD CATEGORIES IN PLAY:

  • Motion Picture (Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito, Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, Mary Livanos, Jonathan Schwartz, Patricia Whitcher, Lars P. Winther)
  • Directors (Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck)
  • Actress in a Leading Role (Brie Larson)
  • Actor in a Supporting Role (Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law)
  • Actress in a Supporting Role (Gemma Chan, Lashana Lynch)
  • Adapted Screenplay (Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Nicole Perlman, Meg LeFauve)
  • Production Design (Andy Nicholson)
  • Cinematography (Ben Davis)
  • Costume Design (Sanja Milkovic Hays)
  • Film Editing (Debbie Berman, Elliot Graham)
  • Makeup and Hairstyling (TBD)
  • Sound Mixing (TBD)
  • Visual Effects (TBD)
  • Original Score (Pinar Toprak)

POTENTIAL KEY NOTICES FROM OTHER GROUPS

  • Best Performance by a Cast Ensemble (SAG Awards): With a big cast of big names and a recent critical appreciation for comic book films, “Captain Marvel” could snag the guild’s top prize.
  • Best Lead Actress, (Oscars): This might sound like a longshot, but “Black Panther’s” recent Oscar success could foretell better recognition of comic book films. Brie Larson is also already an Oscar-winner for her performance in “Room,” and Oscar gold sometimes begets Oscar gold.

Are you excited or skeptical about Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s “Captain Marvel?” Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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