San Diego Comic Con was a big one for Marvel this year, with lots of footage shown all throughout the panel, but then they left one of their biggest announcements for the end — Brie Larson is Carol “Captain Marvel” Danvers.
The script has been officially in motion for about a year now with Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Meg LeFauve (Inside Out), leaving the question of director the last major piece to solve.
One, as the Reporter says, “A decision won’t be made anytime soon as Marvel is being very deliberate in its search, according to sources. The movie has a release date of March 8, 2019.” That is, don’t hold your breath. They won’t need to start filming Captain Marvel until early in 2018, which is still two years away. Even if they give the director a full year of pre-production and development, they won’t need to name her until next year. So, as we said — don’t hold your breath.
Two, these three names may not be the only ones on the shortlist. As THR says, “Sources caution that there may be names yet to surface. Marvel had no comment.”
So, we’re being told by a very reputable news source that these three names are on the list, which most likely means they are, but that does not preclude any other names and does not guarantee that one of these three women will be the director. Again, there’s no decision to be made for at least a year and a lot can happen in a year. This shortlist simply tells us the calibre talent that Marvel Studios is exploring.
Lastly, the studio wants their first major female-led superhero film to be helmed by a female director, as it should be. With all of these things in mind, their short list is comprised of Niki Caro, Leslie Lanka Glatter and Lorene Scafaria.
And just who are these directors?
Niki Caro directed North Country, McFarland USA and the 2002 film, Whale Rider, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
The Zookeeper’s Wife is her most recent film, which is already done filming. She seems like a perfect choice for the first female-centric superhero film from Marvel as her career has mostly focused on dramas told from a female perspective regarding issues as breaking through patriarchal culture (Whale Rider) and dealing with rape (North Country).
Leslie Lanka Glatter is more from the television side of Hollywood.
She is one of the primary directors on Homeland — a spy thriller which stars Claire Danes in the lead role. She’s also helmed other acclaimed dramas as Ray Donovan, True Blood, Mad Men and The West Wing. Despite these being television, that should not take away from her bona fides as they all are all relatively action-packed in their execution, which will be a very important component to Captain Marvel.
Lastly, there’s Lorene Scafaria who wrote Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and then directed Steve Carell and Keira Knightley in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. As THR points out, she certainly “may seem like the outlier here,” but they also rightly point out that she “actually follows many of Marvel’s patterns.”
Marvel has shown a preference for working with directors and writers who don’t seem to fit the bill. Instead of going to a director like Doug Liman, who did the Bourne Films and Edge of Tomorrow, they went with The Russo Bros. for Captain America: Winter Soldier and Civil War. Instead of a proven director like Luc Besson, who directed The Fifth Element, they went with the quirky James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy. Robert Downey, Jr. was a washed up actor with a drug rehab past when they cast him in Iron Man. Certainly he had a name, but nobody thought that was a good idea. And, as we all know now, each of these gambles has absolutely paid off. Lorene Scafaria could absolutely be another one of those gambles.
What is the next stage of the search? Apparently, it’s on the three directors now and will “…involve Marvel giving a treatment and documents to the directors” so that they can then go and “prepare a detailed presentation.” That is, they’ll take the documents they’re given and then prepare a visual treatment for how they would approach the film, what story elements they’d focus on, what sort of visual techniques they’d bring to the film, and how they’d approach helping Brie Larson develop the character of Captain Carol Danvers.
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