Captain Marvel was a long time coming to the MCU. Rumored ever since Phase 1, Carol Danvers finally turned up on screen in 2019’s Captain Marvel. But we now know, courtesy of the colossal Infinity Saga box set, that she could have been introduced in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
At the end of the film, we see the ‘new’ Avengers assembling at their headquarters, with War Machine, Falcon, Vision and Scarlet Witch all present. The special features for Age of Ultron in the box set reveal though that they also included a stand-in in the shot for Captain Marvel (see the gallery below). The idea was that they’d cast the role later and then seamlessly slide her into the scene. In fact, the moment where Scarlet Witch flies in in full costume was originally animation that was intended for Captain Marvel.
Here’s Kevin Feige explaining what went down.
“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.”
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Good to see Joss Whedon using those instincts for digital replacement that’d serve him so well in Justice League two years later, eh?
Feige also went on to explain why they decided to hold back Captain Marvel for a future film, saying:
“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.
Thanos is the good ‘Who’s that,’ because he’s clearly a bad guy, for comic fans he represents a specific storyline, you can get the buzz started from fans to non-fans with that cameo – as opposed to a title character, who deserves their own story. Even Black Widow you don’t meet in the last two seconds of Iron Man 2 wearing her costume – you evolve that going forward.”
I think most people would agree that they made the right call here. Having a character turn up in full costume without context is a terrible way to introduce them. After all, why should we care about Carol when we know next to nothing about her? You could argue that’s what they did with Black Panther and Spider-Man in Civil War but firstly, Black Panther was actually given a proper introduction as we got to know his father and also, literally everyone already knows who Spider-Man is.
In any case, the Infinity Saga Box Set retails for an eye-watering $549.99, so I don’t think I’ll be picking it up, but if any of you have, I’d love to hear what the exclusive special features are like and if you’ve caught this one for Avengers: Age of Ultron yet.