How Did the Tesseract End Up With [Redacted] in ‘Captain Marvel’?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Major spoilers ahead for “Captain Marvel”)

“Captain Marvel” may not have provided much in the way of backstory setup for “Avengers: Endgame,” but its plot still made major waves in its own right for how it subverted expectations with its big twist — at least if you’re acquainted with the Mar-Vell character from the comics.

And no, I’m not talking about the choice to have Mar-Vell be played by a woman (Annette Bening) instead of a man, though that’s obviously a pretty cool change. I’m talking about the big twist, that the Kree are actually the bad guys and Carol Danvers’ (Brie Larson) Skrull foes are actually just refugees. And that Mar-Vell was working with them and against her Kree masters.

Mar-Vell, who may or may not have carried the Captain Marvel mantle before she was killed by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) in 1989, was on Earth because that’s where the Tesseract was at that time — she was trying to develop what various characters refer to as a “lightspeed engine” though would, likely among other things, help the Skrull refugees led by Talos (Ben Mendolsohn) escape from the gaze of the Kree.

Also Read: It’s Super Weird That ‘Captain Marvel’ Doesn’t Have Anything to Do With ‘Avengers: Endgame’

That work would eventually result in Carol herself obtaining her powers — which, since said abilities are fueled by Tesseract energy, could be measures greater even than the ones she has in the comics. The Tesseract, of course, is the casing for the Infinity Stone known as the Space Stone.

But there’s a fascinating detail in “Captain Marvel” that could throw you for a loop: when we first see the Tesseract in the movie, it’s secreted away aboard a cloacked spaceship that Mar-Vell had been using as a laboratory. The film doesn’t explicitly explain why it was up there rather than at the human base where Mar-Vell worked while in disguise, but we can infer based on other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and clues that “Captain Marvel” itself dropped.

It’s been a while, but you may recall how in the first “Captain America” movie the Tesseract was found by Hydra leader Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), and he used it to create a whole bunch of dastardly new weapons, including bombs that he was going to drop on every major world capital. But Captain America (Chris Evans) foiled that plan, and the Tesseract was briefly lost in the Atlantic Ocean, where Howard Stark found it.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’: What It Could Mean for ‘Avengers: Endgame’ That Carol Has Tesseract Powers

The next time we saw the Tesseract was in the first “Avengers” movie. At the beginning of that film the Tesseract was in the possession of SHIELD and the United States government at a base that housed Project Pegasus, which existed to study the Tesseract and attempt to harness its energy for various projects. Then Loki stole it and went on his rampage across the planet which culminated in the Battle of New York at the end of the movie.

An important detail in “Captain Marvel” that would be easy to miss is that the base that Mar-Vell worked at in 1989, and which Carol Danvers and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) infiltrated in 1995, is none other than that same Project Pegasus base that we saw in “Avengers.”

So what we can infer, then, is that Mar-Vell, in disguise as Wendy Lawson, was able to simply take the Tesseract up to her space laboratory because she was in charge of Project Pegasus. It was probably a big deal that the Tesseract went missing for six years before being returned at the end of “Captain Marvel,” but it’s likely that project officials simply thought it had been destroyed in the crash that resulted in Mar-Vell’s death.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’: So Where Did Carol Go for 25 Years Before ‘Avengers: Endgame’?

At the end of the movie, in the post-credits stinger, Goose the Flerken puked up the Tesseract onto Nick Fury’s desk and Project Pegasus continued on until the events of “The Avengers.”

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(Spoilers ahead for “Captain Marvel’”

Last summer, we here at TheWrap wrote a bunch of speculative pieces in response to the completely insane “Avengers: Infinity War” cliffhanger. The most popular of those — and by far the longest at 2200 words — was about how “Captain Marvel,” hitting theaters less than two months before the then-unnamed “Avengers: Endgame,” would likely have some deep ties to the Avengers’ battle against Thanos.

And yet, somehow, it just doesn’t. “Captain Marvel” has absolutely no apparent relevance to the current greater plot of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And that is extremely weird.

It was tough, last year, to imagine that “Captain Marvel” wouldn’t be hugely relevant to “Infinity War” and “Endgame” beyond just introducing us to Carol Danvers. Thanos in the comics, after all, was a longtime enemy for Mar-Vell — you know, the person from whom Carol takes the Captain Marvel moniker. This movie could naturally work not just as a prequel to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general, but also specifically to Thanos’ crusade.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’: What It Could Mean for ‘Avengers: Endgame’ That Carol Has Tesseract Powers

And there were a few tangible reasons from the movies themselves to think that “Captain Marvel” would function that way. In “Infinity War,” Thanos indicates his crusade began about two decades prior, making the mid-90s setting for “Captain Marvel” very conspicuous. In another scene he says “I ignored my destiny once,” a comment you could interpret as referring to the fall of Titan. But I don’t buy that interpretation, because that sentiment doesn’t quite jive with how he described that situation. What would his destiny have been in that situation? To institute his death lottery by force? No, the vibe there is that the fall of Titan turned him from someone who tries to convince into someone who imposes his will. If that line was referring to the fall of Titan, then it did so clumsily.

Maybe the hardest evidence we had that “Captain Marvel” would hold meaningful relevance to “Infinity War” and “Endgame” is the inclusion of Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) in the cast of characters. Ronan was of course first seen in “Guardians of the Galaxy” working for Thanos as part of Thanos’ crusade to exterminate half of all life in the galaxy.

Remember this was in the years before Thanos finally acquired all the Infinity Stones, when he or his underlings invaded one planet at a time and murdered half the population. Ronan was in charge of the invasion of Drax the Destroyer’s homeworld, and personally murdered Drax’s family. But Ronan only worked for Thanos because rejected a peace treaty between the Kree empire and Xandar; Thanos promised to destroy Xandar if Ronan would serve him.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’: So Where Did Carol Go for 25 Years Before ‘Avengers: Endgame’?

We knew months in advance that in “Captain Marvel,” which takes place in 1995, Ronan is still part of the Kree military. Which means at some point between 1995 and 2014, Xandar and the Kree ended their war, and Ronan left the Kree empire in outrage and pledged himself to Thanos. It would have been easy for “Captain Marvel” to include something that sets these events in motion, even if only a reference or a conversation.

Yet, bafflingly, Ronan is only in “Captain Marvel” as a reference to another MCU movie, and there’s nothing here that even begins to point at why he would abandon his people to join Thanos. He’s just kinda in this movie, barely participating, and you’d be forgiven if you didn’t even realize he was a character you’d already seen because he’s not at all significant even just in the context of this movie.

And don’t even get me started on the pager thing. One bit I felt was key coming in to this movie was that there had to be a real reason why Carol had not come back to Earth before now, and why Fury had not tried to call her in during one of the world-ending threats the MCU heroes had faced before now. Instead, Carol just give Fury the upgraded pager and said to call only in an “emergency.” They needed to rationalize in-universe why nothing in the past decade of MCU stories qualified as an “emergency,” and that’s not it. They didn’t even make this movie relevant in that way.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’: Critics Call Carol Danvers’ Debut a Solid Addition to Marvel’s Canon

And then, like, how do you put this movie on the calendar just six weeks before “Avengers: Endgame” and have it be so irrelevant to the greater story? We’re all gripped by #EndgameFever right now, and so the absence of any meaningful nuggets that provide some kind of meaningful context to the ongoing story is kind of deflating if you’re emotionally invested in this franchise. Part of the excitement for “Captain Marvel” — a not-insignificant part — was that it felt like it was going to be an important new installment in the MCU.

Instead, it’s just a side story, moreso even than the other MCU movie we got during this interlude, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” — that movie, while certainly acting as a light side plot to counter the grimness of “Infinity War,” was laying down important groundwork for “Endgame” with all the Quantum Realm stuff. Plus, it had a mid-credits stinger that leads directly into this next “Avengers” movie. “Captain Marvel,” by contrast, just has an actual scene from “Endgame” in lieu of setting anything up.

And look — I can admit that it’s entirely possible that my read on this is wrong and that it will turn out that something or some things we saw in “Captain Marvel” is in retrospect actually tangibly related to “Infinity War” and “Endgame” beyond just showing how Carol unlocked her full potential. Like sure, it’s important that she’s got full command of her Tesseract-given abilities — it certainly means something that she’s got some Infinity Stone powers in her. But actual plot setup for “Endgame” would be showing how those powers will be specifically meaningful in the upcoming fight, and that did not happen here.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’ Film Review: Brie Larson Packs a Punch in Effective, Sometimes Obvious, Marvel Saga

But yeah, sure, maybe there are some key plot details in “Captain Marvel” that are important parts of the ongoing story and it won’t be obvious what they are until after we see “Endgame.” I don’t know why they would have done it that way. These movies are, ultimately, advertisements for each other, so it doesn’t make sense to buries those details and make the advertisement aspect less effective.

At this moment, though, I’m a bit confused as to how Marvel would choose to introduce this character right now, in this manner — as if the Avengers wouldn’t be able to stop Thanos in without her, as if there was some specific reason why she stayed away from Earth for 24 years — and then just give us a movie where nothing that happens in it appears to be relevant to “Endgame,” the movie that will end the story of the first 11 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I just don’t get it.

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(Spoilers ahead for “Captain Marvel”)

While “Captain Marvel” may generally be devoid of anything that could be considered direct plot setup for “Avengers: Endgame” — aside, obviously, from introducing a character who will have a major role to play in that film — it does bring in a pretty huge change from Carol Danvers’ comic book origin story that could have major ramifications for “Endgame” and the future of the MCU.

In the comics, Carol gets her Captain Marvel powers by accident, just like in the movie. But in the comics version she falls into a machine that, more or less, can bring thoughts to life. And since she was knocked into the machine during a fight between Mar-Vell and Yon-Rogg, what she was thinking about caused the machine to turn her into a Kree-human hybrid being with fantastical abilities.

In the movie, Carol still gets her powers during a fight between Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) and Mar-Vell (Annette Bening), but the mechanism is totally different. Back in the ’80s, Mar-Vell disguised herself as a human scientist and was working with the Tesseract to try to build what is referred to as a “lightspeed engine.” It’s not totally clear what that means, since the Kree and everybody else already can do faster-than-light space travel, but we’ll come back to that.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’: So Where Did Carol Go for 25 Years Before ‘Avengers: Endgame’?

The big detail here is that this engine is powered by energy derived from the Tesseract, like those Hydra weapons in “Captain America: The First Avenger.” And so when Carol shoots the engine (to keep Yon-Rogg from possessing it) it explodes in her face, infusing her with Tesseract power, much like Scarlet Witch and Vision, whose abilities come from the Mind Stone.

It’s not clear yet what exactly it means that Carol’s power comes from the Tesseract — for most of the movie her powers are limited by a piece of Kree tech on the back of her neck. Once she’s free of that device at the end of the movie we mostly just see her utilizing the standard array of Captain Marvel abilities. Mostly.

At the very end of the movie, we see her do something that might be new: she herself sort of becomes the lightspeed engine and takes the refugee Skrulls — who are inside a space station — to some distant place, possibly another Galaxy. Whether or not this is one of Carol’s standard abilities depends on what exactly happened there — the ship flies off like a ship in “Star Wars” jumping to hyperspace. Is that standard MCU space flight or, as implied by the fact that she got her powers from the engine that’s supposed to be some advanced thing, a new type of space travel?

Either way, traveling between star systems is not a standard Carol Danvers thing. Sure, she can fly really fast but not fast enough to cross galaxies on her own without a ship. The original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell, in the comics did have something that would make that level of travel possible: the Nega Bands, bracelets he would wear that would allow for teleportation to pretty much anywhere he would want to go.

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And since the movie version of Carol is infused with the powers of the Tesseract — aka the Space Stone — it would follow that she would now have a similar ability to that teleportation granted by the Nega Bands without actually needing them. Just like how Thanos uses the stone to travel quickly to wherever he wants to go in “Infinity War.”

With that being the case, the MCU version of Carol remains something of an unknown quantity because it’s tough to guess what all would be involved with her Tesseract powers. There hasn’t been a character with powers granted by the Space Stone in the MCU before, but we’ve seen both Vision and Scarlet Witch do all sorts of things that you wouldn’t necessarily assume they could do  given their powers originated from the Mind Stone.

But if there’s one thing that you could naturally assume Carol could do based on what we know about the Tesseract, it’s the ability to create wormholes to travel wherever she wants. But since she only got her full powers about ten minutes before the end of “Captain Marvel,” she probably doesn’t have a full handle on what she can do by the time the movie is over.

But by the time “Avengers: Endgame” rolls around? She’s probably got a better handle on things by then, judging by the mid-credits stinger, which is just a scene from “Endgame.” In that scene Carol pops up out of nowhere in the middle of Avengers HQ. Did she teleport in there? It’s tough to say.

Also Read: All 54 Marvel Movies Ranked, Including ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ and ‘Venom’

But I feel like Carol getting her powers from the Tesseract backs up, to some degree, a theory I crafted last summer in which I guessed that Carol would be given some of the powers of the superhero Quasar. Quasar is another one of these cosmic heroes, but he’s got the strange distinction of being powered by quantum energy from an alternate dimension he refers to as the Quantum Zone.

Quasar also is able to travel anywhere in the universe using wormholes, but his wormholes don’t directly link to locations like those of the Space Stone in “Infinity War.” Instead, Quasar uses the Quantum Zone as a shortcut — he goes to the Quantum Zone, and then he can return to our dimension in any location he wants. Or he can just hang out in that Quantum Zone if he wants to. Or hide things there, which he occasionally does.

But what feels most relevant to Quasar’s abilities is that in the MCU we have the Quantum Realm, which is poised to play an important part in “Avengers: Endgame.” And it would be very useful if Carol’s Tesseract-infused abilities allowed her to travel at while not just anywhere in the normal universe, but also to the Quantum Realm. The Tesseract being involved in her powers provides an easy way to grant her such an ability.

Or maybe I’m way off on this. But if there’s anything here I feel extremely confident about, it’s that it’s hugely significant to the plot of “Endgame” that Carol got her powers from the Tesseract in this version of her origin. Since the MCU loves to take massive liberties in bringing the comics to the big screen, there’s no way to know specifically what it means until the moment we know.

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(Spoilers ahead for the ending of “Captain Marvel”)

Heading into “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame,” we had some questions about Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) inspired by the post-credits stinger in “Infinity War.” But there are two that are most pressing. Where the hell is she? And if Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) knows her and is able to call her for help, then why hasn’t he done that already?

And yet after having watched “Captain Marvel” we still don’t know the answers to those questions — they’ll have to come in “Avengers: Endgame” in April if they do at all. But just because we don’t know that doesn’t mean we can’t make some guesses.

So at the end of “Captain Marvel,” there are two relevant scenes. The first sees Carol return a pager to Fury that she took from him earlier in the movie, but with some modifications. Now, she says, he should be able to contact her if she’s within “two or three galaxies” from Earth. She tells Fury he should use it for “emergencies only,” though she doesn’t specify what constitutes an emergency. And that’s that.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’: Critics Call Carol Danvers’ Debut a Solid Addition to Marvel’s Canon

And in the second, she uses her newly-unlocked powers — which it turns out she received from the Tesseract, AKA the Space infinity stone — to physically move the star cruiser that carrying Skrull refugees out of our solar system and toward an unknown location. And that is also that.

Carol’s explanation for the pager does provide a potential reason why Fury didn’t called her in to help when Loki (Tom Hiddleston) invaded New York with his Chitauri forces, or when Ultron tried to kill everyone on Earth — maybe he did try to use the pager but she was somewhere the pager couldn’t reach.

That is somewhat more plausible than it may initially sound. The Kree Empire is actually based in the Large Magellanic Cloud rather than the Milky Way, and the Kree are clearly capable of traveling to other galaxies since they do so in “Captain Marvel.” So in order to take the Skrull refugees someplace the Kree can’t get to them, they would  have to go beyond the Milky Way.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’ Mid-Credits Scene Explained

And maybe they even ended up traveling to a different plane of existence to find shelter, like the Quantum Realm. Despite the totally out there way it’s depicted in the “Ant-Man” movies, the Quantum Realm is in fact home to entire civilizations — in the comics it’s called the Microverse and it’s more or less just another place in the universe. Though communication between our world and the Quantum Realm is clearly possible (as we see in “Ant-Man and the Wasp”), Fury’s pager may not be equipped for that.

It’s possible that Carol could travel to the Quantum Realm because her powers in the MCU came from the Tesseract. If any Infinity Stone could allow travel to the Quantum Realm it would be the one that can open wormholes to anywhere in the universe. And I previously speculated that the film version of Carol Danvers might obtain some of the powers of the quantum-powered superhero Quasar, who is able to tunnel from our universe to a place he calls the Quantum Zone as a sort of shortcut when he’s traveling from planet to planet. That method of faster-than-light travel is not exclusive to Quasar in the comics — the Fantastic Four travels that way as well — and so the “lightspeed engine” thing that Mar-Vell was trying to use the Tesseract to create in 1989 could also work that way.

You can read plenty more about why I think Quasar’s dimension-hopping abilities are relevant right here.

As for why Carol wouldn’t have at least poked her head back in to check on Earth every once in a while, that would depend on what kind of adventures she got into while out wherever she took the Skrulls. We were vaguely expecting that the plot of “Captain Marvel” could tie into Thanos’ backstory in some way — both because Mar-Vell and Thanos were arch-enemies in the comics and because you’d think there would be a reason for placing this movie where it is on the calendar — it’s conceivable that Carol has some kind of run-in with Thanos while she’s escorting the Skrulls around the universe. Thanos’ Sanctuary is purposefully hidden in a remote corner of the cosmos, so Carol could try to hide the Skrulls there only to be met with a rude purple surprise.

If that’s the case, then that bit of history would likely be explored in “Endgame.” But that’s really just a wild guess since “Captain Marvel” doesn’t hint at anything like that. But given how crucial the Quantum Realm appears poised to be in “Endgame,” Carol spending some time down there in this two-decade interlude seems like a distinct possibility.

Now of course, the real world answer to where Carol was and why Fury didn’t call her during, say, the Chitauri invasion, is that Captain Marvel was not among the heroes Marvel Studios wanted to highlight in the first two phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But once, four years ago, they decided to pull the trigger, they scheduled “Captain Marvel” for the interlude between “Infinity War” and “Endgame,” or as it was known at the time, “Infinity War part 2.”

It’s easy to assume that this means Marvel had a specific reason for introducing her at that point in time. And, if you follow that thread, once they decided to set the movie in 1995 they would have come up with an explanation for where she’s been this whole time. Here’s hoping we’ll get one come April.

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[Spoiler alert: Do not read on or watch the video above if you are worried about any kind of “Captain Marvel” spoiler or tease at all.”]

The embargo for Marvel’s first female superhero film, “Captain Marvel,” has lifted, and TheWrap’s resident fanboy Umberto Gonzalez, and film reporter Beatrice Verhoeven are here to give you their thoughts.

“I walked away from it feeling empowered as a woman, I think it sends a great message to young girls of not needing to conform to what people tell you to do, to embrace your inner strength… it’s very different from other movies,” Verhoeven said. “Brie [Larson] is a revelation, and I think the message is different from other Marvel movies, and I think it’s going to play really well among young girls.”

Early tracking for Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” is projecting that the film will have an opening weekend of more than $100 million when it hits theaters on March 8, which would make it the first big box office hit of 2019.

Also Read: All 21 Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies Ranked, From Worst to Best (Photos)

Aside from “Black Panther’s” mammoth $201 million opening last year, this film is on pace to be the highest opening for a debut superhero installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. By comparison, 2016’s “Doctor Strange” opened to $85 million, while 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” opened to $94 million. This tracking also means that “Captain Marvel” could rival or even top the last film to feature a female superhero, “Wonder Woman,” which opened to $103 million in 2017 and went on to gross $412.5 million domestic and $821 million worldwide.

“Captain Marvel” stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot who was recovered by the Kree after mysterious circumstances and was transformed into the titular superhero at the cost of her memories. After crash-landing back on Earth during the 1990s, Carol must recover her past self and save the planet from getting caught in an intergalactic conflict with the help of future SHIELD director Nick Fury.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’ Film Review: Brie Larson Packs a Punch in Effective, Sometimes Obvious, Marvel Saga

“Overall, not the best Marvel movie, but it’s very solid and if there is one little spoiler-ish thing… does it lead into ‘Avengers: End Game?’ The answer is yes,” Gonzalez said.

“Captain Marvel” is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a screenplay they co-wrote with Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Jac Schaeffer. Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, and Jude Law star alongside Larson.

Watch the reaction video above.

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“Captain Marvel,” the first Marvel adaptation both to star a woman and to be co-directed by a woman, is an obvious, crude, and transparent film. And it’s also quite enjoyable and evocative — most of the time.

Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s take on the Carol Danvers origin story jettisons subtlety in its messaging of female empowerment and anti-imperialism to varying degrees of success. At times, the film has all the makings of a wildly effective Nike commercial. You know the kind, girls falling down and getting up again, withstanding jeers and taunts until you’re weeping on your couch? But the two co-directors, working from a script they co-wrote with Geneva Robertson-Dworet, have seemingly taken a tip from all that surrounds them in 2019 that renders subtlety obsolete and beats on some well-worn sexist tropes with a story that screams: “I guess you did not hear us when we said we don’t want to smile!”

In a sense, you can equate the tone (and some of the form) of “Captain Marvel” with that of something like Paul Verhoeven’s ahead-of-its-time, anti-fascist sci-fi picture “Starship Troopers,” also a self-reflexive, blatant metaphor. Going too deep into this comparison may reveal a few spoilers, but suffice to say both lean into fairly obvious symbolism and the idea that superpower nations and planets are often corrupted and on the wrong sides of history.

Watch Video: Watch the Third ‘Captain Marvel’ Trailer Here

Verhoeven, however, has a more stinging critique of military-industrial complexes, while “Captain Marvel” obscures that element of its ethos, despite the character of Carol being ex-Air Force. It seems silly even including this in the discussion of a movie whose lead character is essentially an atomic fire person, but, as stated, “Captain Marvel” isn’t trying to hide its conscience.

Brie Larson is a perfect fit for Carol, who begins the film as Vers, a Kree soldier being trained by Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) to control her emotions to become a better fighter. The number of times Krees tell Vers to keep her emotions in check is so high that it becomes comical — and you’ll find this is intentional. If you go back into the canon of young female warriors in film, you would find a cache of these same statements, and they’re being said with earnestness; so many action films portray emotion (femininity) as the Achilles heel.

Larson’s energy, at first, is powered by a precocious kid-sister vibe, disobeying the rules but charming her way out of trouble. Carol’s arc is defined by shedding those bonds to that identity and to her mentor/father figure, speaking and acting with directness. Larson’s quite capable of selling that oscillation of maturity without losing the humor of her character; she may be confident, but she’s still crafty and calculatingly playful. And what really sells this film is that playfulness.

Also Read: ‘Captain Marvel’ on Track for $100 Million-Plus Opening, Rivaling ‘Wonder Woman’

Carol’s re-entrance to Earth has her crashing down through the roof of a Blockbuster video, picking up the two-VHS set of “The Right Stuff,” and blasting the head off of an Arnold Schwarzenegger “True Lies” cardboard cutout (while keeping the Jamie Lee Curtis head intact, of course). We immediately know it’s the 1990s; a Radio Shack is next door! Sometimes this referential humor that says, “Weren’t the ’90s so weird?” falls flat without any depth, something most nostalgia pieces tend to do. But “Captain Marvel” absolutely grounds itself in the ’90s, even evoking a riot grrrl-adjacent feeling, buoyed by a soundtrack that features almost exclusively rock fronted by female voices — a reminder of an era that showed so much promise for brash, loud women.

It’s no surprise, then, that the emotional high point isn’t even a battle scene in this film. (Remember all the confessions of women weeping at the No Man’s Land sequence in “Wonder Woman”?) Instead, it comes when Carol’s best human friend Maria (Lashana Lynch) convinces Carol that she was an invincible warrior even before she got her powers. Optics of a black female character being the best friend who emotionally props up her white hero friend aside, it’s still a beautiful connection of sisterhood and strength, and I did cry.

Composer Pinar Toprak (“Krypton”) should also get a nod for a score that often mimics the techno music with staccato pinging that marked so many sci-fi action sequences of the late 1990s; wish it stayed through to the end! Add to that the prosthetics and practical makeup effects as displayed on both the Kree people and their sworn enemy, the Skrulls. Yes, there’s a fair amount of CG, especially in fight scenes when Carol’s blasting people with her fire fists and when the Skrulls are shapeshifting into humans, but in a genre (comics adaptations) where increasingly everything is made on a computer, it’s quite nice to see some style and flare represented through the literal textures of on these characters’ faces. Not that the computer effects aren’t spectacularly artful, approximating the creativity and color of comic illustrations at times — they are.

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(Also, hooray for Goose the cat! And it’d be great if we could ban the phrase, “Now that’s what I’m talking about,” when someone does something that’s supposed to be cool.)

Props also to costume designer Sanja Milkovic Hays, whose past work on 1990s films like “Blade,” “Star Trek: Insurrection,” “Mission to Mars,” and “Beowulf” so clearly informs everything from the cloaks the Krees don to the deconstructed, purple-and-black pleather jacket with tails that Ben Mendelsohn’s Talon sports — appropriately updated but still very much of the “Star Trek: TNG” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” era. Carol eventually gets to wear her red-gold-and-blues –thankfully modest and not overemphasizing her breasts — but that moment in costuming was also the hardest to swallow, set up by the morals of the story itself.

It’s something of a spoiler to explain this, but the Kree are an analog to Americans in this story, a war-faring people who deeply believe what they are doing is just, even though they cross the line and others suffer the consequences. Carol’s arc involves aligning herself with who and what is truly just in her fictional world. The metaphor is clear that the U.S. is the bad guys. So in the fictional world when Carol sports red, gold, and blue — inspired directly by a U.S. Air Force t-shirt — there’s a certain cognitive dissonance one must participate in not to think about these implications. But there’s also a more hopeful way to view this scene: Maybe Carol — and “Captain Marvel” — are reclaiming these colors for the purposes of good. “Captain Marvel” is based on the hopeful outlook of writer Kelly Sue DeConnick’s version of Carol, so I choose hope.

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‘Sherlock Holmes 3’ Moved Back a Year to December 2021

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Looks like the mystery of the delayed sequel will take a bit longer to solve, as Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow announced Monday that the release of “Sherlock Holmes 3” has been pushed back a full year. The still-untitled follow up to 2011’s “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” will now hit theaters December 22. 2021, instead of December 25, 2020.

The first two films — 2009’s “Sherlock Holmes” and 2011’s “A Game of Shadows” — were directed by Guy Ritchie and starred Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson, respectively. It is not known if Downey and Law will return for the third outing.

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Producers Susan Downey, Joel Silver and Lionel Wigram are returning to oversee this project, with “Narcos” co-creator Chris Brancato currently attached to write the script. No director has been chosen for the project yet; Ritchie most recently directed Disney’s upcoming remake of “Aladdin,” which comes out in May, and his next film is the crime thriller “Bush,” starring Matthew McConaughey, “Crazy Rich Asians” breakout Henry Golding and Hugh Grant.

“A Game of Shadows” grossed $545 million worldwide. Downey won a Golden Globe in 2010 for his work on the first installment of the series, in which Holmes and Law’s Dr. Watson uncover a supernatural plot to expand the British Empire.

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‘Captain Marvel’ Super Bowl Trailer Blasts Off Into Space (Video)

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Super Bowl Sunday was a big day for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Disney dropped 30-second spots for both of Marvel’s next two movies, “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame” (click here for that one), within …

Will There Be a ‘Captain Marvel’ Trailer During the Super Bowl?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

We are so close now to the end of this drought in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Avengers: Infinity War” dropped the wildest cliffhanger we’ve ever seen in a blockbuster franchise, and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” two months later was set before and during that whole thing. But finally, “Captain Marvel” promises to, even though it’s set decades before “Avengers: Endgame,” move the plot forward a bit when it comes out on March 8.

Disney’s marketing campaign for “Captain Marvel” has been robust, with two full trailers plus a 90-second “special look” during the college football national championship game in early January. TV spots have been rolling out regularly, and they even dropped a 60-second action sequence on YouTube on Saturday.

So if there ever were a moment for Disney to kick the hype into overdrive, an ad during the Super Bowl five weeks before release would be perfect. But is that going to happen?

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Officially, we do not know what Disney’s plans are for the Super Bowl, for “Captain Marvel” or “Avengers: Endgame” or “Toy Story 4” or anything else on the company’s schedule for 2019. We suspect a trailer for “Endgame” is imminent — it just would be the right time for it — but what’s next for the marketing on “Captain Marvel” is anyone’s guess.

It would make sense to really fire up the TV campaign with a Super Bowl ad, but you have to wonder whether they’d want to run trailers for two different MCU movies in the same day. They may want to just do one. And if they have to pick one it would probably be the next “Avengers” movie because we’ve only seen that single, cryptic trailer so far for that one.

On the other hand, both “Infinity War” and “Black Panther” got Super Bowl spots a year ago, so there’s certainly precedent for Disney doing both. But this is all guesswork — we do not know the answer to this question yet. But our feeling is that it’s very likely we’ll get an “Avengers: Endgame” trailer and more of a coin flip whether we get a “Captain Marvel” one as well. We’ll find out soon enough.

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‘The New Pope’: HBO Gives First Look At Jude Law And John Malkovich; Unveils Cast For Limited Series

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In the name of the father, son and holy Jude Law — HBO has released the first official image of The New Pope featuring two-time Academy Award nominees Law and John Malkovich serving some fierce papacy realness. The premium cabler also announced r…

Keri Langerman Creates Her Own Pop Star For ‘Vox Lux,’ Sourcing Vegan-Friendly Fashions For Natalie Portman

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Watch the Third ‘Captain Marvel’ Trailer Here (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

It’s been an excruciating last few months for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — going without a new movie since “Ant-Man and the Wasp” at the beginning of July — but we’re now only two months away from “Captain Marvel.” And on Monday night Disney dropped a new trailer for Marvel’s first woman-led superhero spectacular.

At first glance the clip is light on new information — the marketing campaign has really leaned in on the bromance between Carol Danvers and young(er) Nick Fury, and this new trailer is no exception. But this time out we did get to see some more scenes between Captain Marvel and her mentor (yes, it’s Mar-Vell), played by Jude Law, and some more of the film’s humor. Also, in case you weren’t certain this takes place in the mid-90s, Elastica’s 1994 hit single “Connection” provides the background music.

“Captain Marvel” will introduce us to the most powerful hero yet in the MCU. And, we strongly suspect, tell a story that will play some role in Thanos setting off on his crusade that culminated in “Avengers: Infinity War.”

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Despite the focus on a new face in Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), “Captain Marvel” will also include a number of familiar characters, including Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and SHIELD agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg).

The main thrust of the story will see Captain Marvel, an operative of the alien Kree, chasing a group of shapeshifting Skrull rebels to Earth. That villainous group will be led by Ben Mendolsohn’s Talos.

In addition to Larson, Jackson an Mendolsohn, the main players in “Captain Marvel” will be Annette Bening, Jude Law and Gemma Chan. It was written by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Geneva Dworet-Robertson and Jac Schaeffer from a story by Nicole Perlman, Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse.

Boden and Fleck are also the directors.


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Here’s The Comic Book Character We Think Annette Bening Is Playing in ‘Captain Marvel’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Annette Bening’s role in “Captain Marvel” has been a mystery since she was cast in the movie — even if some reports referred to her as Carol Danvers’ mother. That secrecy continued last month in the upcoming blockbuster’s second trailer, in which Bening seemed to give a self-justification speech of sorts, but no one so much as whispered her character’s name.

But even so, we think that trailer contained a clue or two — and they point directly to a specificcharacter from Marvel Comics.

First, while obviously Bening isn’t playing Carol’s birth mother, the trailer positions Bening’s character as being essentially Captain Marvel’s creator — so in a sense, she could be Captain Marvel’s mom. But there’s no direct equivalent to that in the source material, because the comic book version of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) got her powers by accident. But Marvel Studios never directly adapts comic book stories, so the lack of an equivalent comics character isn’t all that surprising.

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Second, Bening is presented as something of a mentor or authority figure for Carol, which could mean she’s playing Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel in the comics. But that honestly doesn’t feel like a great fit, considering they appear to be having a climactic confrontation in the trailer.  Not to mention, fans have long assumed Jude Law is playing Mar-Vell, something Disney appeared to confirm recently.

But even though Marvel doesn’t do direct adaptations of storylines from the comics, it does tend to keep things surprisingly faithful when it comes to things like costumes and other aesthetic elements. And on that note, there is one thing from the trailer that feels unmistakably like a clue to identity of Bening’s character — her hair.

In case you can’t be bothered to scroll back up to the header image, here’s Annette Bening in “Captain Marvel”:

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If you ask us, that cut evokes one specific Kree character: Phyla-Vell.

I mean, come on now.

So who the hell is Phyla-Vell? It’s nearly impossible to explain this character succinctly, but we’re going to try our best.

Phyla-Vell is rooted in the completely nuts cosmic side of the Marvel Universe. It starts with a character named Elysius, who had a thing with the original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell. After Mar-Vell died of cancer (this was a whole thing), Elysius use Mar-Vell’s DNA to create a son named Genis-Vell, who later took the Captain Marvel name for himself and got involved in the most epic of epic Marvel scenarios — the regeneration of the entire universe. I’m not gonna go into the details there, but suffice to say it was weird and completely nuts like all the truly cosmic stuff in the Marvel Universe is.

After Genis-Vell helped recreate the universe, Elysius — who had died previously but was brought back in the new version of the universe — decided that the Genis-Vell thing had gone so well that she made herself a daughter as well. And that daughter was Phyla-Vell.

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Phyla-Vell’s history is filled with wacky cosmic tales. She crossed paths with Thanos on a few occasions, she also carried the Captain Marvel mantle for a time, and even served as Quasar when she held his Quantum Bands. We shouldn’t expect her role in the “Captain Marvel” film to closely mirror any of Phyla-Vell’s comic book stories though, because that’s not how the MCU operates. But you can read a summary of her adventures on the Marvel site here.

Phyla-Vell rebuilding Carol Danvers in her own image — or that of Mar-Vell — would be a very MCU take on the character, though it’s tough to guess what all the implications of that are. Especially considering our assumption that whatever happens in “Captain Marvel” will somehow start Thanos off on his quest to end half of all life in the universe.

Phyla-Vell’s last appearance in a book, in “Guardians of the Galaxy” vol 2. issue 24 back in 2010, she was killed when Magus — the evil version of Adam Warlock — managed to revive the dead Thanos. The newly reborn Thanos immediately killed Phyla-Vell, who was shocked to see him.

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Could something similar happen in “Captain Marvel”? We’ve speculated that the thrust of the plot will actually involve Carol, who believes she was born a Kree, trying to find out about her real past as a human — and then also discovering that the Kree are warring with the Skrulls for secret reasons that don’t seem all that altruistic. What if the war is actually to keep Thanos contained somehow? And maybe Carol, in trying to end the war, accidentally unleashes him?

Phyla-Vell’s inclusion would indicate at the very least that this movie is going to be a lot weirder than it looks so far. That wouldn’t be an overly surprising development either way, given the the situation that Carol is going to walk into in “Avengers 4” and the assumption that “Captain Marvel” will tie more overtly into the whole Thanos situation than “Ant-Man and the Wasp” did.

If Bening is playing Phyla-Vell, and Phyla-Vell being Captain Marvel’s creator, it would be exactly the sort of re-interpretation that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is so fond of. And the connection that the comic book version of Phyla-Vell has to Carol Danvers could say a lot about what kind of movie “Captain Marvel” is really going to be.

We also speculated that the powers of Quasar could be very important to how Captain Marvel is able to help retroactively save the universe in “Avengers: Endgame,” and Phyla-Vell could definitely bring those powers into play directly.

But really it’s tough to speculate too much because we simply are not going to find the answer for how this story ends in the comics — Kevin Feige and co. are too savvy for that. But the idea that Bening is playing Phyla-Vell would open up a lot of weird possibilities.

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‘Captain Marvel’: Jude Law Is Playing Exactly Who You Thought

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

In shocker-not-shocker news, Disney has finally announced who it is Jude Law is playing in “Captain Marvel.” And yep, it confirms exactly what fans have assumed to be the case ever since Law joined the cast.

A photo posted Thursday to Disney Movies spells it out plainly: “Jude Law as Mar-Vell, the leader of Starforce.” See the photo for yourself above.

Up until now, Law’s character has been described only as a “mentor” to Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, with no name given. But of course, Marvel fans know just who Carol’s comic book mentor is, and now so do the rest of you.

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So who is Mar-Vell? Created in 1967 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan, in the comics he’s the original Captain Marvel, a celebrated Kree warrior who comes to earth in order to to observe humanity and assess if we are a threat to the Kree. (And yes, captain is his actual rank.)

We’ve seen the Kree in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before — they’re the blue-skinned people from “Guardians of the Galaxy” led by Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). But as you can see, they’re not all blue. Mar-Vell as it happens was part of a Kree subspecies whose skin color looks close enough to what humans call Caucasian that they can blend in on Earth.

So it is that Mar-Vell came to earth and soon after engaged in some super-heroics to help save some of the people he was observing. And after some bystanders misinterpreted his name, he became known as the superhero “Captain Marvel.”

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Mar-Vell stuck around for several more years and had a lot of adventures in space and on Earth. This included being declared a traitor to the Kree, a truly bizarre period where he basically shared a slot on this plane of existence with Marvel Comics everyman Rick Jones, and his eventually being made a “Protector of the Universe” because of his efforts against none other than Thanos.

However, during one of his adventures Mar-Vell was exposed to a poison that gave him cancer. And because he was considered a traitor, he was denied access to advanced Kree medical technology. So, unusually for a major comic character, Mar-Vell dies for real in Marvel Comics’ first-ever graphic novel, 1982’s “The Death of Captain Marvel,” written by Jim Starlin.

As for Carol Danvers, she was an Air Force pilot assigned to investigate Mar-Vell who instead befriended and later fell in love with him. Later on, during a battle with one of Mar-Vell’s enemies, Carol was caught in the explosion of a Kree device that infused her DNA with Kree DNA, giving her super powers of her own, including flight, strength, durability and the ability to absorb energy. She first assumes the superhero name “Ms. Marvel,” and later adopts the name Captain Marvel for herself, in tribute to her late mentor.

As for “Starforce,” the military unit Mar-Vell leads? In Marvel Comics, Starforce is actually a supervillain team made up of Kree warriors opposed to earth’s heroes. Captain Marvel was never a member, since they were formed after he died. But you know who was? Ronan the Accuser and Korath the Pursuer, who was played by Djimon Hounsou in “Guardians.” Both of whom, by the way, will appear in “Captain Marvel.”

“Captain Marvel” starring Larson is the studio’s first female superhero to get her own standalone movie and will be a prequel set before “Iron Man.” Samuel L. Jackson will also return as Nick Fury for the film — this time without the eyepatch because the film will be set in the 1990s (presumably before he lost use of his left eye).

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Did the New ‘Captain Marvel’ Trailer Show Us a Scene From the End of the Movie?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The first time I watched the new trailer for “Captain Marvel,” it seemed like all sizzle and no steak — totally sick and generally awesome, but light on details. It made sense, considering the way Marvel likes to keep important details under wraps. They’d naturally want to save the good plot stuff for the movie itself and not give it all away like some other studios tend to do.

But after a couple more viewings things, I realized that actually it’s full of little details that could be telling us a lot about what’s in store. And one of these details involves a dialogue exchange that feels very much like something that would take place late in the movie. Maybe even immediately before the climactic fight.

It’s not immediately obvious that the exchange in question even is one, because it involves one bit of dialogue from early in the trailer and another bit that comes far later. The first part comes right after the Marvel logo, when Annette Bening’s unnamed character is telling Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) about her backstory.

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“Your life began the day it nearly ended. We found you with no memory. We made you one of us, so you could live longer, stronger, superior. You were reborn.”

It’s actually a weird line even in the context of the trailer — other dialogue indicates that for at least a while Carol is going to think she’s just a Kree alien, and not a human from Earth. So that line above feels like it’s part of a late stage conversations on those grounds alone. But something Captain Marvel herself says near the end of the trailer reinforces that idea.

“I’m not gonna fight your war. I’m going to end it.”

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Before connecting those two lines to each other I remarked to one of my colleagues here at TheWrap that Carol’s comment felt like a defiant response to the main villain, who would be somebody who has been manipulating her. And then I noticed that we get a brief glimpse at the scenery when she’s making that declaration.

Here’s Captain Marvel delivering that line:

And here’s Bening delivering the other line from the beginning of the trailer.

That’s pretty obviously the same place, and with standard shot reverse shot dialogue framing.

The vibe from these first two trailers is that the structure of the movie will be something like: in the first act, Carol chases the Skrull Talos (Ben Mendolsohn) to Earth and discovers she has a history there; in the second act, she finds out what that history is; in the third act, she responds to that revelation.

This scene from the new trailer plays like Carol has found out she’s human and is confronting the person who gave her those Kree superpowers/hid her past. Then, that person tries to spin the situation as being for Carol’s benefit. And, finally, Carol defiantly declaring that she’ll no longer be a puppet for the Kree Empire.

So if that’s an accurate read on the general structure of the film and on this scene in particular, that would place it in the third act.

The question, then, that I have is why this bit would be in this trailer. Marvel is very clever with its marketing, and wouldn’t include something like this on accident. It would likely be because there has to be something else at the center of this story that we’re really given no hint of in the trailer — something, maybe, that ties “Captain Marvel” directly to “Avengers: Infinity War” and next year’s “Avengers 4.”

So while we congratulate ourselves for piecing these details together, we’re still missing crucial pieces of what will matter in the story this movie presents. There’s definitely some other hidden layer. Unfortunately, we still have to wait another three months to find out what that layer is.

It’s also possible that this is an intentional misdirection inserted in such a way that it seems like they were thought you’d never notice, but which they actually hoped you would notice so you wouldn’t figure out the truth. Damn, Marvel, you got me paranoid.

Whatever the answer ends up being, “Captain Marvel” is out March 8.

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New ‘Captain Marvel’ Trailer Takes Flight (Video)

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And here we go. A new “Captain Marvel” trailer has finally arrived, somewhat soothing the pain of being in the middle of the longest gap between Marvel Cinematic Universe movies since 2015. Disney dropped this thing during Monday Night Football, and you can check it out in the embedded video above.

The trailer features a ton of the crazy space-based action that we knew a “Captain Marvel” movie would have to contain, but which we saw none of in the first trailer back in September. It also gives us a glimpse of the basics of the plot — that Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) is not aware of her past as a human on Earth after being turned into a half-Kree supersoldier, and that once she arrives on her home planet and meets Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) she’ll have to piece together what she’s lost as she attempts to figure out her place in the universe.

We also get our first look here at Annette Bening as the Kree responsible for Danvers’ converseion into Captain Marvel, as well as a glimpse of Jude Law making an almost threatening comment to Danvers. Law’s role is still a mystery, though it’s been assumed that he’s playing Mar-Vell as his casting reports mentioned that his role is that of Captain Marvel’s mentor.

It’s been a painful seven months since “Avengers: Infinity War” left us hanging with the deaths of so many superheroes like Spider-Man, Black Panther and most of the Guardians of the Galaxy. And while we loved “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” it was certainly short on answers for what’s coming next. So we’re left hoping that “Captain Marvel” will blow this whole thing open.

“Captain Marvel” is a prequel, set two decades before the cataclysmic events of “Infinity War,” but there’s a decent chance that the film will set in motion the events that led to Thanos’ war on the universe — given the comic book ties Thanos has to Mar-Vell, the mentor to Carol Danvers. Fingers crossed.

Also Read: How Will ‘Captain Marvel’ Play Into That Wild ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Ending?

“Captain Marvel” is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, and written by Boden, Fleck, Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Jac Schaeffer, with a story by Nicole Perlman and Joe Shrapnel.

The flick stars Brie Larson as the titular Carol Danvers/ Captain Marvel, alongside Jude Law, Gemma Chan, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendolsohn, Djimon Hounsou and Lee Pace.

“Captain Marvel” lands in theaters March 9, 2019.

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‘Vox Lux’ Trailer: Natalie Portman Belts Out Original Sia Song In Musical Drama

Read on: Deadline.

We’ve all seen Natalie Portman in full dazzling pop star regalia in images from the Brady Corbet-directed musical drama Vox Lux. With the new trailer for the Neon pic, we actually get to hear the Academy Award-winning actress sing!
In the trailer…

‘Vox Lux’: Natalie Portman Sings Original Ballad by Sia in New Trailer (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Jam alert! We’ve finally got a glimpse of Natalie Portman singing in a new trailer for “Vox Lux.” And the track, an original power-pop ballad from Sia, is going to get stuck in some heads.

Sia’s song is “Wrapped Up,” which is featured prominently in the second trailer for Brady Corbet’s art house drama “Vox Lux.” It’s a stirring, emotional anthem about how embracing others keeps you away from your darkest impulses and fears.

“Turn the light on, because I’ve got no one to show me the way,” Portman sings. “And I’m so lucky to be with you keeping me from my shadow.”

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But the song clearly has a big story connection as well. Portman’s pop star Celeste introduces it at a concert as “going back to where it all started,” followed by a stark smash cut to a teenage Celeste performing the song at her friend’s funeral vigil. The film both follows Celeste as a teenager performing with her sister after surviving a violent tragedy and her as a 31-year-old mother to a teenage daughter of her own as she struggles to navigate her career as an aging pop star.

“I keep feeling like big moments keep getting stolen away from me,” Portman says in the trailer. “You know sometimes you just get kicked while you’re down.”

“Vox Lux” also stars Jude Law, Stacy Martin and Christopher Abbott. The film opens on Dec. 7 in limited release before expanding everywhere on Dec. 14.

Watch the new trailer above.

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