Director of ‘The Marvels’ talks about what it was like working with three heroines at the same time
Three comic book heroines who mean a lot to different generations of readers meet in theaters in “The Marvels”, a new adventure from the publisher of the same name that premieres in Brazil this Thursday (9).
The launch stars:
For director Nia DaCosta (“The Legend of Candyman”), the idea was to give equal time and space to each one, even though it is a – more or less – direct continuation of the first film.
“It works really well for Kamala and Monica’s story, for them to be thrown into this giant cosmic world, because we spend so much time with them as more of a neighborhood hero, basically.”
“It was a mix of making sure we served Carol’s story, but also giving good screen time and plot time to the other two heroines”, says the filmmaker, the youngest person to direct a Marvel film, in an interview with g1 . Watch the video above.
Even so close to the premiere, little is actually known about the plot of “The Marvels”.
For now, what is known is that, in the film, the three heroines live their heroic lives in different parts of the galaxy until an incident causes them to become connected in some way.
Every time they use their powers at the same time, they immediately switch places. It doesn’t matter how far they are.
With the help of super secret agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the trio come together – against the will of some, and the delight of obsessed fan Kamala – to fix the problem and face a new villain (Zawe Ashton).
Teleportation was obviously a big challenge for the production. In one of the scenes (already shown to the press), one is on Earth, another is in orbit and the third, on an enemy ship light years away.
“You have your visual effects supervisor, your stunt coordinator, your assistant director, your director of photography, all in a room together to kind of understand what’s going to happen where, what it’s going to look like, and how we’re going to shoot it on the day.” , explains DaCosta.
“When you do that, it’s actually kind of very simple. It’s like taking apart a puzzle and collecting each piece. Then you give it to your editor and say, ‘Good luck with that thousand-piece puzzle’ (laughs) . And then they do an incredible job of putting it all together.”
The three characters have very strong connections established over the decades in the comics – and have even taken on each other’s heroic names at some point.
Created in 1982, Monica Rambeau was the first Captain Marvel of comics. Since then, she has changed her name a few times, and currently responds as Spectrum. In the MCU, she has yet to receive a heroic title.
Carol Danvers is Captain Marvel current (in cinemas and in comics). Considered one of the most powerful characters in the cinematic universe, she first appeared in the comic book in 1968, but only gained powers years later.
Her first secret identity was as Ms. (Miss) Marvel. She also changed names a few times until assuming her current role, a tribute to the original Captain Marvel, the alien Mar-Vell (yes, comics aren’t very subtle).
Kamala Khan was only the fourth Ms. Marvel in the comics, but still bears the title today. The publisher’s first Muslim heroine first appeared at the end of 2013, in a Captain story.
The heroine’s number 1 fan, she assumed her idol’s former identity by manifesting powers as a member of a genetically modified race.
In the series, the character had her powers changed from body manipulation to something related to light, more similar to the abilities of the other two thirds of this trio.
This may be the 33rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the MCU), but it is only the third for DaCosta, who at 34 is the youngest person to direct a studio production.
After debuting with “Passando dos Limites” (2018), which she also wrote, the American was invited to direct another continuation of an established character. In 2021, she released “The Legend of Candyman”, produced by Jordan Peele (“Run!”).
The horror became the first film directed by a black woman to be released at number one at the American box office. In “The Marvels”, she has the biggest budget (estimated at more than US$274 million) ever offered to a black filmmaker.
“I know from the outside how important it was when I was younger to be able to see black women making films. And how that helped me take it for granted that I could do this work. I understand that it’s important, with sure, but it’s also fun to talk about,” she says.
“It’s not like I’m at the Olympics and I got a gold medal, you know? These are accomplishments that happened as a result of working hard and doing what I love. So, it’s lovely, but it’s also not something I had as goal.”