Something About The “Captain Marvel Movie”

“What if i told you that you’ve already seen the Black Widow movie?”
The omission of a standalone film for Natasha Romanov, a.k.a. Black Widow has been bugging fans of the MCU for years.
It’s a well liked character played by a great actress that played a key role in the overall story, but never really got her chance in the limelight.

Looking back at the MCU as a whole, it’s quite the neat little puzzle.
Sure, if you dig for it, you will definitely find inconsistencies here and there. But overall, it’s quite fascinating how well everything falls into place, especially considering that it’s a ~10 years project.
Future characters have been lamp-shaded and teased earlier, old plot points and McGuffins have been picked up and made relevant again etc.

But there has always been one thing that stuck out like a sore thumb: The late addition of Captain Marvel. The character got its standalone movie right before the grand finale, Endgame, while her presence in that one was next to nonexistent. She has never been seen or mentioned in one of the earlier movies as well.
It never really made sense and always felt rather odd.

One evening the decision was made to have a group-watch of the movie (some participants required booze). Most of us had not seen the movie before, although some knew quite a bit about it from reviews and/or summaries. As the early parts of the movie went on, it felt kind  of strange…

The character of Captain Marvel plays in a league of its own. She’s a super hero with cosmic powers, interstellar flight who can exist in the vacuum of space, shoot devastating laser beams…
And yet, It pretty much was a spy flick full of body snatchers, double agents, secret government operations and coverups, brainwashing and…
Wait a minute…spy flick?
That’s when the theory dawned on me. What if Captain Marvel, the movie that sticks out like a sore thumb in an otherwise rather neatly packed line of films wasn’t always planned as a Captain Marvel film?

We set out to do a little theory-crafting, with a hefty dose of tin foil hattery (and alcohol, with some participants).
The movie contains all the ingredients for a Romanov movie. Her brainwashing by the KGB, her training in martial arts, weapons and gadgets (especially communications related, those parts felt REALLY out of place with Captain Marvel), double agents and a set up “love interest”, a “central intelligence” trying to keep her in line…

You’d need to rewrite very little to arrive at a movie tailor made for Black Widow, a rather grounded super spy character.
Even the encounters with the Rambeau family could rather neatly be switched with Hawkeye without losing much emotional impact.

But why would they do that?
Considering the current climate and the obsession with sending political messages as PR material, a character line Black Widow wasn’t marketable at the time.
Natasha Romanov is a femme fatale. A character that uses her femininity to achieve her goals and albeit an exceptionally strong character, she’s not doing it in “the right way” to send a message.

For that, you need a strong female character without flaws, without faults, who is infinitely strong and has the character depth of a piece of paper (or a plank of wood, if you will). The very same material Star Wars’ Rey was made of. Captain Marvel was a substitute character to portrait the “strong female character that doesn’t need help from no one”. not the sexy spy that started out morally gray with a troubled past who overcame hardship with the help of others.

It was a PR gimmick and thus, never really fit in quite as well as the rest did.
Captain Marvel never felt organic, her appearance in End Game was shoehorned in so much that you could cut her out and no one would really notice it in the first place.

In conclusion: Try watching the film again and rewrite it in your head while doing so.,
Replace Carol Danvers with Natasha Romanow, replace alien body snatchers with your typical double agents, replace the Kree with the KGB and so on and so forth. You’ll see that it fits rather well with relatively little effort.

We will probably never know for sure, because that’s one bombshell no one would ever admit to, but you might have seen the long teased Black Widow movie already that was hastily rewritten to fit a PR scheme rather than the overarching MCU canon.

Post Credits

  • Main Author: SplendidMaChao
  • Contributor: ColdDeath
  • Contributor: MatrixQ

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