The Marvels Trailer Breakdown: When Superhero Movies Go Full Body-Swap

Carol Danvers, her supporting cast, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole have all come a long way since our very first tease of Brie Larson's space-faring superhero. Most would agree that the 2019 film did an adequate job of establishing the origin story for the eponymous Captain Marvel, tying together her Air Force background, a test flight gone horribly awry, and her subsequent team-up with a young, pre-eyepatch Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) against the perceived threat of the shapeshifting Skrulls and the sinister Supreme Intelligence (played, incredibly enough, by Annette Bening). After saving the world once again in "Avengers: Endgame" and making brief cameos in both "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" and "Ms. Marvel," the Disney+ series starring Iman Vellani as the lovable Kamala Khan, we've yet to see the energy-blasting superhero back in action ... until now.

With the release of the new teaser for "The Marvels," the follow-up film directed by Nia DaCosta, the MCU is once again foregrounding its most powerful hero alongside two of her most integral supporting characters — Kamala and Teyonah Parris' Monica Rambeau, first introduced in "WandaVision." As the title would heavily suggest, the sequel features the trio joining forces to combat yet another cosmic threat. But, as is usually the case with the Avengers, their biggest obstacle might just be figuring out how to get along.

The new footage reveals just enough to get excited about the upcoming film, though without giving away too many major plot details. But since when has that ever stopped us before? Read on for our extensive breakdown of the teaser trailer for "The Marvels."


Teasers are all about setting up expectations and, if there's one thing Marvel tends to be good at, it's teasing audiences with skyrocketing expectations. That's likely why the teaser for "The Marvels" wastes no time at all kicking off with the strains of "Intergalactic" by the Beastie Boys, setting the mood for the cosmic-based shenanigans to come. We open on a nifty-looking space station in orbit around Earth, under the auspices of "S.A.B.E.R." — and not the preestablished organization known as "S.W.O.R.D.," interestingly enough, which Monica's mother Maria (played by Lashana Lynch in "Captain Marvel") helped found.

This is all little more than nerdy window-dressing surrounding the inciting element of the teaser (and, presumably, the film). While on a spacewalk to investigate a jump point — those hexagonal portals that allow advanced ships to jump from point to point in the galaxy, as we've seen in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies, "Captain Marvel," and others — Monica does what she did best in "WandaVision" and inexplicably touches another mysterious, energy-based anomaly that activates her latent powers and sends her careening back towards the space station. But the person in the spacesuit is no longer Monica, but an incredibly terrified (yet rather excitable) Kamala Khan! Nick Fury can only stare aghast as Kamala recognizes him and innocently asks if this is some sort of Avengers entry-level membership test. Classic Kamala.

Catching up

The very last time we saw Larson suited up as Captain Marvel, she'd just teleported into Kamala's room in the post-credits scene of the "Ms. Marvel" finale with absolutely no idea how she ended up there. As it turns out, the weird space energy that Monica can't help but interact with appears to be responsible for the "entanglement" between the three heroes, activating whenever one uses their powers and essentially causing any one of them to swap places with the other at any given moment. Call it the ol' switcheroo, superhero-style.

Obviously, this rather hilarious plot development (Carol's increasingly frustrated reaction to appearing in Kamala's house turns into something of a running gag in this teaser) also has some serious consequences, as Monica realizes that Kamala has been transported halfway across the galaxy to wherever Carol had just been, facing off against some bad guys in an unknown locale. But for the present, it's just plain funny to see Larson ham it up with as much incredulity as she can muster as she looks around the room of her ultimate, Number One fangirl.

House crashers

Based on the (potentially misleading) series of events laid out in the teaser, it seems as if Monica's bizarre encounter in space leads her and Nick Fury to the very steps of Kamala's New Jersey home, which we saw in "Ms. Marvel." When they appear on her doorstep, we're reintroduced to her charismatic supporting characters: her father Yusuf (Mohan Kapur), her mother Muneeba (Zenobia Shroff), and brother Aamir (Saagar Shaikh). In short, it's pretty refreshing to see that many brown people all at once in an MCU movie, even if it's not likely that any of them beyond Kamala get much screen time.

In any event, it appears that Fury and Rambeau are interrupting the Khans in the middle of the family trying to figure out exactly what's going on. There's an unconscious henchmen tied up in their living room, Kamala is in her spiffy new superhero suit, and we see a bunch of debris as they all sit in a circle and attempt to make sense of their predicament. Monica exposits (which is hopefully not what she does for the entire movie) that their powers are somehow "entangled" and, as Kamala unhelpfully demonstrates, it's somehow exacerbated whenever they use their abilities. Cue Kamala's typical nervous excitement to prove herself to others, Carol appearing out of nowhere to smash the Khans' dinner table, and Kamala finding herself in a serious jam.


There are a few certainties in life: Death, taxes, and the fact that Goose the cat is not, in actuality, a cat. The scene-stealing extraterrestrial from "Captain Marvel" returns to save the day and simultaneously freak Kamala out, breezily dispatching some bad guys that Carol had just been fighting a second before their latest inconvenient body-swap. Of course, our young hero likely wasn't prepared for the tentacle-spewing little feline to do what it did and Vellani gets to wild out with one of the funniest reactions in the entire trailer. For those who haven't watched "Ms. Marvel," well, it's clear that fans are going to have a tough time keeping up with all the developments in this movie. But, most importantly, this platform ought to give Vellani a chance to prove what the rest of us already knew: that she's a star in the making with tons of personality, talent, and charisma to spare.

Culture shock

Are ... are musical numbers about to become a Marvel Cinematic Universe trope? We saw Kumail Nanjiani throw himself into a Bollywood dance sequence in "Eternals" as the character Kingo, and now it looks like the heroes of "The Marvels" showed up for a galactic superhero movie and instead found themselves in a musical. The surrounding architecture sure looks similar to the establishing shot of a downright extravagant-looking city seen earlier in the footage, located on a tropical beach and filled with high-tech buildings that look like something straight out of DC's Themyscira.

It's likely this is some as-of-yet unknown alien world that the Marvels have to travel to at some point in the film, but I'm mostly singling this out for the amusing shot of Brie Larson's Carol peeking out from behind the colorful outfits of that region. The visual can't help but bring to mind the awfully tone-deaf "Basmati Blues," another Larson-starring movie from 2017 that everyone involved would likely want you to forget about, where Larson travels to India as a fish out of water and promptly tries to save the day. In any case, I'm pretty curious how this sequence will unfold under the eye of "Candyman" director Nia DiCosta.

A team-up for the ages

The teaser footage flies higher, further, and faster as we're subjected to a burst of blink-and-miss-it imagery, from Kamala putting the moves on some unfortunate bad guys in the S.A.B.E.R. space station to Monica saving Kamala in mid-air free-fall to a bunch of cats (or other Goose-like aliens) running down some stairs to literal one-second shots of Park Seo-Joon as the enigmatic Prince Yan and Zawe Ashton as what could very well be the villainous General Dar-Benn. The brief glimpse of Ashton says a lot, as she's holding a hammer that appears suspiciously similar to Ronan the Accuser's (Lee Pace) and flanked by soldiers who sure seem to be Kree. The trailer is surprisingly light on any clear shots of definitive villains, either Kree or Skrull or otherwise, but that's to be expected from an early marketing push that's mostly meant to get this movie on the average person's radar.

It all builds towards a show-stopping fight sequence between the three Marvels. Edited to look like they're fighting each other in earnest, we get one last gag as Monica, Carol, and Kamala stand around each other in a spaceship. "We're a team?" Kamala dreamily asks to the dismay of the other two. Getting immediately shut down has zero effect on her, however, as the footage ends on the high note that, once again, Vellani deserves to be a total star.

"The Marvels" will fly into theaters in November 10, 2023.