How 'Captain Marvel' Was Largely Inspired By 'RoboCop'

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is packed with references and homages to staples of several different genres, from Three Days of the Condor (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) to Inception (Doctor Strange). One would be forgiven for assuming that with all of the characters wandering around the MCU in metal suits, the 1987 sci-fi action classic RoboCop would have been a mainstay reference in that conversation as well, but it seems like the upcoming Captain Marvel is the first MCU movie to be heavily inspired by Paul Verhoeven's satirical masterpiece.

Learn more about how that film left its mark on Captain Marvel, and what other movies influenced directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck in their approach.

When /Film's Peter Sciretta visited the set of Captain Marvel last year, he and a group of other journalists spoke with executive producer Jonathan Schwartz, who revealed what genre influenced this production:

It feels weird calling it a genre, but the genre is '90s action movie. Like if you think about movies like RoboCop or Total Recall or Terminator 2 or Independence Day, I think there are common action movie threads you can tease through those movies which are what we're trying to pick up on in this movie.

That aligns what directors Boden and Fleck said yesterday about the movie being inspired by buddy cop films of the '80s and '90s. But in a later interview from the set, the directors Boden and Fleck elaborated further about the influence of RoboCop specifically:

What were some of your touchstones for when you were pitching [Marvel Studios] and showing them those things, what were some of the kind of cool things you were thinking of?

Anna Boden: The list of movies that Captain Marvel is a love letter to is very expansive and strange. Everything from like...what, no, should I say anything?Ryan Fleck: That's the theme of this movie.Anna Boden: I was going to say RoboCop is one of our big ones.Ryan Fleck: There's some Terminator 2 in there. French Connection is not so '90s but...Anna Boden: But...Ryan Fleck: There's a big homage to French Connection here.Anna Boden: There certainly is, we even slipped a little Conversation into this movie.Ryan Fleck: It's not an action film, but you have to look for it.Anna Boden: Yeah.Ryan Fleck: There are little moments, homages to shots from our favorite movies.This is the second time we've heard of RoboCop as a reference, but RoboCop is one of darkest visions of the future and most satirical visions of the future –Anna Boden: True.So are we going to see some of that humor in this, like that dark humor of Robocop?Anna Boden: There will be humor. It is not a dark movie in that way like RoboCop. I think that what is exciting to us about RoboCop was this idea of a character who's finding himself and finding his past. And even though it's a dark movie, it's also like extremely emotional in that way. If you remember that scene of him walking into his own home and remembering those moments from his past life and remembering who he was, I mean, that's big. And that was one of the first things we talked to Marvel about in terms of this character: the idea that self-discovery and reconnecting and rediscovering your humanity and who you were, and it's a huge part of this film.

Sounds great to me. I wonder if Ben Mendelsohn's villain will offer to buy anything for a dollar?

Stay tuned, because we'll have much more Captain Marvel coverage coming up right here over the next few hours. The movie arrives in theaters on March 8, 2019.