captain marvel clip

Marvel has kept a tight lid on Captain Marvel, cracking down on any secrets that may be spilled or identities that could be spoiled for the comic book movie. But with three weeks to go until the theatrical release, it seems that they may be easing up a little on the mysteries surrounding the film. Specifically: who the hell is Annette Bening playing? Theories swirled around Bening’s ethereal character, who until now has only appeared briefly in trailers and in promotional images. But now the secret is out, thanks to a new Captain Marvel clip that Bening debuted at The Late Show.

Captain Marvel Clip

During Bening’s appearance on Thursday night’s Late Show, the actress gave a cursory explanation of her character’s role in the film, which takes place during Marvel’s epic Skrull-Kree war. Though she was unsurprisingly tight-lipped when it came to actually identifying the character, her description was detailed enough to confirm that she is playing the Supreme Intelligence, a classic Marvel character. “A god-like entity,” Bening says of her character, “the leader of the Kree people. The artificial intelligence which consists of the greatest intellects of the Kree people for the last million years.”

The clip she debuts at the 3:41 mark, confirms that identity even further. “Intelligence,” Brie Larson‘s Carol Danvers calls Bening in the clip as Bening’s character prepares Danvers to serve in her Star Command unit. Smooth-voiced and ethereal, Bening certainly lives up to that “god-like entity” description. But what does it all mean?

Who is the Supreme Intelligence?

Created in 1967 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Supreme Intelligence goes way back in Marvel continuity. First appearing in Fantastic Four #65, the Supreme Intelligence was conceived as an artificial intelligence created by the Kree to help make a Cosmic Cube that could match the one made by their enemies, the Skrulls. (In Marvel Comics, the Cosmic Cube is a totally separate thing from the Infinity Stones, unlike its movie counterpart, the Tesseract/Space Stone.)

However, the Supreme Intelligence soon developed its own will and decided not to create a Cosmic Cube but use its capabilities to advise the Kree. Its intelligence only grew as the greatest Kree thinkers would regularly upload their minds into the Great Intelligence upon their deaths. Eventually, it became so powerful in Kree society that the Kree abolished their own government and made the Supreme Intelligence the ruler and god of the Kree Empire.

Bening’s iteration is certainly a departure from Lee and Kirby’s initial designs, which envisioned the Supreme Intelligence as a great green blob with tentacles for hair. But her descriptions of her character certainly match the canonical version of the Supreme Intelligence. “And there’s more,” she teased, “but I can’t say it.”

Captain Marvel hits theaters on March 8, 2019.

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