captain marvel behind the scenes

Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden aren’t the first directing team at Marvel Studios, and they certainly aren’t the first filmmakers to make their MCU debut with a Sundance Film Festival origin story. But they are the first filmmakers tasked with bringing a female-led Marvel superhero film to the big screen, and that’s a big responsibility. Not only that, but they are setting up a character who is supposed to help anchor the next decade of cosmic MCU stories.

Speaking with the duo on the set of Captain Marvel, I felt the confidence and intense thought they had put into it all. Like other filmmaking teams, they would continue and complete each other’s sentences, and add more to each other’s points. When they mentioned that RoboCop was a big reference for them in making this film, I was rather confused, but they had a really good explanation. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in this interview.

Note: this interview was conducted in a roundtable format with other journalists.

captain marvel

Question: So, what has the adjustment been for you guys, moving from films like Half Nelson, Mississippi Grind to a movie of this scale?

Ryan Fleck: It’s the same. That was a joke. It’s not the same, they’re totally different. I mean at the end of the day we’re still telling stories and so we’re just trying to stay focused on characters that we love and we’ve loved characters in all of our movies, we love the characters in this movie and just trying to tell a story as best as we can.

Anna Boden: But learning a lot with a lot of new elements in this movie it’s like…it seems crazy moving from making little movies to making like literally movies with Marvel, which are like the biggest movies that they make. But it’s actually probably the easiest transition into making movies like this just because we’re working with so many people who are so good at their jobs and collaborating with people who are literally the best at what they do and so we’re, we kind of feel very well supported and with creative people at Marvel who are also just really into being storytellers at the end of the day.

Question: What’s the process of pitching to get a gig like this, do you go in there with your own spin and if that happened is what we’re getting now completely different than that?

Ryan Fleck: It is a good question. We dig into all the comics, the history. There’s a lot this character has gone through a whole bunch of different changes over the years and so we just kind of locked into the character that we liked from the Kelly Sue DeConnick run. We were like “this is the Captain Marvel we love” and everyone else loves that version of the character too, so that was great to be on the same mind with the Marvel people on the Captain Marvel story we wanted to tell.

I don’t know, in terms of the pitching. We came in, I know that our movies don’t look like we’re like big action nerds but we are fans of action movies so we just put together these clips of like a lot of our favorite movies and cut them together to music they were like that’s cool we were like isn’t it cool, let’s make a movie. We had to do that like five times.

captain marvel behind the scenes

Question: If you had to pick a genre and he was saying, like ’90s action movies, what were like some of your touchstones when you were pitching them and you showing them those things? What were some of the kind of cool things you were thinking of?

Anna Boden: The list of movies that we, that this, that Captain Marvel is a love letter to is very expansive and strange. Everything from like… 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.

Captain Marvel RoboCop

Question: 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.

Question: 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 its also like extremely emotional in that way. If you remember that scene of him walking into his own home, you know, 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.

Question: What were the advantages to you guys having Kelly Sue be a part of the process and getting her input?

Anna Boden: First of all we got to meet her. And I mean just she’s amazing and it was so cool meeting her for the first time, having read all of her comics, and her whole Captain Marvel run, and really falling in love with Captain Marvel through her comics and all of, so many of our references and our ideas of who this person was and the things that we had pitched in a room to the Marvel folks, to Kevin Feige about what we thought this character was, were similar to her references and her touchstones. It just goes to show what an amazing writer she is, that she was able to, I don’t know, like express so much of that musically even through the comics and that it felt like I don’t know we really connected with her and it was really, she was so articulate and so smart and just a fun person.

Continue Reading Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden Interview >>

Pages: 1 2Next page

Cool Posts From Around the Web: