Captain Marvel Directors on Why Annette Bening’s Character Was Changed

Warning: The following post contains spoilers for Captain Marvel!

Marvel Studios tried to keep Annette Bening’s role in Captain Marvel a secret until the film neared its release date. Although a previous clip outed her as the Supreme Intelligence, it turned out that Bening was playing two different characters. Bening’s other character is Mar-Vell, a Kree scientist who lived on Earth under the name Dr. Wendy Lawson. Comic fans will recognize this as a gender-flipped version of the original Captain Marvel. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, writers and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck explained the reason behind this change.

According to Boden and Fleck, Mar-Vell was written as a man in an earlier draft of the film’s screenplay. In fact, Kevin Feige said that the filmmakers were already discussing male actors who could play the part. Unfortunately, this proved to be a difficult decision to make until Boden came up with a new idea.

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“Pretty late in the process of writing it, I think I just woke up one morning and I had dreamt it or something,” said Boden. “I texted Ryan, and I was like, ‘Am I crazy that these could both be the same actor?’ And he was like, ‘Yes, you are crazy, and yes, you should talk to Marvel about it immediately.’ So it was a late-breaking idea, but something that I think helped pull those elements together in a way that it would’ve been hard to otherwise.”

Fleck went on to explain why Bening was the right person for the job.

“We’ve just been big fans of her for a long time, and she’s got all those qualities,” he said. “She’s got the great mentor quality that we were looking for in that character, but she can also be really tough, and that was really necessary for both aspects. She can be regal, which was perfect for the Supreme Intelligence, and she can also just be casual and cool and laid back, which was necessary for Lawson.”

Do you think Marvel Studios made the right decision by gender-flipping Mar-Vell? What did you think about Annette Bening’s performance? Let us know in the comment section below!