After over 10 years and 20 Marvel Cinematic Universe films -- the first being "Iron Man" back in 2008 -- Brie Larson takes center stage as the first female superhero with a solo outing, a milestone that is as important as it is overdue. Without getting too deep into the plot, the movie follows Carol Danvers (Larson) as she finds her place in the universe against the backdrop of "a galactic war between two alien races" that reaches Earth.
On Friday, the film's cast and crew assembled in Los Angeles to tease the movie and the powerful superhero at its center. In attendance: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Gemma Chan, Lashana Lynch, Clark Gregg, directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck and producer/MCU head honcho Kevin Feige.
And while Reggie, the main cat who plays Goose in the film, was MIA at the press conference, he was a major topic of conversation.
Here's what we learned:
Brie Larson loved playing a character who had some complexity to her, who wasn't just this "perfect" superhero and was someone a little more "realistic" and aspirational. With Captain Marvel, she wanted to show this woman was a "risk taker" and provide the audience with those "defining moments, where she doesn't lay down, she gets back up ... that's everything, that's for everybody, there isn't a person who can't relate to that."
Larson did have to bulk up for the role, something she chronicled on social media and wasn't exactly a joyride. "I sobbed in the gym, many times, my trainer was like, oh, she's crying again," the actress explained. "It's very emotional when you're stirring up something very emotional and raw inside of you. I wasn't proving it to other people at the gym, I certainly wasn't proving it to my trainer, it's his job to not be impressed... it's for myself." Thanks to her physical transformation, Larson learned that she's "stronger than I realized."
The Nick Fury you'll see in this movie is unlike the one you've seen in previous films, as it shows him before becoming the one-eyed badass we all know and love. Samuel L. Jackson said, the '90s version of him is "a kinder, gentler, not-so-cynical, world weary, chip-on-your-shoulder Nick Fury, who hadn't met anyone from another universe just yet and is looking at the crazy lady trying to figure out why she thinks she an alien." He added, it's "even more refreshing" to have two eyes for a change and joked he "kinda felt like I was in Wakanda" thanks to the CGI tracking dots on his face for de-aging.
The love story in this movie isn't between a man and woman, but two women who have an amazing friendship with each other. Carol's relationship with Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) is "the great love" of the film, explained Larson. "It's her best friend and her best friend's daughter, which to me is so natural," she continued. "I went and saw the movie with some people and it was like an hour later where they were like, 'Oh, Maria's the love,' it's not something we made a big deal about, but it just feels so natural because that love is so strong. The movie shifts when she's on screen."
Everyone was asked to reveal what they'd love to bring back from the '90s if possible. Clark Gregg wanted to see more music videos on MTV, Jackson longed for the return of laser discs, Larson wanted her butterfly clips to be revived, Gemma Chan wished for more "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," while Jude and Lashana pleaded for comebacks for The Verve and R&B, respectively.
The filmmakers wanted to include a reference to "The Mask" in the film, but it was vetoed by the studio who owned the property.
When everyone was asked to reveal their biggest takeaways or lessons from working on the film, Lynch said it only reinforced her "forever appreciation" for single mothers out there. In the film, Rambeau is raising her daughter, Monica on her own. "To be able to represent them and give a universal thank you for your work was really special," she explained, before later adding she was also thrilled to represent black women and women in the military.
Finally, someone asked Jackson about working with the cat. "No, I'm not a cat person, but I'm also not a dog, bird or fish person either. I don't engage with pets," he said. "Reggie is like most animals that have been trained to do this, that or the other, he's snack oriented. Give him something to eat, he shows up." He also outed Larson for avoiding the cat even more -- because she was allergic -- before joking that they "didn't hang out between shots" and "sent him back to his own trailer!"
Another fun cat tidbit: he landed Brie in the dog house. "I got in trouble because I ran in screaming 'SHAKE SHACK!' right next to the cat and they're like, 'the cat's working right now,'" she explained. "That was my one very unprofessional moment."
The conference ended on the sweetest note possible, with a 12-year-old girl asking what Larson hoped the movie's message would be to other young women her age. Brie turned the question around though.
"I'm more curious to know what you thought of the movie. We made it for you, so that's what this is about," she wondered. "I feel like the world is telling you so much, how you're supposed to think and feel and interpret things and who you're supposed to grow up to be. We're not supposed to put that on you, what'd you think?" The girl's response: "I thought it was amazing. I thought you were such an empowering female role model and I think all my friends will all really appreciate that." Cue the "Awwwws!" from everyone in the room.
Watch the moment below:
We just yelled at the stage to get this 12-year-old girl the mic for one last question at the #CaptainMarvel press conference.