After months of speculation, Marvel has finally chosen its directors for Captain Marvel, bringing in a pair of indie filmmakers who weren't mentioned as front runners in the past. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who most recently directed the A24 dramatic comedy Mississippi Grind starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn, have signed on to take the helm of this superhero adventure, which has Brie Larson set to star as the title character. While this news has yet to be confirmed by Marvel Studios itself, the studio reportedly took its time in finding the right director, while also making sure that the script was in great shape.
Variety reports that Marvel met with multiple contenders for the job before selecting Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. The studio met with the directing pair multiple times and were thoroughly impressed with their approach to the title character, a.k.a. Carol Danvers. Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve wrote the screenplay for Captain Marvel, although it remains to be seen if the filmmakers will now take a crack at the script, since the filmmaking pair have written all of the movies they have directed.
While it isn't surprising anymore that Marvel has selected an unconventional pair for this movie, it is worth mentioning that they were not mentioned on the directorial short list that surfaced back in August. That unconfirmed report claimed that the studio had narrowed their selection down to Niki Caro (Whale Rider), Lesli Linka Glatter (Mad Men) and Lorene Scafaria (The Meddler). Other contenders mentioned at the time were Jennifer Yuh (Kung Fu Panda 3) and Jennifer Kent (The Babadook). Kevin Feige has stressed in the past that having a female director at the helm of the studio's first female-lead superhero movie was "very important" to them, with Anna Boden becoming the first female filmmaker ever to take the helm of an MCU movie.
Marvel has already set a release date of March 8, 2019 for Captain Marvel, although Brie Larson is largely expected to make her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Avengers: Infinity War, which is currently in production. Producer Kevin Feige teased in an interview last year that Carol Danvers will be the most powerful character that has been introduced in the MCU thus far, which would make sense that she is introduced during Infinity War, since the Marvel heroes will likely need every bit of strength they can assemble in their fight against Thanos. Interestingly, Captain Marvel is situated between Avengers: Infinity War (May 4, 2018) and Avengers 4 (May 3, 2019), so it will be fun to see how her story is weaved through all three movies.
Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck first burst onto the scene with their critically-acclaimed 2006 drama Half-Nelson, starring Ryan Gosling, which they both wrote and Ryan Fleck directed. They moved on to both write and direct the 2008 indie Sugar together, followed by 2010's It's Kind of a Funny Story, starring Zach Galifianakis and Emma Roberts, and most recently 2015's Mississippi Grind. They have also started directing for TV as well, with this report claiming that Marvel sees experience in both movies and TV as a strength. They have directed two episodes of The Big C, two episodes of The Affair and, most recently, three episodes of Billions. While this will be their first foray into the Marvel superhero world, the studio has put its faith in other "unconventional" choices before, such as James Gunn, the Russo Brothers and many others throughout the MCU's epic run. With the directors now in place, hopefully we'll hear more about the Captain Marvel story and characters soon.