In a new interview, Brie Larson was asked about Captain Marvel 2. Obviously, the young actress was not able to say much, which may very well be because she doesn't know anything about it. When it comes to the cameras rolling, Larson definitely has no clue as to what's going on. She had this to say when asked if she knew when the production will start on the highly anticipated sequel.
"No. I don't really know what job I'm going to do next, which is very exciting. I don't even know what my life's gonna be! And most of this year, you know, I had to do the press tour. But then the last half of the year, I've just been focusing way more on just doing what I want to do that's completely outside of my job. I just feel like it's been this incubation time. Whether it's incubation because I'm developing projects, and also incubation myself, being, like 'OK, I'm going to be turning 30. I've been working a lot. I need to just like change it up and see what's there for me - see who I am now. And which ways that I want to grow.'"
Brie Larson, along with the rest of the MCU cast and crew, have had a very busy 2019. Larson was on the promotional tour for Captain Marvel at the beginning of the year and then pretty much dove head first into promoting Avengers: Endgame. This isn't even taking into account the time spent training for Captain Marvel and then shooting it at the end of 2018. It seems now is the best time to take a break for Larson. With that being said, one can easily see Captain Marvel 2 fitting into the MCU's Phase 5.
The idea of a female-led MCU movie also came up in the interview. "A lot of the female cast members from Marvel walked up to Kevin Feige and we were like, 'We are in this together, we want to do this,' says Brie Larson. However, she doesn't know if it will ever happen. Larson says, "It is something that we're really passionate about and we love and I feel like if enough people out in the world talk about how much they want it, maybe it'll happen." After the events of Avengers: Endgame, it seems like there will probably be some more talk about it in the near future.
Related: Did Avengers 5 and Other MCU Phase 5 Release Dates Just Leak?
In addition to her work with the MCU, Brie Larson has been hard at work with other projects. She stars in Just Mercy alongside Michael B. Jordan and made her directorial debut with Unicorn Store. The actress enjoyed the process behind the camera and looks forward to doing more directorial work in the future. You can read the rest of the interview with Larson over at Variety.
Twenty movies into its box office domination world tour, there’s still one thing that the Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have: an all-female team-up movie. While MCU stars like Tessa Thompson, Brie Larson, and Zoe Saldana have been vocal about pitching Marvel head Kevin Feige on the concept, the billion-dollar franchise has yet to capitalize on the idea, though upcoming additions to its slate have hinted at a more female-focused lineup to come. Still, Larson and company aren’t giving up on their dream, and Captain Marvel herself remains enthused about the possibility of bringing the franchise’s female heroes together in their own feature.
During a recent interview with Variety, Larson was asked if she and her Marvel co-stars have engaged in talks with Feige about finally making that all-women Marvel movie. “I will say that a lot of the female cast members from Marvel walked up to Kevin and we were like, 'We are in this together, we want to do this,’” Larson told Variety. “What that means, I have no idea. You know, I'm not in charge of the future of Marvel, but it is something that we're really passionate about and we love and I feel like if enough people out in the world talk about how much they want it, maybe it'll happen.”
Last year, Thompson explained that Marvel seemed pretty high on the idea. “I think Kevin Feige is really excited by the idea,” she said, “and if you look at what's happened already in Phase 4 with me and Valkyrie and our story, and then in 'Black Panther,' the women rule supreme. There's an interest in having women at the forefront of this phase. I feel like it's hopeful.”
As the studio prepared to release “Black Panther” in 2018, Feige continued to hint at a future for the MCU that included more diversity, including for its female filmmakers and stars. “I think it's only the beginning,” Feige told IndieWire at the time. “I think you'll see more and more of that in front of the camera, behind the camera and that that is what is required of us as storytellers. ... We want these movies to reflect the world in which they are made, and be brought to life by all types of people behind the camera.”
The women of Marvel last appeared together on-screen during the climatic final battle that capped off “Avengers: Endgame.” Despite the giddy joy of seeing Captain Marvel teaming up with fellow Marvel heroines like Scarlet Witch, Valkyrie, Okoye, Mantis, Shuri, Hope Van Dyne, Gamora, Nebula, and Pepper Potts, some fans including this writer saw the scene as pandering to an audience that would like to see more of the MCU’s female stars.
But Larson has only good memories of that part of the shoot, and she expanded on why it felt so powerful to Variety. “It was just a great day,” Larson told the outlet. “To get to be with all of those women for the day and you get this feeling of, like, almost a little bit of naughtiness because it's a secret and none of us can talk about it — that it felt like we were a part of this like coven working together for this goal. It was an opportunity for us to share and hang out. And as many people know, a lot of the time women aren't working together. It's kind of been this new breath of fresh air for us in our industry that there's more female ensemble films, which has allowed us the opportunity to really communicate with one another.”
Despite the short-shrift nature of the “Endgame” moment, the franchise has plenty of directors within its fold invested in telling female-led stories with nuance and care, from “Captain Marvel” helmers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden to Peyton Reed, whose “Ant-Man and the Wasp” offered a female-fronted superhero film months before “Captain Marvel” debuted. When that film was released last summer, the filmmaker was clear with IndieWire about his desire to make sure Evangeline Lilly's Hope Van Dyne reflected a superhero with some real grit.
“Evangeline kept banging this drum in a great way,” Reed said at the time, recalling that she told him, “I don't want to be overly glam. That's not who Hope Van Dyne is. When I fight in the movie, I want to be sweaty, and in terms of my hair when I'm in the suit, I want it to be a clean, practical ponytail, because how is that helmet going to go on and off otherwise?”
Last year, “Black Panther” star Danai Gurira told IndieWire how her experience with director Ryan Coogler on the set of the smash hit made her feel secure in the direction of the film. She told IndieWire that one of the great joys of the film was a vision that was rooted in the women that Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole had made central to their story - including not just her own character, but roles for T'Challa's mother, sister, and a love interest.
“He would describe these women characters in ways that I've never heard women described,” Gurira said at the time. “I want to see stories told authentically, given accessibility, that's my thing. What was also really thrilling was that he wrote them as women of integrity and women of complexity and women of strength.”
While Marvel has yet to greenlight its female team-up movie, Phase Four of the franchise does offer a number of female-centric features. The series’ first post-“Endgame” feature will arrive in theaters in May of next year, when Scarlett Johansson will reprise her role as Black Widow in the long-rumored “Black Widow” standalone movie. That film will be followed by the November release of Chloe Zhao’s “The Eternals,” which includes starring roles for MCU newbies Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Lauren Ridloff, and Lia McHugh.
In 2021, the series will roll out yet another lady-powered feature when Taika Waititi’s “Thor: Love and Thunder” arrives in theaters, which will not only see the return of star Thompson, but has already announced a prime role for Thor’s original love interest Jane Foster Natalie Portman. This time around, Dr. Foster is literally picking up a very special new weapon, as she wields Mjolnir and becomes female Thor in the process. Now that’s a team-up.
It’s the year of digital de-aging as technology caught up with need for Martin Scorsese’s mobster epic, “The Irishman,” and Ang Lee’s sci-fi/thriller, “Gemini Man.” Industrial Light & Magic devised an unobtrusive facial capture breakthrough to make Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci look decades younger as hitman Frank Sheeran, Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa, and Philly crime boss Russell Bufalino, respectively. And Weta Digital has constructed the most fully realized digital human yet as 50-year-old Will Smith fights 23-year-old Will Smith in a face off between a hitman and his clone.
Meanwhile, Lola VFX, which has become the de-aging specialists for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has made great strides this year with its vaunted 2D Photoshopping-like procedure of skin smoothing and shape warping on “Captain Marvel,” making Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury look decades younger without the use of a digital double for the first time. For good measure, Lola also tackled puberty on “It Chapter Two” to slightly de-age The Loser’s Club.
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When Netflix premiered Scorsese’s long-awaited three-and-a-half-hour saga at the New York Film Festival last week, ILM’s costly de-aging experiment pushing the budget to $160 million proved effective in conveying the Oscar-worthy performances from 76-year-old De Niro, 79-year-old Pacino, and 76-year-old Pesci. Not surprisingly, the director’s summary statement about “loyalty, love, trust, and ultimately betrayal,” represents his version of Sergio Leone’s similarly-themed “Once Upon a Time in America,” which also starred De Niro. Except Scorsese has replaced De Niro’s opium-induced fever dream with a grittier though no less mournful remembrance of things past.
Indeed, the key to Scorsese’s de-aging strategy on “The Irishman” was presenting Sheeran’s criss-crossing flashbacks mostly the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s as an elderly man’s reflection on his life. It was therefore about shaping performances with youthful massaging rather than creating younger replicas of De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci. “This isn’t just about lenses and computer imagery,” Scorsese said at the New York Film Festival Q&A. “It’s about posture, it’s about movement, it’s about clarity of the eyes, everything.” Which is why during his first shooting experience with Pacino, the director had him do several additional takes, jumping up from his chair in anger while watching JFK on TV with his family until he approximated the age-appropriate 49-year-old Hoffa.
For ILM, the tech challenge was to create the lightest possible capture footprint for the trio of actors. “In the first meeting four years ago, De Niro said there was no way he was going to wear a helmet camera or facial markers,” ILM VFX supervisor Pablo Helman told IndieWire. “He wanted to be onset with the lighting, acting with other actors. And he said there will not be any controlled environment for re-shoots.
“With helmet cams you need to do calibration and that also requires two hours of makeup,” added Helman. De Niro only required makeup with no de-aging as the elderly Sheeran. “And the main problem for marker technology has to do with the lighting. You need to get those faces lit or else those markers don’t read. What we came up with is something that has never been used before without helmet cameras or markers.”
The camera system and companion software that ILM developed captured the actors' facial performances on set with no additional lighting requirements, and then translated those unaltered performances to full 3D CG versions of their younger selves with its proprietary models. The camera system consisted of three witness cameras rigged together with the same lenses as the principal cameras employed by DP Rodrigo Prieto, who termed the bulky system, “the three-headed monster.”
“It was slowly getting through performances and getting through takes, and moving on,” Helman said. “They were never waiting for us. But the post-production process was a little bit different from any other production that I have been on. We had never really showed Marty intermediate takes. He trusted us enough so that we would finish a shot, render it with the right lighting, and we would show him the performance. And if the performance had the same feeling that he had with the original performance he selected, we moved on.”
But if it didn’t, they discussed getting a better match. Scorsese, however, insisted on no keyframe-animated enhancements. ILM strictly used the raw data to slightly dial up the variation models for the three actors to achieve greater fidelity to their performances. De Niro developed the reserved Sheeran with a signature scowl, Pacino played the hot-headed Hoffa with manic exuberance, and Pesci offered a quiet menace as Bufalino. “[Scorsese] painted these characters as having a really rough life and, to him, it means that some people age differently than others, and there are all kinds of wrinkles and even body movements that echo what you have lived,” Helman said. “That is something that is completely different. And this achievement is going to be measured for what it does for the next generation of filmmakers on set with lighting.”
By contrast, “Gemini Man” offered a completely different approach to de-aging shot in 3D at 120 frames-per-second and 4k resolution by cinematographer Dion Beebe. In fact, the filmmakers refuse to call it de-aging. “We are not de-aging,” Lee said. “I rather think that we are creating a new character, a youthful Will Smith.”
“To the layman, yes, de-aging is just making a person look younger,” added production VFX supervisor Bill Westenhofer. “But from our side, de-aging has been associated with the Lola process. Whereas this is creating a person from whole cloth. We knew we had to make a digital human and once we did, it made sense to do it everywhere.”
Paramount Pictures / screen cap
Smith played the aging Henry as well as his clone, Junior, channeling his younger self. Junior, therefore, represents a major character breakthrough for Weta, appearing in more than half the movie, and required to express a range of emotions performed by Smith.
Weta created the CG Junior under the supervision of Guy Williams by studying the morphology of aging at it applied to the actor. The wizards of Weta then made great strides particularly in the areas of skin and eye work. The animators created a new procedural software for pores that simulates areas between the pores and along the natural fall lines for a more natural look. And modeled a dark retina for the eyes to reveal more depth, and provided an additional film surface that sits across the eye for greater fidelity.
And accommodating 120 fps worked to Weta’s advantage with some of the smooth skin artifice replaced by more natural sharpness and crispness. “That’s why we [pushed] the envelope as hard as we possibly can do,” said Westenhofer, “to be the first to deliver a fully convincing digital human.”
But Lola, the de-aging expert, has come a long way since touching up Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in “X-Men: The Last Stand” 2006, Brad Pitt in the Oscar-winning “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” 2008, Michael Douglas in “Ant-Man” 2015, Robert Downey Jr. in “Captain America: Civil War” 2016, Kurt Russell in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” 2017, and Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Laurence Fishburne in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” 2018.
“One of the things that we'd always done in the past was to shoot a double and to recreate a performance so the main actor would do the piece, the other actor would watch, and then they would re-enact the thing,” said “Captain Marvel'” production VFX supervisor Christopher Townsend. “But with Sam being in two-thirds of 'Captain Marvel,' we couldn't do that. It would take too much time and be too difficult to match performances for every shot.”
Fortunately, Jackson has aged very well and has great skin, so it was no problem for Lola to go without a double. They used some makeup to pull back the skin on his neck, but relied on the actor’s performance with no grafting - just slimming and tightening and smoothing over. “It's very exciting to arrive at this point where we're de-aging a major character for the entire length of a film,” said Lola VFX supervisor Trent Claus. “With a project of this scale, we did indeed have to modify our usual methods a bit in order to accommodate the volume of shots.”
Ultimately, though, the de-aging process must always be at the service of the actor’s performance. “You're sculpting this whole thing,” Scorsese said. “It's like living models in a way. Plus the truth of how they're interpreting. It's an extraordinary experience.”
Marvel's Kevin Feige is set to develop a Star Wars movie for Disney, and rumors are now swirling on the web he's looking to bring in Captain Marvel star Brie Larson for a leading role. To be clear, there are no reports the actress has officially signed on for any Star Wars projects, but her fans have been pointing out what they see as hints to suggest Feige is eyeing her for a role. This includes the fact that Larson was invited to the Stars Wars Galaxy Edge Opening in Disneyland and that she has been frequently talking about the franchise over the past several months. Additionally, Feige has suggested he's looking for a "major actor" for his Star Wars movie, leading to speculation he could be pulling out a top name from one of the most successful Marvel movies... like Captain Marvel.
Clearly, nothing is concrete here about the upcoming Kevin Feige Star Wars movie, and Larson could just be nothing more than a really big fan of Star Wars. Still, the rumor has been generating some discussion on social media. As you would expect, it's bringing about a variety of opinions. Fans of Larson's are completely on board with the idea, feeling the actress deserves the opportunity. Her critics are singing a different tune, with one Twitter user suggesting she should only play a "stormtrooper that is shown for one second." Others yet are somewhere in between, on board with seeing Larson enter the Star Wars universe but not at the expense of minimizing her role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
On Wednesday, it was announced Kevin Feige would be working with Kathleen Kennedy on a new Star Wars movie. An additional report claims Feige has a specific actor already in mind to lead the project, but there were no details made available beyond that. It is also unclear if the unspecified actor will be from the MCU, although that certainly seems possible given the success of those movies and the name value of the talent. However, it's just as possible Feige will go with another big name who has yet to appear in the MCU, such as John Wick star Keanu Reeves. At this time, all the fans can do is speculate, but the idea that this unidentified individual could be Larson seems to be picking up steam.
Related: New Rise of Skywalker Toys Confirm Kylo Ren Secrets: What's His Mission?
Larson became a household name with the release of Captain Marvel, which premiered in theaters earlier this year. It marks the 21st installment of the MCU with Larson in the lead role as Carol Danvers. Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, it also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Dimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, and Lashana Lynch. As a prequel set in the '90s, the movie tells the story of how Carol Danvers comes to be the titular crimefighter after the planet is caught in the midst of a galactic conflict between two alien races. The movie grossed over a billion dollars at the box office and is one of the highest-earning comic book movies of all time.
Time will tell if Larson shows up in the Star Wars universe under Feige's watch. The idea may be just a rumor, but it certainly wouldn't be surprising if the announcement happens for real. We'll just have to stay tuned for updates. You can check out some tweets about the rumor below, originating from BrieLarsonHQ on Twitter.
Hints that Brie is possibly being casted in Star Wars:▫ She was invited at Star Wars Galaxy Edge Opening in Disneyland ▫ Kevin Feige is pushing for a major actor from MCU to be in Star Wars▫ Brie is seen talking about Star Wars VERY OFTEN the past few months pic.twitter.com/JOaedmPZbw
Spider-Man: Far from Home has quietly managed to accomplish a major box office milestone. Over the weekend, the sequel overtook Captain Marvel, very narrowly, to become the third biggest movie of 2019. This normally would be viewed as a win/win for Marvel, but given the recent split between Sony and Disney when it comes to future entries in the Spider-Man franchise, the implications of this feel particularly magnified.
According to the most recent box office numbers available, Spider-Man: Far From Home has now earned $1,128,276,196 worldwide, narrowly overtaking Captain Marvel, which earned $1,128,274,794 worldwide during its run earlier this year. Both Tom Holland's Spider-Man and Brie Larson's Carol Danvers appeared in this year's third Marvel Cinematic Universe offering, Avengers: Endgame, which went on to become the highest-grossing movie ever with a massive $2.79 billion take. The second-biggest movie of the year also belongs to Disney with The Lion King, which currently stands at $1.61 billion globally.
The major takeaway, looking at the numbers laid out like this, is that the MCU is still easily the strongest brand in all of entertainment. Disney is in control of the biggest box office brands right now, with their live-action remakes, Pixar and Star Wars on the roster, aside from Marvel. As such, Sony didn't want to relinquish more control when it comes to the future of Spider-Man. Given what they accomplished with Venom and Into the Spider-Verse, they have reason to believe they can take Tom Holland's version of Peter Parker and have success outside of the MCU, without having to share the profits with Disney.
Related: Far from Home Extended Cut Poster Arrives as Spider-Man Swings Back Into Theaters
In terms of raw numbers, Spider-Man: Far From Home did manage to overtake Captain Marvel, but the situation is complex. The movie was heavily rooted in the MCU and serves as something of an epilogue to the events of Avengers: Endgame. Will moviegoers be as interested in a third movie in this series that must divorce itself from the MCU? Marvel Studios will more than likely be okay and will undoubtedly continue to string together hit after hit, with the speed bump of having to explain away Peter Parker's existence in that universe. For Sony, the gamble is much larger.
The plan, it seems, is to fold Spider-Man into the same universe as Tom Hardy's Venom. Sony will assemble its own shared universe in the hopes that Tom Holland's beloved take on Peter Parker can still be a huge draw, even outside of the MCU. The numbers here make it crystal clear that audiences are very eager to see more of this character. Now, it's up to Sony to not fumble the ball. Either way, given the success of the Homecoming sequel, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out over the next couple of years. Numbers used in this report were provided by Box Office Mojo.
The Marvel writers, Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, have opened up about the distinct lack of super-powered heroine, Captain Marvel, in their MCU magnum opus Avengers: Endgame. The pair explained that they had always planned to feature the newly introduced superhero, but that she presented powerful problems.
""Well, she was always going to be in it but we didn't have much to go on. They had cast her and that was it. It is a tough balance to strike when you have a character that powerful who you're going to bring in, and you don't want it to seem like, well we just brought in this person who can clean the house that we couldn't clean in the previous movie. So, we had to decide on a balance between not making it feel like a cameo but not having her around so much that she solved all of the problems for everybody."
After the release of her solo adventure, Captain Marvel, earlier this year, the question was raised as to how such an overly-powered character would fit into the Endgame proceedings without solving The Avenger's problems and barely breaking a sweat. This is evidently a conundrum that the writing duo had to contend with, particularly whilst wanting the film to focus on the original team.
"It also wasn't the point of the movie, the point of the second movie was saying goodbye to the original six Avengers, so their stories were gonna be way up here. ... It was not fair to the other six Avengers to have Captain Marvel come in and solve all their problems, it didn't seem like good storytelling."
Thankfully they managed to avoid what would have been a much-maligned scenario wherein Captain Marvel flies in, fists glowing, and fixes everything within a few minutes. This would surely have led to a very different film, indeed. Perhaps the focus would instead have been on Captain America using his new counselling skills to help Thor with his depression.
It sounds like Captain Marvel caused the exact issues that many fans had speculated she would, and we must be forever grateful that McFeely and Markus managed to work around them in a way that didn't feel too convoluted or contrived. There are even behind-the-scenes photos from Avengers: Endgame that show the character in her original outfit, as well as the fact that actress Brie Larson filmed her Endgame scenes before her own outing, which suggests that this could quite easily have become an unmitigated disaster.
Captain Marvel's disappearance remains noticeable, but the writing duo clearly took the appropriate steps to remove her in order to give fans the closure that this MCU climax needed. Besides, her being absent gave her an extraordinarily crowd-pleasing entrance into the final battle, making her lack of screentime well worth it in the end. This latest intel comes from Vanity Fair.