A new behind-the-scenes featurette for Captain Marvel just dropped, and it looks like Brie Larson has some stiff competition for the spotlight from the United States Air Force.
In the upcoming installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Larson stars as Col. Carol Danvers, an accomplished Air Force fighter pilot who, after a chance encounter with a space-faring alien, becomes imbued with unimaginable power — superhuman strength, the ability to fly, and absorb and redirect energy as she sees fit.
But based on the Jan. 8 featurette, and a slew of recent promos, it looks like the super hero flick will devote a considerable amount of time to Danvers' years in uniform.
Though the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen no shortage in prominent vets in recent years (Deadpool, Captain America, and The Punisher, to name a few), the military service of these heroes has been increasingly elevated from minor footnote to an integral part of their identity — and Danvers is no exception.
"The thing I found so unique about this character was that sense of humor mixed with total capability for whatever challenge comes her way," Larson says in the behind-the-scenes promo. "Which I realized after going to Air Force bases, is really what Air Force pilots are like."
Larson visited Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada last January in preparation for the role, where she got a quick hip-pocket class on an F-15 that flew in the Gulf War, flew in an F-16, took part in simulated dog fights on both offense and defense, and met with Brig. Gen. Jeannie M. Leavitt, the service's first female fighter pilot, as Task & Purpose previously reported.
A previous trailer for Captain Marvel illustrates just how integral Danvers' service is to her character, and subsequently, just how big of a role the Air Force will play in the movie.
In the trailer we see the transformation of downtrodden youth, to determined Air Force cadet, to outstanding fighter pilot, to cosmically-powered badass in the span of just a few frames. The result, is that it plays like an ad spot for the Air Force, and a damn good one at that, as Jared Keller noted for Task & Purpose in September:
The trailer evokes old Department of Defense recruiting commercials, like a young woman's transformation from student to Marine in last year's recruiting spot, "Battle Up." It's a common hook in military recruiting ads: You tell a life story, or a coming-of-age tale, in 60 seconds flat. After all, joining the military to transform into the pinnacle of martial perfection, and thus become a national superhero in your own right, isn't a new lure.
Though Captain Marvel is primarily an origin story set in the 1990s, the character is expected to make an appearance in the present day and pick up where Avengers: Infinity War left off, with the majority of our heroes scattered to the winds or snapped out of existence.
Captain Marvel will premiere on March 8, 2019.