Sequels are not uncommon in Hollywood. But few films in recent history have come loaded with as much history, on and off screen, as "The Marvels."
The first production of the Disney superhero franchise to bring an all-female cast, in theaters in the United States this Friday, is not only set after the events of the previous 32 Marvel films, but also picks up the plot of two series of TV.
Brie Larson, who plays Carol Danvers from “Captain Marvel,” welcomes Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan, who debuted before the public in the Disney+ spin-off series “WandaVision” and “Ms Marvel.”
The three superheroines decide to join forces after a technical failure forces them to involuntarily swap bodies with each other every time they use their super powers.
These kinds of complexities aren't new to Marvel movies, but they're being pushed amid growing fears that audiences are developing "superhero fatigue." A Variety reviewer went so far as to say that keeping up with franchises has become a "chore."
Director Nia DaCosta said the film's challenge was a careful balance between tapping into women's contexts and developing wild new space adventures.
"We try to focus on honoring their stories," he said. «Dude, what do we need to see in this next stage of the characters? And how do we balance it?
Off-screen "The Marvels" also faced uphill battles.
The film faced four weeks of reshoots, and its release was delayed several times.
Behind the scenes the version emerged that the head of the Marvel studio, Kevin Feige, had taken the reins. Variety even published a report claiming that DaCosta had abandoned the film during the post-production phase.
DaCosta denied this and spoke to AFP about the film in the first person plural.
“We” found a way to balance the numerous story elements of the film while “developing the film” and “following the process in post.”[-producción]", said.
"Like any other film, which may not be preceded by television shows and movies, the story is about three characters who meet and meet and connect for the first time," said producer Mary Livanos.
"I think people will be able to follow it and enjoy the experience of the story."
– «Sisters» –
The Hollywood actors' strike prevented stars such as Larson and Samuel L. Jackson from promoting the film.
And although 2019's "Captain Marvel," starring Larson, racked up more than $1 billion at the box office, it also suffered from sexist attacks and "criticism bombardment" on social media, patterns that were repeated and amplified with "The Marvels." » and its three female protagonists.
Analysts predict that the new film will sell about $60 million in American theaters during its opening weekend, a low value for a Marvel film.
Despite this, Livanos noted that films starring women generated more expectations by dominating the box office this year.
"It's really exciting and feels very timely to come out after this incredible summer with 'Barbie' and Taylor Swift, in theaters this fall," he said.
Livanos hopes that "this film can expand that cultural moment we are having."
For DaCosta, Marvel's youngest director and who was hired at age 30 with a single independent title up her sleeve, the message resonates.
Its premiere "Little Woods" follows two sisters who fight to escape poverty, one of them with a criminal past and an unwanted pregnancy in tow, and who must reconnect to support each other.
"This is how I saw these three protagonists (...), who have to find themselves (...) and find each other," he said.
"In the Marvel universe, that means becoming a great team of superheroes."