Chosen family is a central theme in The Marvels, highlighting the importance of support and connection for heroes like Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau. Director Nia DaCosta received advice from Ryan Coogler to “be herself,” emphasizing the uniqueness and authenticity she brings to the MCU film. The Marvels draws inspiration from films like Guardians of the Galaxy for its humor and heart, as well as Interstellar for its portrayal of space. DaCosta also expressed her love for The Brood but couldn’t include them in this film.

In The Marvels, Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has taken back her identity from the Kree, who had lied and stolen her life. When a strange wormhole tied to the Kree appears, she and her estranged niece, Captain Monica Rambeau, go to investigate. However, their powers become entangled with each other, as do Jersey City heroes and Captain Marvel superfan Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel. This trio will need to work together to get their malfunctioning powers under control and stop the Kree’s plans once again.

Threads set up in WandaVision, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, and Secret Invasion culminate in The Marvels with the return of a number of MCU characters. The movie stars a powerhouse cast led by Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Samuel L. Jackson, Zawe Ashton, and Park Seo-joon. The Marvels is directed by Nia DaCosta, who also co-wrote the movie with Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik.

Related: Who Is Ms. Marvel? Kamala Khan’s MCU Origin, Powers & Comics Changes Explained

Screen Rant interviewed director Nia DaCosta about her new superhero movie, The Marvels. She discussed the theme of chosen family and where Carol Danvers is at the start of the movie. DaCosta also shared advice that she was given by Ryan Coogler and reveals other characters she would have loved to incorporate into the movie.

Nia DaCosta Talks the Marvels

Screen Rant: First of all, I am a huge fan of the Candyman. I love the original, but your version is amazing.

Nia DaCosta: Thank you so much.

Can you talk about the theme of chosen family in The Marvels?

Nia DaCosta: Yeah. For sure. It was really important to me that that was central to the film, because one of the big things I wanted to explore was Carol and how it actually feels to be someone who feels like you have the universe on your shoulders. I think something that she’s forgotten when we meet her is why she’s out there, why she’s doing it. And it’s not just for the people she helps, it’s also to make the universe safe for her family, her chosen family, which is Monica, and Maria, although she’s unfortunately passed.

You see the Khan family, and they sort of are like the beating heart of the film, but they’re a representation of what Monica and Carol can have. And then these three characters together, these three women at the center of the film, they choose each other, even though initially they’re like, “Why are we together? This is crazy, all the switching.” But I think that’s such an important thing in all of our lives, chosen family, and I really wanted to represent that in this film.

You co-wrote and directed this film, and since this is a sequel for multiple characters and also leads to an Avengers movie, did you have to kind of hit specific points for each character to kind of set up their next story for this film?

Nia DaCosta: Yes, but it felt really organic. It didn’t feel like we’re doing a checklist. And also Marvel’s done this for so long, you just put a lot of trust into them and what they want to see. And I don’t necessarily even know what’s going to happen next for all these characters. But yeah, it was very organic. It’s like, “Okay, I know what I wanted to see for them through the process or through the course of the film, but where they end up is actually so exciting.”

You talked to a bunch of other Marvel directors prior to taking on this project. What was some of the best advice you were given to help you prepare for your entry into the MCU?

Nia DaCosta: I say this a lot, but Ryan Coogler said, “Be yourself.” And I thought that was great advice. I mean, at the time I was like, “Oh, what the hell are you talking about? Be myself?” But he was absolutely right. It’s like I am the person I am, the filmmaker I am, and that’s what I have to bring to the table. So don’t dilute it, just really be yourself. And so that was really helpful.

The tone of this film seems really, really fun. Can you talk about other movies that helped inspire the visual look or maybe the themes in The Marvels?

Nia DaCosta: It’s so interesting because it’s so specific to Marvel, and also it has so many specific things happening, and we have these characters coming together. It has a really unique tone I think. But there are films that I really love that I thought about when thinking about this film.

Inside the MCU, Guardians as a film that brings these disparate characters together, I really love. I love how funny it is and how heartfelt it is. And I’m a big fan of James’s work anyway inside and outside the MCU, so that was inspiring to me.

And then films like Interstellar, where I love space and I love seeing space on film, and I thought what Nolan did with that, it was just beautiful. Advent Children, the Final Fantasy film. It’s so good; the fight in the church and also that ending scene where they’re throwing Cloud up into the sky, all the characters, so we can fight the big bad. Those were two scenes that I referenced in my pitch actually.

There was so many random things. Lawrence of Arabia was a big reference, but I think things shifted a bit, so that referenced part is no longer in the film, but yeah.

I know that you’re a big comic book fan, and Carol has a long history with the creatures called The Brood.

Nia DaCosta: Yes.

At any point, did you have The Brood included in this film, or are there any other characters that you would like to have included but couldn’t for either story purposes or timing purposes?

Nia DaCosta: They were never included in this film. However, I talked to Kevin about The Brood as much as I possibly can. I love The Brood. I love that X-Men run. I love the horror element of it. I think they’re just a weird interesting alien race so much. There’s so much. If I could have gone balls to the wall with this, [there] would’ve been people that made no sense in the movie. I would’ve been like this and that, and this.

I was telling someone earlier, one of my initial pitches involved Adam Warlock and time travel, but Adam’s in Guardians 3, so that wasn’t ever going to work. But yeah, I had a lot of deep pulls from the comics I wanted to do.

That’s incredible. I literally have X-Men socks on now.

Nia DaCosta: I love it. Oh yes, animated series.

I was checking out the production notes, and I noticed that I saw something that was in reference to X-2 and Days of Future Past in the music. Was that a musical cue for Kamala Khan, or is that something else we get to explore in The Marvels having to do with said X-Men?

Nia DaCosta: Oh, interesting. Well, yeah. So in the show… Although, no, that was the animated series.

It was the animated series theme, yep.

Nia DaCosta: The riff that they used in the show. Oh, this must have been Laura being inspired by that. Yeah. Well, I love X-Men too. I think it’s one of the best superhero movies of all time. It’s really special and has a very big place in my heart. But I didn’t consciously reference the music for that. But I think Laura maybe was inspired in that way.

Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe.

Check out our other The Marvels interviews here:

The Marvels arrives in theaters on November 10.

Source: Screen Rant Plus

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