ByDavid Rodemerk, writer at
Watched HBO and Cinemax as a little kid before "binge-watching" was even a thing! Mom called me a TV Guide with diapers. Twitter @filmigos
David Rodemerk

Out of all the directors in the world, no one probably guessed that Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige would choose Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck to direct Captain Marvel. Not because they're undeserving — they've made some great films — but they've just never tackled a superhero project before.

The dynamic duo of Boden and Fleck directed indie movies such as Half Nelson (starring Ryan Gosling) and Mississippi Grind (starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn), so there has to be a reason why Feige rolled the dice on them to helm Marvel's first live-action female-driven superhero movie. In a recent interview with Fandango, Kevin Feige discussed the choice:

"We met with lots and lots of people as we always do, and had multiple meetings, and Anna and Ryan just had an amazing way of talking about Carol Danvers and talking about her journey. .We want filmmakers that can help us focus on and elevate the character journey so it doesn't get lost amongst the spectacle. And there's going to be a lot of spectacle in the Captain Marvel film. [...]

"[W]e want people who are focused on the emotional journey, the humor, the surprising twists and turns of a singular character journey, which is what Captain Marvel is. They had the best handle on it. And when you look at the work that Ryan and Anna have done in the past, they are all amazing and very diverse character studies and journeys, and that impressed us."

Those are some impressive compliments about the body of work from Boden and Fleck coming from Kevin Feige. His explanation provides some insight as to what he is looking to accomplish when producing this film. Since is a movie that will feature cosmic battles and amazing special effects, he is still involved in the film's development; Boden and Fleck will have a very experienced superhero movie team behind them.

Let's take a look at Boden and Fleck's past films to extrapolate how their knack for creating complex characters will enhance the story of Captain Marvel.

Half Nelson (2006)

'Half Nelson' [Credit: Hunting Lane Films]
'Half Nelson' [Credit: Hunting Lane Films]

Boden and Fleck's Half Nelson starts as a flawed and miserable teacher who smokes crack. Yet, he's an incredible teacher, as is shown in his interactions with his student Drey (Shareeka Epps). He's reckless, destructive and irresponsible. Again, Drey (and those watching the movie) care about him. The basis of the story is about how people, no matter how imperfect, can find something positive to keep them moving forward.

Like Kevin Feige said in an interview with SlashFilm, Captain Marvel is "about someone becoming the most powerful being in the universe" when she is caught in the explosion of a Kree device. And yet, in the comics, Carol Danvers is an alcoholic. Balancing her superhero journey with her personal journey fits right into Boden and Fleck's wheelhouse.

Mississippi Grind (2015)

'Mississippi Grind [Credit: Sycamore Pictures]
'Mississippi Grind [Credit: Sycamore Pictures]

Mississippi Grind is the story of Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn), a down-on-his-luck gambler who gets a hard dose of reality in a poker tournament, and his friend Curtis (Ryan Reynolds), a magnetic, stand-up guy.

The film is about how, even with people to support you and help you, they can only do so much; sometimes you just have to take control of life yourself when it goes out of whack. Carol Danvers has friends in her life, like Steve Rogers and Jim Rhodes, but ultimately she'll have to face her demons herself while taking on the responsibilities that come with being a superhero.

Captain Marvel has had her share of up and downs in the comics — the Civil War, losing her memories, waking up on Battleworld eight years after the the end of the multiverse — but whichever story the MCU movie goes with, it's clear that Kevin Feige made the right choice with Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

Are you a fan of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's movies? What do you hope to see in Captain Marvel? Let us know in the comments below!


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