WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Captain Marvel, in theaters now.
Before Captain Marvel released, there was a lot of secrecy regarding the roles of Jude Law and Annette Bening. Although the surprise that Law would be playing comic book villain Yon-Rogg was spoiled ahead of time, it turned out that Bening was playing the Supreme Intelligence and a gender-swapped version of the original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has now explained how that major twist came to be.
Speaking to ET, Feige revealed that directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck were originally going to stick to Mar-Vell's comic book past. "It was late in the development of the movie. Frankly, as we were approaching shooting, we were casting male," he admitted. "We were looking for a male Mar-Vell and developing the script at the same time, as we often do."
"We spoke to a few people, but as you've now seen in the movie, it's a limited role, because of the nature of the structure of the story," he continued. "It was, I believe, Anna who came up with the suggestion in a script meeting that, 'Why don't make the S.I., the vision that she sees, Mar-Vell?'"
"The idea was just before we brought Annette on," he added. "So, it was relatively late in the development process and one of a handful of things that happened as the script was taking on its final form, that was an epiphany that Anna had, and it was like, 'Oh, of course! That's perfect!' And we stopped looking for another actor."
The reveal that Bening was also playing Carol's former mentor, Dr. Wendy Lawson, was also a clever homage to Marvel Comics. Introduced in 1967's Marvel Super-Heroes #12, Dr. Walter Lawson was the alias the male Mar-Vell adopted. While he was also a love interest of Danvers, Boden and Fleck decided to mix things up for their reinvention of the character.
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a script they wrote with Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch, Meg LeFauve, Nicole Perlman and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jude Law as the commander of Starforce, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, Djimon Hounsou as Korath the Pursuer, Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva, Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau, Algenis Perez Soto as Att-Lass, McKenna Grace as a young Carol Danvers and Annette Bening as the Supreme Intelligence. The movie is in theaters now.