The MCU's Relationship With the Military, From Iron Man to Captain Marvel

Brie Larson Carol Danvers Captain Marvel

The advertising for Captain Marvel has not only been about promoting the movie itself. More than any other Marvel movie, a significant portion of the film's marketing has involved cross promotion with the United States military, in this case the Air Force.

A video titled "Monday Motivation: Taking Flight" makes the message direct: The superheroics and virtuous qualities of fictional Air Force pilot Carol Danvers are directly compared to real life Air Force pilots.

Air Force Thunderbird planes performed a flyover for Captain Marvel's Hollywood premiere. In multiplexes, the film is preceded by a new Air Force recruitment ad titled "Origin Story." While not directly referencing the movie, the ad's intentions could not be clearer. This is a specific drive to recruit young women who are fans of superhero movies.

Collaboration between Hollywood and the military is nothing new. The Department of Defense has long had an arrangement that, if a producer wants to feature actual U.S. military equipment in their film, the department will provide them funding and resources in exchange for following strict regulations on how the military is portrayed. This is often connected to some sort of recruitment campaign.

This goes back to the Silent Era (the first ever Best Picture winner, 1927's Wings, received Pentagon support). Films produced under this agreement include the likes of Top Gun, Black Hawk Down, Zero Dark Thirty and the Transformers series.

RELATED: VIDEO: Here's How Captain Marvel Might Connect to Avengers: Endgame

There is no official, available list of the rules films have to follow to meet the department's approval. In general, it seems it's all about showing the military in a positive light as well as meeting standards of accuracy, but the line between what's acceptable and what's not isn't always clear-cut.

For example, the first Independence Day was rejected for military support due to including Area 51 in its plot. The sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence, released 20 years later, got full military support. In the movie, Area 51 has become the headquarters for Earth Space Defense, which the real-world Army made a website for as part of a promotional campaign.

NEXT PAGE: Surprisingly, S.H.I.E.L.D. Was a Step Too Far For the Military

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