WARNING: The following article contains minor spoilers for Captain Marvel, in theaters now.
Although marketing for Captain Marvel indicated the Skrulls would be the film's main antagonists, that isn't the case in the actual film. By the end of the movie, Talos and the rest of the Skrulls ultimately earn the sympathy of the audience. Co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck have explained why they made the choice to depart from the comics in that key way.
Speaking to the Empire Film Podcast, Boden said, "We knew from the beginning that this was so much about Carol's journey towards finding her own humanity, but part of that is seeing humanity in other people even people you don't expect to."
"The idea of having Carol go through that journey and seeing the unexpected humanity in Skrulls, realizing that she's been wrong and having to face that was really powerful for us," she continued. "If we can make an audience member have that same experience of assuming that they were one thing and having their expectations subverted, we thought that would just be all the more powerful."
The shapeshifting aliens were first introduced in 1962 in the pages of Fantastic Four #2, written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Jack Kirby, George Klein and Stan Goldberg. Over the decades, their depiction in the comics has been fairly consistent. They are generally shown to be deceptive and evil, focused only on expanding the Skrull Empire and eliminating threats. This, of course, wasn't how they were depicted in the film.
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 is in theaters now and 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.