News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

'Captain Marvel' gives a nod to action sequences from 'The Matrix', 'Terminator 2': Ryan Fleck

'Captain Marvel' Brie Larson Photograph:( WION Web Team )

PTI Los Angeles, CA, USA Feb 22, 2019, 07.51 PM (IST)

Filmmaker Ryan Fleck says 'Captain Marvel' features some action nuggets from Hollywood sci-fi hits such as 'The Matrix' and 'Terminator 2'.

The co-director of the Brie Larson-fronted first female Marvel superhero standalone says he and partner Anna Boden have pulled some references from films, including 1972 Best Picture Oscar winner 'French Connection', that have had an everlasting impact on them.    

"Every action sequence is different. There is one in the film's trailer where you see Captain Marvel on the train and Nick Fury is in the car chasing.

"So we call that the 'French Connection' sequence, which is a movie from the '70s. That was a huge inspiration for us. There are some sequences which we have pulled from other movies - 'The Matrix' and 'Terminator 2'," Fleck said at the Directors' Session, held at Marina Bay Sands hotel here.

Last week, he and Boden interacted with around 237 students, who came from city-based institutions such as Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and LASALLE College of the Arts.

Fleck, who has been Boden's collaborative partner for over two decades on indie films, said it was the first time they worked with visual effects.

"This was the first time ever we have worked with VFX, that also on such an extensive scale. It was all teamwork, the visual effects team, the art dept, etc," he said.
Boden walked the audience through their direction process and she said as two different people, they often have a difference in opinion.

But what they derive at the end of the discussion is a better product, she said.

"We have these discussions about what we like and we don't, without feeling that somebody is disrespecting you... We really try to argue like that and get to the bottom of it.

"We try things in eight different ways and by the end of the process, I don't think. There's any of us feeling that we have compromised. If one of us can convince the other one, then the better way is our way," Boden said.

Fleck added it is great to have a collaborator and they communicate a lot with each other before taking on a decision.

He recounted an incident where the duo accidentally ended up getting a better idea for the film.

"So, one day Anna said, 'What if we do (this). Then I said, 'Oh I don't know. Yeah. You mean like (this). And then Anna said, 'That's not at all what I said but it's a great idea'.

"So it wasn't her idea, it wasn't mine but it was a misunderstanding that led us to a better idea," Fleck quipped.

Boden said directing the film under a giant like Marvel Studios was a "real collaboration" since this was the first time the duo worked with a number of people, which included studio president Kevin Feige.

"At the beginning and the end also, it is a creative conversation with Marvel. There are studios out there and we have met them who take the movie away from the filmmaker and don't want them to have input. But that's not with Marvel.

"They hire people they trust and much like my equation with Ryan, when there's a disagreement, we talk it out and convince each other. In this movie, there aren't any pieces that we don't feel like are ours. Hope the studio feels the same," she said.

Dishing more on managing creative control on the Marvel film, the director said the studio allowed creative liberty to them to make the story their own.

"One of the great things about Marvel is that they allow you to take pieces of the character and storylines from the comics and doing your own thing with that. We didn't feel completely attached to the origin story, for instance. We had some creative licence to make it feel more modern and relevant..." Boden said.

She said learning to accept inputs from several people was a major takeaway for her after working on 'Captain Marvel'.

"As directors, we get very stuck on the stories we want to tell. We feel threatened by other people. What came out of this was learning to accept these little gifts and opening ourselves to new collaboration, ideas and talent," she said.

Boden said the highlight that the film is "an origin story in reverse" adds to the freshness of the plot.

"We, Kevin and others at Marvel felt like we have seen enough traditional origin movies where the human gets the superpower and then we see them save the world and so we got excited about introducing this new superhero in a big way. We are kind of introducing her as someone who already has the superpower."

"We go on this journey of self-discovery with her. We get to find out how she became who she is just like she finds out who she is. Searching for her own self and humanity makes this original and fresh for us," she said.

The film also features Samuel L Jackson, Jude Law, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, and Ben Mendelsohn. 

It hits Indian screens on March 8. 

Story highlights

The co-director of the Brie Larson-fronted first female Marvel superhero standalone says he and partner Anna Boden have pulled some references from films, including 1972 Best Picture Oscar winner 'French Connection', that have had an everlasting impact on them.