For whatever reason—superhero fatigue, disappointing performances by Marvel’s last few films, the ongoing Hollywood strikes, or the general depressing state of the world—The Marvels doesn’t seem to have generated the same kind of palpable anticipation that preceded the franchise’s most successful releases. That’s despite a fun, promising trailer back in July. Directed by Nia DaCosta, the movie opens this weekend, and the studio has dropped one last trailer with nods to past Avengers in their battle against Thanos, perhaps to remind us all why we fell in love with the MCU to begin with.
(Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame below.)
As previously reported, Brie Larson and Iman Vellani reprise their respective roles as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel for the film, along with Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, daughter of Carol/Captain Marvel’s BFF Maria. Monica grew up to become a SWORD agent, but thanks to the events of WandaVision, she can also absorb and manipulate energy as Spectrum. As for Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, she’s a teenage Pakistani American who lives in Jersey City. She’s a major comic books fan, worships Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, and fantasized about becoming a superhero someday. Her powers stem from the Terrigen Mists, released globally in a crossover storyline, the “Inhumanity.” The mists activated dormant Inhuman cells in several people, Kamala included.
Naturally, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) will be on hand to lend some assistance, along with fan-favorite Goose the cat-shaped Flerken (played by two cats, Nemo and Tango). Saagar Shaikh, Zenobia Shroff, and Mohan Kapur will reprise their Ms. Marvel roles as Kamala’s older brother Aamir, mom Muneeba, and dad Yusuf, respectively. Lashana Lynch will be back as Maria Rambeau (one assumes in a flashback), and Randall Park returns as Jimmy Woo.
There’s also a new villain called Dar-Benn, played by Zawe Ashton—a Kree revolutionary who wields an Accuser’s hammer. Park Seo-joon (Parasite) has also been cast as Prince Yan of the planet Aladna, who is apparently Carol’s husband as well as a useful ally. Colin Stoneley plays a Kree scientist named Papp-Tonn, while Gary Lewis plays Emperor Dro’ge, ruler of the Skrulls.
Per the official premise:
Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe. When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with that of Jersey City super-fan, Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel, and Carol’s estranged niece, now SABER astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau. Together, this unlikely trio must team-up and learn to work in concert to save the universe as “The Marvels.”
Marvel Studios released a teaser in April, building off Ms. Marvel‘s end credits scene, where Captain Marvel suddenly appears in Kamala Khan’s bedroom while Kamala finds herself on a spaceship with Goose (we learned that this scene leads directly into the start of The Marvels). The studio followed up in July with a full trailer released in conjunction with San Diego Comic-Con, which showed Carol/Captain Marvel’s fateful encounter with Dar-Benn, who referred to Carol as the “annihilator” and accused her of taking everything from Dar-Benn.
We learned that Dar-Benn is sowing chaos by way of a magical bracelet similar to the one that gave Kamala her Ms. Marvel powers. The Ms. Marvel comics storyline held that the bracelet was a Djinn artifact, though one popular fan theory is that they are actually Kree artifacts known as “Nega-Bands” that confer powers on their wearers. Whatever that bracelet is, that’s what entangles the Marvel-ous trio’s various light-based powers (Carol can absorb light, Monica can see and manipulate light across the spectrum, and Kamala can turn light into physical matter). Now, whenever they try to use their powers, they switch places across the universe, and the resulting chaos is just the opening Dar-Benn needs to take her revenge.
This latest trailer eschews the humor and wacky hijinks to focus on the stakes: nothing short of saving our reality from an alternate one that is now bleeding into our own, thanks to Dar-Benn ripping a hole in space. The trailer opens by showing us some moments from Avengers: Endgame and those we lost in the battle to defeat Thanos, i.e., Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans)—although technically, the latter had a happy ending back in time. (What, no Natasha/Black Widow? That’s quite the snub.) Cut to Thanos just before turning to dust, telling the Avengers that his work is inevitable: “There will always be more to finish it.”
That’s Dar-Benn’s cue to enter center stage. Captain Marvel is technically invincible, but somehow her powers just seem to make Dar-Benn stronger. “She can’t be matched, can’t be controlled,” Nick Fury tells Carol. There’s going to be a big final battle, and we get a glimpse of Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) encouraging the trio: “You can stand tall without standing alone.” Bonus points for one final scene bringing a bit of levity, where Kamala finds herself falling through the air desperately trying to figure out how to fly. Fury shouts, “Black girl magic!” to Monica, who zooms up to save Kamala.
All in all, this is a strong trailer, with action, high stakes, familiar faces, and touches of nostalgia and humor. Is it enough to rouse audiences to flock to theaters for the film’s imminent release? We’re about to find out. The Marvels opens in theaters on November 10, 2023.
Listing image by YouTube/Marvel Studios