We’ve known for a while now that Marvel’s upcoming Captain Marvel takes place in the 1990s, which is how it avoids all the Infinity War stuff that’s happened. It will be an origin story for Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), an air force pilot who gets embroiled in the middle of an intergalactic war between alien races the Kree and the Skrull and ends up gaining superpowers. We also knew that familiar Marvel faces Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) were on board, but how would Marvel be handling the looks of these characters? Through digital de-aging.
Speaking to /Film, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed that not only would they be going the digital de-aging route, but that they would do it for the whole movie:
Well, I think having the option is pretty amazing. And I think having the technology and even without spoiling anything, Sam Jackson is shooting a movie for us right now that takes, where he’s entirely 25 years younger the whole movie [Captain Marvel]. So that’ll certainly be the one–
And Coulson, right?
And Coulson. So that’ll be the first one where it’s a character for the whole movie, as opposed to a glimpse at a certain period of time. It’s the whole movie. So it’s possible, assuming that works. It’s possible. It’s very good when you are starting by the way with somebody like Michelle Pfeiffer or Michael Douglas or for that matter Sam Jackson or Clark Gregg. All four of them–
Marvel has toyed around with digital de-aging with Michael Douglas in the Ant-Man movies and Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but trying to get away with it for an entire movie is a heavy lift. It wasn’t really that long ago that TRON Legacy tried with Jeff Bridges and his character Clu, and it didn’t really work. But it’s been almost a decade since that movie and technology has come a long way, so hopefully Marvel will be able to pull it off.
Captain Marvel opens March 8, 2019 and also stars Lee Pace, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Gemma Chan, and Annette Bening.