'Captain Marvel' faces off against internet troll
As Marvel fans across the globe awaited the March 8 release of Captain Marvel, other fans voiced strong criticism toward the studio’s new release.
The original Captain Marvel — named Mar-Vell, but going by the title Captain Marvel — created by Stan Lee, was male. The character Carol Danvers, the current Captain Marvel, was initially introduced as having a love interest with the prior Captain.
Marvel is known for its female characters having weak storylines in the past. “[Marvel’s] earliest efforts at female representation can now seem like tokenism,” said The New York Times, describing the comic giant’s female representation. Over lack of adequate female representation in Marvel’s comics and an aim to increase inclusivity within its brand, the title of Captain Marvel — as part of a storyline involving humans and the alien Kree race — eventually shifted to a female lead in 2012.
Upon release, this will be Marvel Studio’s first franchise film featuring a solo female superhero. After a long and complicated comic history, Captain Marvel has become a symbol for how successful and far-reaching the gender equality movement has been.
Brie Larson, an actor who's not shy about publicly advocating for more female representation in the film industry, will play Captain Marvel on the big screens. As a confident female lead, Larson was welcomed by many.
However, in a recent Marie Claire interview, Larson mentioned, “About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing my movies, and noticed it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male.”
Prior to this interview, Larson had spoken on the lack of diversity in Hollywood on several other occasions. Many found Larson’s comments sexist and racist, with several supporting the sentiment that “Brie Larson is RUINING Marvel,” according to The Washington Post.
In addition, the film's feminist symbolism is exacerbated by Captain Marvel being deemed by Marvel president Kevin Feige the most powerful superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The growing backlash has some people boycotting the film altogether.
To further attack Larson and Captain Marvel before its official theater debut, users attempted to bring their frustrations to the online review service, Rotten Tomatoes, to diminish the quality of the film with hate rhetoric.
After growing controversy surrounding internet trolls trying to target films, including Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Black Panther, Rotten Tomatoes introduced a new protocol banning users from writing criticisms before a movie's release.
This new rule has been under development for about a year, but a Rotten Tomatoes spokesperson told The Washington Post that the timing of its implementation was “very appropriate.”
Despite the underlying negativity around Captain Marvel, the film is still projected to open at around $100 million during opening weekend, according to ScreenRant.