After Captain Marvel‘s March arrival in theaters, Carol Danvers’ Avengers: Endgame role was finally confirmed in trailer form, and most powerful superhero in the MCU looked, well, different. Rather than a sporting tousled hair and a (relatively) bare face, Danvers now favors sleek locks and a full-face of makeup — red lipstick, heavy blusher, the works. This did not go unnoticed, and some fans bristled on Twitter about the change. Not only that, but there’s the whiff of suggestion that she and Thor could be sweet on each other, whereas her origin movie didn’t bother with a love interest. That storytelling decision made perfect sense, but nonetheless, the added factor of makeup has caused some Danvers fans to worry about how she’s being treated under two male directors (the Russo Brothers) versus Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.
Obviously, this presents a loaded debate. On one hand, fans can’t expect Captain Marvel to look exactly like she did two decades ago. Yet there’s a definite undercurrent of suspicion that Danvers might be … appealing to the male gaze, rather than her own preferences? That concern is actually a counterproductive one, given that Captain Marvel’s un-made-up look may have been down to her presumed identity as a Kree, who also trained her not to display any outward emotion, and she strove to overcome that programming. This all grows awfully circular, given that much criticism was aimed at Captain Marvel not smiling in posters, something that Brie Larson fired back at during promotion. Why all the confusion?
The Russos wished to set the record straight while speaking to /Film’s Peter Sciretta. Joe Russo explained that they give their actors “ownership” over their makeup and hairstyles, and that includes Scarlett Johansson’s morphing Black Widow hairdos as well as Larson’s different Captain Marvel look. He continued:
“This was Brie’s first time playing the character … She [filmed Avengers: Endgame] before she filmed Captain Marvel, and I think she was experimenting with what the character was. And those were the choices that she and her hair and makeup team had made. And I think as she started to gain a deeper understanding of the character, especially as she approached her own movie. She started to make different choices and as an artist she should be afforded that right to make whatever choice that she wants to make.”
This is a plausible explanation, of course. If Larson made the makeup and hair decisions for both films, then that should mostly settle the issue unless she chooses to add to the discussion. People will likely still make a fuss over Danvers looking “prettier” in Endgame, but really, shouldn’t we be more worried about Star-Lord un-dusting his way back into the story and growing overly emotional again, possibly paving the way for more widespread death and destruction? I’m just saying — the female superheroes of the MCU haven’t been the ones we have to worry about in terms of being distracted from their mission. Between Depressed Captain America and Peter Quill’s rage-mouth, maybe there are bigger things to worry about here than … hair and makeup.
Avengers: Endgame arrives on April 26.