Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris and Canadian star Iman Vellani have joined forces for the newest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), The Marvels, directed by Nia DaCosta.
But what's been quite an unavoidable trend are discussions around "superhero fatigue," with actors and filmmakers sharing their critical thoughts about superhero films taking over the box office, bleeding into streaming, with critics including Martin Scorsese, Jeremy Allen White and Jennifer Aniston.
For The Marvels executive producer Mary Livanos, who was also a producer on Wandavision (our favourite project in the MCU), she maintains that it's great to work on Marvel projects because of the "thousands of characters" and "thousands of storylines" to pull from.
"I was lucky enough ... to work on Wandavision and pushing the bounds of our creative storytelling with that show was an absolute blast," Livanos told Yahoo Canada. "We're doing it again with The Marvels in the idea of entanglement and this team-up movie, unlike anything we've seen, outside of an Avengers movie."
"It's also great to be able to invent characters and bring them to the screen as well. We're really only limited by the bounds of our own creativity and so I'm just very excited for everybody to see all the immense amounts of creativity poured into this film."
With so many Marvel projects to watch, it's been increasingly more difficult for any of these movies or shows to really stand out. In terms of what makes The Marvels unique, Livanos highlighted that the element of "entanglement" of Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel and Monica Rambeau is what stands out.
"The notion of entanglement was an especially challenging concept to bring to screen," she explained. "I was always so enamoured in the comics, Captain Marvel would switch places with a human counterpart named Rick Jones, but it was this zany idea that we didn't know if we could ever bring to life."
"It was a writer Megan McDonnell who came to the table with the idea that our heroes' light-based powers, she pointed out, could, given the right circumstances, become entangled. It was an incredible feat to bring to the big screen."
'She schooled us all the time'
With the previous release of the Ms. Marvel Disney+ series, Canadian actor Vellani made her mark on the MCU as not just the next great superhero, but also revealed herself to be a superfan of the Universe as well. She brought that Marvel knowledge to the set of The Marvels.
"It's awesome to work with Iman," Livanos stressed. "She is such a fan, she might know more than anyone else on planet earth about Marvel and the comics."
"She schooled us all the time on factoids about Carol, about Ms. Marvel, truly everything. She knows it all. ... She wrote a Ms. Marvel comic that is now published with Marvel Comics, she is incredible and she really is the character. It's lovely to work with such a kindred spirit and a fellow fan on a movie as big as this."
Very quickly, it's clear that the tone of The Marvels is intended to be quite funny and witty, including seeing Vellani's Kamala Khan get facetime with her superhero obsession, Captain Marvel. Livanos credited director DaCosta for creating that tone.
"Nia DaCosta is such a nerd, she's wickedly cool, but she is a nerd, and just a fan of Marvel as well," Livanos said. "She grew up with these characters, she loved Ms. Marvel when it first came out."
"The tone is fun ... it's fast paced. It celebrates everything that we love about Marvel, while still standing on its own two feet as its own story. Really, it's the characters who take centre stage with the story."
Continuing to 'represent fairly' in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
While in 2019, Captain Marvel was a bit of an outlier in the MCU, being the only woman-led film in the entire catalogue, but that's shifted with more recent projects, particularly with The Marvels, led by three women superheroes and a female villain, Dar-Benn played by Zawe Ashton.
But it's been a bit of an uphill battle for women-focused Marvel projects to get some love, including the Ms. Marvel series falling victim to review bombing with several racist and misogynist comments. Just the teaser for The Marvels posted on YouTube was flooded with sexist comments, well before the movie was released.
Even if you're tired of the MCU, there's an element of proving the toxic fanboys wrong that makes The Marvels worthy of our time and attention, as depressing as that may be.
"These characters have been front and centre in the comics for a very long time," Livanos said. "It's nice to be able to bring their stories onto the big screen and help continue to represent fairly."
"The fact that this is now coming out on the heels of an amazing summer with Barbie and [the Taylor Swift concert film]. It's a very cool moment in time, and we're really proud to be releasing this movie."
The Marvels is now in theatres.