clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What we know about Annette Bening’s mysterious Captain Marvel role

The actress’ part is seriously under wraps

Annette Bening as the Supreme Intelligence in Captain Marvel. Marvel Studios
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

The second trailer for Captain Marvel has arrived, offering cats, surprisingly spry old ladies and the opportunity for viewers to go “Wait, was that Annette Bening?”

Yes, it was. Bening, the four-time Oscar-nominated star of American Beauty, The American President and The Kids are Alright, is in Captain Marvel. Who is she playing? That remains very much to be determined, despite the trailer finally revealing her character. But here’s what we know.

Bening’s addition to the cast was announced relatively late, in May of 2018, and at the time the only thing we knew about her was one cryptic piece of information from The Hollywood Reporter: That “scientist” was “said to be in her job description.”

In September, during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Bening adamantly refused to offer more details. “It was so much fun,” she told Kimmel, “and I can’t tell you why, because then it would give something away.”

All we do know is that her role required some stunts, since she was reminded of it while talking about how she didn’t have to do stunts on the set of Life Itself.

Now, with the second Captain Marvel trailer, we don’t know much more about who Bening’s character is — but we do know a lot about what she is, and what she does. Making it extra tricky, there isn’t really a comic book parallel for her role, either.

“Your life began the day it nearly ended,” Bening’s character tells our hero, Captain Marvel. “We found you with no memory. We made you one of us, so you could live longer, stronger, superior. You were reborn.”

Given Carol’s place in the Kree military, and the trailer’s implication that she’s having flashes of memories that take place on Earth, it seems like Captain Marvel’s origin story in the movie is somewhat changed from her story in the comics (which is not particularly surprising).

It looks like Carol is a human fighter pilot from Earth who was altered by the Kree into a warrior for their army — and that Bening’s character, with “scientist” in her job description, was pulling the genetic levers.

We’ll find out for sure when Captain Marvel hits theaters on March 8, 2019.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon