If you saw Captain Marvel and have even an inkling of how romantic chemistry works, you may have noticed that Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) had a lot of it. The Air Force buddies had a friendship that grounded a film and read more is a romantic relationship than something platonic — before Carol got her powers and disappeared to Dove they were literally raising Marie’s daughter together — and as Danvers didn’t have a male love interest in the movie, many fans saw Carol and Marie as the movie’s love story.
But Captain Marvel co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck said in a recent interview with Comic Book Movie that the queer subtext wasn’t something they intended for the film, and that there wasn’t space in the movie for any romantic storyline, including one between Carol and Marie.
“That was one of those things when we were in the writing stage, and the sky was the limit and the movie could be anything, we were discussing: ‘Are we going to get into any type of romantic relationship with this character?'” they said.
“It wasn’t like there was a philosophical opposition to pursuing that storyline; it just came down to real estate in the story we were telling. We knew we were telling a story of self discovery and we wanted friendship, and her friendship with Maria, to be a huge part of that. There was no room for any romantic storyline for us.
“I know people have made their own conclusions about that and I think that’s part of the fun of making these movies is that they become the audience’s movies and they get to create any kind of narrative they want for what’s happening off the screen.
“For us, as storytellers, it’s a friendship and a story about that and self discovery.”
Marvel directors feeling the need to explain their films after the fact has become frustrating new trend, stealing the ability to create headcanon for fans who are disappointed with how storylines play out in their favorite films. This is especially frustrating for queer fans, who have waited through 11 years of Marvel films for any kind of LGBTQ+ representation — and no, we don’t mean that nameless character in Captain America’s Endgame support group. Everyone at Marvel keeps saying queer superheroes are coming, but was it really necessary for these directors to do baldly say, “sorry guys, absolutely no lesbian stuff happening here?” Can’t they just let us have this?