Disney Celebrates ‘Captain Marvel’ and International Women’s Day on the Studio Lot

Today, as International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world, Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel takes flight, introducing a new and powerful Super Hero to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), as well as the MCU’s first stand-alone, female title character. The highly anticipated film posted $20.7 million domestic in Thursday night previews, thanks to moviegoers across the globe who are eager to see Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel) go “higher, further, faster.”

 In celebration of the film’s release and International Women’s Day, Women@Disney—a Business Employee Resource Group at The Walt Disney Company—today hosted a special panel for Disney employees that featured some of the talented women of Marvel Studios who brought Captain Marvel to the screen. They spoke to the film’s underlying message of female empowerment and gender inclusion, as well as the studio’s commitment that the Marvel Cinematic Universe truly represents the world of its fans.

“With each film in the MCU—and Captain Marvel is No. 21—the universe is becoming increasingly more inclusive and reflective of our audience around the world. The MCU is demonstrating that everyone, everywhere can be or look up to a superhero,” said Cathleen Taff, president, Theatrical Distribution, Franchise Management, and Business & Audience Insights, for The Walt Disney Studios, at the start of today’s event, which was attended by both women and male allies alike.

Anna Boden, who directed Captain Marvel with Ryan Fleck, shared that she was inspired to tell the story of a hero who wasn’t perfect, despite her superhuman talents and skills. “It was really about her power coming from her humanity,” she said. Boden added that she was moved when she heard from the young women working alongside her on the film about Carol Danvers’ impact on them, as well as the significance of what the film represents to them. “I want there to be more girls and young women who feel that their voice is meaningful and that people want to hear it, that there’s a place for it and an audience for it.”

This responsibility was also acknowledged by Mary Livanos, Director of Production & Development for Marvel Studios, who emphasized, “It was very important to all of us to tell Carol Danvers’ story the right way.” She pointed to Captain Marvel’s themes, such as “not apologizing for your power and drawing from power that already exists within.” For Livanos, “This is something young women should be able to see on screen, and to be able to have this platform is a huge opportunity.”

The panelists looked ahead to the continued expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe through both film and new series in development for Disney+, the upcoming streaming service that debuts in the U.S. later this year. As the studio continues to foster new voices and assemble the teams that will tell these new stories, Livanos noted that the creative team at Marvel believes it is imperative that the voices and characters who will end up on screen are represented throughout the creative process: “Magic really happens when you have folks from widely different backgrounds together bringing different things to the table.”