Mr. Movie

‘Captain Marvel’ producer hopeful about future of character

The bigger the movie, the more producers. Jonathan Schwartz is one of five executive producers on the newly released “Captain Marvel.”

Add in an ordinary producer, a co-producer and an associate producer and that makes eight.

Schwartz said every producer is responsible for a different aspect of a film. His is on the creative end of things.

“I was on the movie from the very, very early stage, developing the script, hiring the directors, and developing the vision all the way through the prep shoots and staying with it through post (production) and the marketing phase,” he said.

In our interview, he said everyone knew the film would be quite successful. If that’s the case, then why did it take so long for Carol Danvers to join the Marvel Creative Universe? 

Schwartz said Kelly Sue Deconnick’s 2014 book and subsequent books jump-started the project.

Jonathan Schwartz.JPG
Jonathan Schwartz

“It was a matter of seeing a take on the character that got everyone excited, and have that foundation set in the rest of the (Marvel Creative Universe). So we created a place for her to fall that felt natural, that felt right,” he said.

“We see a little bit of (Agent Nick Fury’s) backstory and how he touched off this thing we know as the Avengers,” he said. “All of those things helped make Carol’s story more poignant and more urgent. Having those things in place helped propel her story to another level.”

I loved three things about the movie — the show-stealing cat, the fun poked at ‘90s computer technology and the opening logo honoring of Marvel legend Stan Lee, who died late last year.

“We knew we had to pay tribute to Stan somehow,” Schwartz said. “That seemed the best possible way to acknowledge and thank him for everything he’s done for the studio, for culture, for us. There’s just no better treatment of that than what we did.”

Actress Brie Larson topped the list

Schwartz’s relationship with Captain Marvel lasted almost three-years.

“You always start out not quite knowing where it’s going to take you,” he said. “At the very beginning there were things we loved about this story and Carol Danvers, which is why we set out on the journey in the first place. The personality of Carol — herself — is what made us excited about it. We knew this character could carry a movie; this story could carry a movie,” he said.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to cast an actress of Brie Larson’s caliber. 

“She has the ability to bring strength and humor and emotion to a character that very few people have,” he said. “When we were thinking about people to portray Carol, she jumped to the top of the list very quickly. She was really the only person we considered based on the range that she showed in ‘Room,’ ‘Short Term 12’ and ‘21 Jump Street.’”

“Captain Marvel” took in $455 million worldwide the opening weekend. There is no doubt Carol Danvers will join her Marvel cousins as a top-grossing movie. 

I’m predicting she’ll be No. 2 behind “Avengers: Endgame.”

That’s a prediction Schwartz, his co-producers, cast and crew like to hear. 

“You always hope for a result like that. It feels good to have the movie validated by the audience that way,” he said.

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