‘Captain Marvel’ Directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden Talk the Genius of Ben Mendelsohn, Renaming Goose the Cat, ’90s Music, Stan Lee and More [Interview]

/Film | 3/7/2019 | Peter Sciretta
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A few weeks ago, I sat down with directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden to talk about Captain Marvel. In the discussion, we geeked out over the genius of Ben Mendelsohn, the tightrope walk of making a prequel, choosing a kick-**** ’90s soundtrack, the choice to change Goose’s name from the comics, and Stan Lee‘s cameo.

I really enjoyed the film.

Ryan - Thanks

Ryan: Thanks.

When on set, we talked to Ben Mendelsohn and he was in character.

Anna - Ben - Mendelskrull

Anna: He was Ben Mendelskrull.

Yeah. And he was just incredible then. And then seeing him in the movie, he’s just insane. Can you talk about working with him? How much of that is in the script? How much of that is him improvising on set?

Anna - Name - Ben - Mendelsohn - Words

Anna: He can actually shapeshift. His name’s Ben Mendelsohn. Exactly, yeah, yeah. He will never do your words the same way twice. So every time is fresh and sometimes that means that he takes a wild ride on his way to finding what it’s gonna be. But it’s always so much fun to watch. Brings an energy.

That must give you a lot of choices in the editing room.


Anna: It does.

Ryan: Too many.

Anna - Lot - Choices - Editing - Room

Anna: It does. It gives you a lot of choices in the editing room. But sometimes it’s just obvious. Like you get a take and you’re just like oh yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s obviously the right thing. But I think it also is just such a gift to the other actors because it helps them to feel like they’re not just doing the same thing eight bazillion times. And he gives it to them off-screen too. He makes everybody better.

Ryan: He’s a very sensitive actor. It’s really nice. He’s completely wild and crazy seeming, but then super giving as well. And like I remember Brie responding to stuff he was doing off-camera and...
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