‘The Marvels’ Director Tackles Anti-Woke MCU Fans

in Marvel, Movies

Monica Rambeau glowing with white eyes in The Marvels

Credit: Marvel Studios

In a recent interview, The Marvels (2023) director Nia DaCosta addressed the anti-woke backlash to the film and how she deals with the toxic parts of the Marvel fan base.

Top half of the Chinese poster of The Marvels (Captain Marvel 2)
Credit: Marvel Studios

The sequel to Captain Marvel (2019), The Marvels follows Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), and Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) as they try to figure out why their powers are suddenly connected while protecting Earth from the villainous Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton). The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Park Seo-Joon as Prince Yan.

Despite the previous film’s success, The Marvels had some difficulty getting to theaters. Not only did the film have its release date delayed for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), but it happened to be the only Marvel Studios film affected by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, meaning its stars couldn’t help promote it.

The Marvels director Nia DaCosta speaking in front of a space backdrop
Credit: Jake’s Takes via YouTube

Related: Marvel Fans Point Out Sexist Double Standard Over ‘The Marvels’

Another factor working against the film has been a particularly vocal part of the Marvel fanbase that has consistently had it out for The Marvels because of its focus on diverse female heroes. Add on a ton of superhero fatigue, and The Marvels opened with only $47 million at the domestic box office, the lowest in Marvel Cinematic Universe history.

Despite this, director Nia DaCosta is mainly positive about the experience and result. Her enthusiasm is contagious, truly showing her love for the subject and creating a much more fun experience than recent superhero fare. And when it comes to the toxic side of superhero fandom, DaCosta has the perfect response.

How Nia DaCosta Handles the “Woke” Backlash To ‘The Marvels’

Monica Rambeau and Captain Marvel looking confused
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: ‘The Marvels’ Director Addresses Behind the Scenes “Controversy”

In an interview with Variety, Nia DaCosta spoke on how happy and lucky she was to have the opportunity to direct The Marvels, especially as a self-proclaimed “blerd” (black nerd). However, the topic soon came up regarding one particular side of the Marvel fan base, which is often too quick to declare a movie or series bad simply because it features people of color, or women, or “emasculates men.” Naturally, the director of Candyman (2021) had an excellent response.

“There are pockets where you go because you’re like, ‘I’m a super fan. I want to exist in the space of just adoration — which includes civilized critique,” explains DaCosta. “Then there are pockets that are really virulent and violent and racist — and sexist and homophobic and all those awful things. And I choose the side of the light. That’s the part of fandom I’m most attracted to.”

Nick Fury Carol Danvers together in an elevator
Credit: Marvel Studios

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DaCosta’s attitude seems absolutely necessary in a moment like this, especially when the previous film, Captain Marvel, received similar negative reactions to Brie Larson. Fortunately, the film has plenty of people supporting and defending it, including Samuel L. Jackson, who stood up for Larson.

“These incel dudes who hate strong women,” said Jackson, “or the fact that she’s a feminist who has an opinion and expressed it? Everybody wants people to be who they want them to be. She is who she is, and she’s genuinely that.”

Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel The Marvels
Credit: Marvel Studios

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While the opening box office and review scores for The Marvels weren’t impressive at first, it’s beginning to look like both will continue to increase over time, similar to Pixar’s Elemental (2023), which received similar backlash when it first released. Hopefully, we’ll see The Marvels reach similar heights.

Who are your favorite heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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