– Arrives in theaters on November 10
– Sequel to Captain Marvel, Ms Marvel, and WandaVision
– Stars first all-female superhero team in the MCU
– Main cast confirmed and other actor appearances leaked
– Plot synopsis revealed
– Trailers and TV spots might have spoiled some key plot points
– Other story details have leaked online
– Could impact future Marvel projects
It’s almost time for The Marvels to take flight in theaters. The last Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie of 2023 blasts its way into cinemas later this week and, with multiple MCU films and TV shows delayed due to the actors strike, you better make the most of its arrival.
By that, we mean you should be swatting up on everything worth knowing about the superhero flick. First, read our guide on what to watch before The Marvels is released. Once you’re done catching up on those six Marvel projects on Disney Plus, you’ll be ready to learn about the all-female supergroup’s first big-screen team-up.
In this article, we’ve rounded up everything about the Marvel Phase 5 movie. That includes its official release date, trailers, confirmed and rumored cast members, plot synopsis and story speculation, and more.
The Marvels release date
The Marvels launches on Friday, November 10. It was originally scheduled for late July, but Marvel delayed its release by a few months, making this the fourth time its launch has been changed.
With its one hour and 33-minute runtime (minus credits!), The Marvels will set a new and surprising MCU movie record very soon, too. Unsurprisingly, it’s received a PG-13 rating (12A in the UK) for action/violence and brief language.
Oh, and it reportedly cost a staggering $270 million to develop (per Forbes), so Marvel and Disney will hope its apparent $70-$80 million US haul on opening day (per The Hollywood Reporter) isn’t a sign that it’s got another box office bomb on its hands.
The Marvels trailer and other footage
The Marvels‘ official trailer landed in our laps in mid-July. In it, we learned more about its story (more on this later), how our heroes inadvertently switch places and, eventually, learn to work together despite their place-swapping issues.
Missed the first teaser, which arrived in mid-April and gave us some serious Avengers movie-style vibes? Check it out below:
There are also a ton – and we mean a ton – of TV spots and featurettes available online now as Marvel ramps up its marketing campaign (amid the ongoing actors strike) for the film. Some of them contain potentially big spoilers, though, so we’ll refrain from posting them here. If you’re not bothered about spoilers, we’ll get into some of what’s on show in our plot section.
The Marvels cast: confirmed and rumored
Here’s The Marvels‘ confirmed cast so far:
- Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
- Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel
- Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau
- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
- Zawe Ashton as Dar-Benn
- Zenobia Shroff as Muneeba Khan
- Mohan Kapur as Yusuf Khan
- Saagar Shaikh as Aamir Khan
- Park Seo-joon as Prince Yan
Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani reprise their roles from their most recent MCU outings. Captain Marvel was last seen in Avengers: Endgame, although she made brief cameos in Shang-Chi and Ms Marvel‘s post-credit scenes. Monica Rambeau had a major supporting role in WandaVision, which is one of the best Disney Plus shows.
Iman Vellani, as well as Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, and Saagar Shaikh all return from Ms Marvel‘s standalone series. Jackson, who has regularly played ex-SHIELD director Nick Fury in MCU, will also show up.
Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat, Velvet Buzzsaw) will play Dar-Benn, the movie’s main antagonist. In the comics, Dar-Benn is a male Kree general who becomes co-emperor of the Kree Empire. In The Marvels, though, it seems she’ll be a member of the Accusers – a militia who were integral in the Kree defeating the Skrulls during the Skrull-Kree War. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1‘s main villain, Ronan the Accuser, was also part of this group.
Lastly on the official casting front, Park Seo-joon (Parasite) is playing Prince Yan, the ruler of an unknown planet Carol has visited in the past. Park’s character was revealed in an official Marvel poster (see the tweet below), but we’ll hold off from spoiling his importance to the story here.
Potential cast spoilers for The Marvels follow.
Prince Yan. pic.twitter.com/F3drPbDNvgOctober 15, 2023
Don’t expect to see Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill or Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos show up in The Marvels. The pair died in Secret Invasion – two plot points that resulted in Secret Invasion being trashed by critics and fans alike. However, we could see Charlayne Woodard’s Varra/Priscilla Davis, aka Nick Fury’s wife, after her and Fury’s reunion in Secret Invasion‘s finale.
Could we see cameos Jude Law’s Yon Rogg and Anson Mount’s Black Bolt? We’d be surprised if Law’s Yon Rogg features, especillay after he was sent packing from Earth by Captain Marvel in her 2019 solo flick. Meanwhile, industry insider CineStealth suggests Black Bolt, last seen in Doctor Strange 2, will appear, but take that with a huge pinch of salt for now.
Finally, there’s been speculation regarding other MCU character cameos in The Marvels. We aren’t going to ruin the surprises here, though, so don’t worry about having those spoiler for you.
The Marvels plot: synopsis and speculation
Here’s the official plot synopsis: “Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe.
“When her duties send her to an anomalous wormhole linked to a Kree revolutionary, her powers become entangled with that of Jersey City super-fan Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, and Carol’s estranged niece, now SABER astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau. Together, this unlikely trio must team up and learn to work in concert to save the universe as The Marvels.”
The Marvels pick ups after two recent MCU TV shows: Ms Marvel and Secret Invasion. In Ms Marvel’s post-credits scene, Ms Marvel unexpectedly traded places with Carol Danvers when the former’s bangle was unexpectedly activated. Meanwhile, in Secret Invasion, Fury – accompanied by Varra – returns to SABER’s headquarters to continue monitoring extraterrestrial threats to Earth with Rambeau’s help.
For those in need of a recap, let’s look at each hero’s abilities are and how they acquired them. Carol Danvers was imbued with her superpowers upon exposure to the Tesseract, aka the Space Stone, in Captain Marvel. Next, Monica Rambeau’s DNA was rewritten by the Mind Stone via the Hex that Wanda Maximoff created in WandaVision. Finally, Kamala Khan’s abilities come from her grandmother’s bracelet. Oh, and the fact that she seemingly possesses the X gene, which makes her one of the MCU’s first mutants.
Potentially big story spoilers for The Marvels follow.
A triple threat 💙❤️💜 Check out the exclusive @IMAX poster for #TheMarvels. In theaters November 10. pic.twitter.com/guO2yhXR29September 12, 2023
With the trio’s powers deriving from objects that helped to create the MCU, and being important components that shaped the the Universal Neural Transportation Network (UNTN) – i.e. the collective name of the MCU’s wormholes/space-jump points – their abilities are connected. Based on the official trailer, it’s possible Dar-Benn’s acquisition of the a certain superpowered bangle (more on this shortly) and what she uses it for causes the UNTN to malfunction, hence why the trio start trading places.
To stop Dar-Benn, the three leads have to learn to work together, which isn’t ideal for someone like Carol. As Brie Larson tells Entertainment Weekly (EW): “Carol [has] kind of become a workaholic, and she lost touch with her heart and with family and friends”. Sounds like it’ll take her some time to master being a team player, then.
According to DanielRPK (per The Marvels Updates Twitter fan account), the world ruled by Park Seo-joon’s Prince Yan, which the three heroes travel to, is musical-themed. However, fellow leaker CanWeGetSomeToast suggests aspects of this chapter have been cut.
The reason for travelling to this planet? Captain Marvel is apparently married (and seemingly confirmed by leaked McDonald’s toys) to Prince Yan, albeit for diplomatic reasons. Maybe she agreed to marry him to prevent some sort of disaster on her universe-spanning travels.
Speaking of Captain Marvel, she has a complicated history with the Kree who, through Dar-Benn, are on chief villain duty again. In Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers thought she was a member of the Kree empire – she was taken to their home world after her Tesseract-related accident on Earth – and indoctrinated into believing she was one of them. That’s until she was captured by Talos’ splinter group of Skrulls, who jogged her memory and helped Carol rediscover her true identity.
Now, she’s an enemy of the Kree, which puts Dar-Benn in direct opposition with Carol and company. However, in Secret Invasion‘s final scene, Nick Fury told Varra that the Kree were now open to peace talks with the Skrulls. It’s possible, then, that the two races may sign a treaty declaring as much. That plot thread might be what spurs Dar-Benn to go rogue (if she’s unhappy about the peace negotiations), locate the opposite bangle to Kamala Khan’s, search for Kamala to steal hers, and use them to crate havoc across the MCU.
Doing so would certainly make Dar-Benn powerful. As we learned in Ms Marvel, the bangles (seemingly based on the Nega-Bands in Marvel comics) appear to be alien technology. We know this because the Clandestine – the villains in Ms Marvel – wanted to use them to expand the Noor dimension and take over Earth. Kamala’s bracelet was originally found by her grandmother in 1940s India in an underground Kree-looking location. If Ms Marvel’s bracelet is of Kree design, that’ll explain why Dar-Benn wants it to pair it with hers and wield them.
As for subplots, one of the most pressing is the forthcoming reunion between Carol and Monica.
Monica hasn’t seen Carol since the 1990s, i.e. when Captain Marvel took place. Maria Rambeau, who was Carol’s best friend, has since died of cancer. As we learned in WandaVision, Carol didn’t return for Maria’s funeral or to check up on Monica (although, Monica was Blipped out of existence and only found out her mom had died when she was brought back when the Avengers reversed the Blip). Expect Carol to be greeted frostily by Monica until they clear the air, with Parris telling EW: “You get a sense that she has not talked to Carol in a very long time. So, we have to address the elephant in the room”.
Speaking to Empire magazine, director Nia DaCosta said of the duo’s bond (and that which develops between them and Kamala): “I thought it would be cool to map an estranged family history and sister story onto them. Carol’s the oldest, the prodigal, then there’s the middle sister Monica, who Carol knew as a kid and promised she’d come back [to] but then never did. Kamala is the youngest, who hasn’t had the experience of living with this older sister but idolises her [Carol], who’s a bit jaded at the beginning of the film. Kamala reminds her how amazing she is.”
As for any multiversal shenanigans, can we expect to see any here? Per industry leaker KC Walsh, it’s possible a multiversal incursion – an event where parallel universes collide, as seen in Doctor Strange 2 – may be part of proceedings. In a chat with Total Film, executive producer Mary Livanos further teased the arrival of a new incursion, saying: “In Ms. Marvel, we learned that the bangle, paired with some other form of power, can force a temporary hole in space and time to lead to somewhere else. With the power of both bangles, more is definitely possible. And we see the culmination of that over the course of this movie.”
One no-less-fascinating dimensional thing we’ll see in The Marvels, however, is the pocket realms that exist in the Flerkens, such as Goose the cat. These alien creatures contain pocket universes in them – as we witnessed in 2019’s Captain Marvel – which can house an infinite amount of material. As we see in the trailers, Goose and its litter of kittens set to appear and, according to DaCosta via Total Film (thanks to Reddit for the assist), they’ll have a big role to play in one specific set-piece.
The Marvels: how could it affect future the MCU?
That depends on The Marvels‘ story and ending, but we have a few sneaking suspicions about what it could set up.
First up is Ms Marvel season 2, which is rumored to be in early development (per MyTimeToShineHello). If we’re going to see more of Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan/her superhero alias before the next two Avengers movies, it’ll likely be on the small screen.
Speaking of those Avengers films, aka Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, The Marvels could play a major role in setting them up events. In her chat with Total Film (linked in our story section), Livanos teased: “The Marvels deals with some fluctuations in time and space, and there’s definite danger afoot that could affect the multiverse. Where it all leads is a bit of a spoiler, and exactly how it’ll all pan out in an Avengers movie is currently being figured out right now. But we’re definitely ending our characters in places that allow for plentiful opportunity.”
MCU fans already know Kang the Conqueror is the next big supervillain – or, rather, multiple Kang variants are. The time-traveling warlord – read more about him in our Kang the Conqueror explained article – was the main bad guy in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. However, he was seemingly killed by the film’s titular heroes. Now, the Council of Kangs – including Immortus, Scarlet Centurion, and Rama-Tut – are gunning for the MCU, so Captain Marvel and company are sure to have their hands full in The Kang Dynasty (if Carol and company appear, of course).
3 heroes in 3 dimensions. Check out @RealD3D’s exclusive artwork for Marvel Studios’ #TheMarvels. See it in RealD 3D November 10. Tickets on sale now: https://t.co/fHJB2N3a8y pic.twitter.com/P5o05hKHI4October 10, 2023
Some fans also seem to think that the giant, circular rings seen in Quantumania are alternate reality versions of Shang-Chi’s Ten Rings. If the Kang gang have collected alien tech-based weaponry as they plot their route to dominion over the Marvel multiverse, they’re sure to come after Ms Marvel’s and Dar Benn’s bangles as well. If they do, expect Carol, Monica, and Kamala to stand in their way.
Elsewhere, Marvel fans think they’ve spotted a huge story spoiler in The Marvels‘ new TV spot, which could tie this film into Deadpool 3. We won’t say why here so, if you’re really curious and not fussed about spoilers, read the linked-to article.
Depending on how The Marvels and The Kang Dynasty play out, we’d expect to see Carol, Monica, and Kamala in Secret Wars, too. We’d be surprised if they pop up in projects beforehand, so the next time we’re likely to see them (outside of starring, or cameoing, in Ms Marvel season 2 ) is 2026’s The Kang Dynasty.