The role that the Skrulls play in Carol Danvers’ transformation into the MCU’s Captain Marvel is a complicated one that poses important moral questions about the role superheroes often play in wars across the galaxy. Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos, a Skrull commander hunting Carol in Captain Marvel goes through a twisting series of events that ultimately set him up to be one of the film’s more significant characters with potential for appearances in future stories. But according to Mendelsohn, that almost didn’t end up being the case.
In a recent interview with NME, Mendelsohn explained that there was a point in time where Talos actually dies during the course of Captain Marvel, a significant shift from how he ends up being reunited with his family and fellow Skrull refugees. “[Talos] was gonna die at around page 60 [in the script] originally and he survived that, so he’s done pretty well,” Mendelsohn said. And if that fucking shapeshifter rears his ugly head again, I’ll do my best to be inside it.”
Mendelsohn didn’t go into detail on how Talos would have been killed off but Carol learning that the Skrulls were only ever fighting to be free from persecution by the Kree—with whom she was politically and socially aligned—played a large part in convincing her to cut ties with their military and pivot into a new life of interstellar vigilantism on her own terms. How Talos, who became a huge part in her understanding of the Skrulls, dying would have altered her path remains to be seen. It might have given Captain Marvel a darker tone that gave the film more emotional weight, but it doesn’t seem as if that’s the direction that co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck were going for.
Talos living put him and his family into the unique position of existing on Earth secretly assisting Nick Fury on at least one occasion, suggesting that they might pop up (or retroactively be identified as having been in) any of Marvel’s films set after the events of Captain Marvel.
Whether Mendelsohn and his shapeshifting ways will return in Captain Marvel 2 remains to be seen but we did just recently learn that film will be directed by Candyman’s Nia DaCosta. The sequel is currently scheduled for release on July 8, 2022.
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