Carol Danvers. Kamala Khan. Monica Rambeau. These three superheroines form the core of The Marvels, along with their furry alien friend Goose. Introduced in Captain Marvel, the orange tabby cat instantly won over MCU fans. It’s a pity then that he hasn’t returned for any Marvel productions since.
This changes with the latest Phase 5 movie which, despite polarising audiences, still satiates their desire to meet Goose again.
Goose is played by two different cats in The Marvels
Tango and Nemo are the two British tabby cats that portray Goose in The Marvels. The two felines take the mantle from Reggie, the cat that stood in for Goose in Captain Marvel (along with three other furry peers: Rizzo, Gonzo and Archie). Reggie and co. were replaced in The Marvels because shooting shifted from the US to London.
Cat trainer Jo Vaughan was tasked by the film’s producers with finding new cat actors to play the iconic MCU creature. While Tango and Nemo are identical to each other, the former is an 11-year-old cat while Nemo is only 4 years old.
Together, they play the straight-faced but unintentionally witty cat (who is actually a flerken alien in disguise, as depicted in Captain Marvel).
Vaughan told Entertainment Weekly that having two cats was necessary, just in case one of them wasn’t feeling good enough to shoot on a particular day. To put it in her own words, “There was no diva behaviour, but cats are cats”.
The Marvels features an army of kittens
Goose isn’t the only cat to join the star-studded ensemble of The Marvels. She is accompanied by a whole army of kittens, as shown in the trailer. Considering that the kittens are frolicking down a flight of stairs in a spaceship, it’s highly likely that they are flerkens, just like Goose.
Regardless of their role in the film, the scene with the kittens promises to be a wholesome highlight in the MCU film. Executive producer Mary Livanos even described filming the kitten scenes as a Christmas-like experience.
Plot twist: Brie Larson is allergic to cats
Despite her character Carol Danvers’s affection for Goose, Brie Larson is highly allergic to cats in real life. This is why a considerable chunk of the CGI budget for both Captain Marvel and The Marvels was spent on the scenes between Carol and her cat.
The Oscar-winning actress would shoot her scenes with a stunt double in an all-green suit (who would later be edited out and replaced by either one of the cats). The process is pretty similar to how Sean Gunn stands in for Rocket Raccoon in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
Goose was named Chewie in the comics
The flerken cat was first introduced in the MCU with Captain Marvel, but she has been canon in the original comics for quite some time. The major difference is etymological in nature, with the cat named Chewie instead of Goose.
The name in the comics is an obvious nod to the Star Wars fan-favourite Wookie Chewbacca (whom his best friend and co-pilot Han Solo fondly calls Chewie).
However, the cat’s name was changed to Goose in Captain Marvel, mainly as a tribute to the late pilot of the same name in Top Gun. In both cases, the names are more than suitable for a cat assisting an ex-aviator like Carol Danvers.
Goose was featured on the Las Vegas sphere
As a part of the pre-release publicity campaign for The Marvels, Goose was also featured on a recently launched interactive venue, The Las Vegas Sphere. The outer LED screen of the spherical auditorium featured the orange tabby cat chasing what looks like a laser pointer dot. Frustrated with chasing the light, Goose then opens its multi-tentacled mouth to catch it!
The Marvels director is a certified cat lover
Candyman director Nia DaCosta, who made her MCU debut with The Marvels, is more than happy to work with cats. In multiple interviews to promote the film, DaCosta has happily revealed that she’s a certified cat lover. The catch is that she too, like Larson, is allergic to cats. But DaCosta couldn’t resist the urge to pet a kitten or two in some of the scenes, simply because of the collective feline cuteness.
While filming the cats Nemo and Tango pushing buttons and jumping on actors’ shoulders, the situation could also get out of hand at times. For instance, one of the cats tried scratching Kamala Khan actress Iman Vellani and Nick Fury actor Samuel L. Jackson.
As DaCosta told Digital Spy, a particularly sandy shooting location was also mistaken for a litter box by the cats, as they went ahead doing their business then and there.
“That was one of the more difficult days, where they were like: ‘there’s a litter box here, why would we do work?’ But it was also really fun,” the filmmaker added.
So, while the cats playing Goose might have created some ruckus, they still played an integral part within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (without ever speaking a word).
The Marvels is now in cinemas.