Wow, Captain Marvel is so focussed on the humans. Everything is, like, Brie Larson this, and Samuel L. Jackson that. But thanks to one tiny snippet of the Captain Marvel trailer, we've got our sights set on a much smaller (and much furrier!) kind of character. A little tabby cat! But there's so much more to this little guy than meets the eye. In fact, it's not really a cat at all. Over the Summer, POPSUGAR visited the film set, and got some top secret information about the critter.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow us to introduce you to Goose. That's a prime '90s reference, one of many in the film, since it takes place in 1995. (If you don't know, "Goose" is a reference to Top Gun.) In this part of the Marvel Universe, Goose is what's known as a "Flerken." They're a race of aliens that just so happen to look like the average house cat. According to the Marvel Wiki, they "could lay up to 117 eggs and possessed a myriad of tentacles that could extend from their mouths. Their bodies also held pocket realities, bubbles of space and time that existed in other worlds." Um, wow. OK. On set, we learned they're utterly helpless when they're muzzled.
Image Source: Marvel
Our Summer set visit happened to land a very fortuitous day. All of the day's scenes involved the cute character, which is being created half using digital effects and half using cat actors. We learned that there are four different cats being used to create Goose, and they're all identical-looking tabby cats. Their names are Gonzo, Rizzo, Reggie, and Archie. Seriously, you can find them on the official Animals For Hollywood website, which I have graciously tracked down for you. Each respective kitty serves a different purpose: one is for looks, one is for "paw batting" (yep), one is for running, and the last, if I remember correctly, is good for rubbing against legs.
During one scene, we watched as they recruited Reggie (the runner!) for the corridor trot. First, they walked him along the route. "He likes to run along as he learns his route," the cat wrangler said. There were two cat wranglers, actually. For this shot, the day's female wrangler stood at one end of the corridor, the beginning, and the male wrangler stood at the other. He had some sort of loud clicker that told the cat when and where to walk.
In another scene, Samuel L. Jackson interacted with a stuffed version of Goose, presumably to be animated later. In one part of the scene, we watched as he removed the aforementioned muzzle from the doll. In another, he spoke directly to it. "I'm going to pick you up now, and I'm trusting you not to eat me." Sounds like we're in for a feisty treat when the Flerken comes to life. But something tells me we'll all still want to cuddle it, tentacles and all.