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‘Captain Marvel’s’ Cat Was Actually Four Cats. Here’s How That Worked.

Category: Art & Culture,Arts

Warning: This article contains some spoilers about “Captain Marvel,” but no cat puns.

For a breakout star, it was a fairly mundane audition. To cast the part of Goose, an orange tabby who plays a critical role, the makers of “Captain Marvel” were meeting different cats, including Ursula Brauner’s Reggie. “We walked into a roomful of people, and I brought a big plush bed and set it on the table,” Brauner recalled. “Reggie hung out on the bed and was as chill as any cat could be, and the filmmakers saw him embody the character then and there. That’s how he got the job.”

“Captain Marvel” earned more than $500 million worldwide in its first week of release, in no small part thanks to Reggie and three fellow felines who steal scenes as the stray who is revealed to be a ferocious alien known as a Flerken. (In the original Marvel comic books, the cat has the “Star Wars”-esque name of Chewie, but the screenwriters changed it to Goose to go along with the movie’s “Top Gun” motif.)

Goose, who got his own character poster even before the movie was released, has been singled out by reviewers (“Best of all there is an orange cat,” A.O. Scott wrote in The Times”), inspired memes and been the subject of an ode. Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, even speculated that Goose could star in shorts on the streaming service being started by Marvel’s owner, Disney.

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Although special effects were involved, the actual animals are onscreen a fair amount, but at first it was going to be just Reggie. “After looking at the script and seeing the work required, we all decided it would be good to add a couple more cats to the team,” said Brauner, whose company, Animals for Hollywood, provides and trains nonhuman actors for films. In addition to Reggie and another experienced animal actor, Archie (yes, they’re named after Archie Comics characters), Brauner found two more orange tabbies, named Gonzo and Rizzo in a nod to the Muppets, at a shelter.

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