Captain Britain is a 2019 film that takes place in the Earth-11584 continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by Academy Award Winner Danny Boyle, it is the first iteration of the character into film. It is also the third film in Phase 4 of the MCU, and the 31st film overall in the MCU. The film stars Bradley James as the titular Brian Braddock, a down on his luck comic artist who finds himself thrust into the role of protector of Britannia when he finds an ancient amulet, and must protect Britain from a grave threat in the form of a Gentleman Thief and an American desiring power.
Rumors of a Captain Britain film began circulating early in the existence of the MCU, as the character was one listed by Marvel Studios executive Kevin Fiege as being possibly in development for the future. However no real movement came on the front until writer/director Joe Cornish confirmed in 2014 that he had been approached by Marvel to work on a draft for the character. Former Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffat was later brought in to polish Cornish's script. In 2017, rumors circulated that Danny Boyle was attached to direct, something later confirmed during the 2018 press tours for Boyle's Trainspotting 2 film.
Daniel Radcliffe was the first actor signed to the film, and the natural belief was that he would play Brian Braddock. This was later debunked by Radcliffe himself, who said he had been hired to play Dane Whitman, the Black Knight, who would also be co-starring in the film. Mark Rylance signed on to play Merlyn, while former Adventures of Merlin star Bradley James was hired to play the title character. After the acquisition of Fox Studios was a fait acompoli by late 2018, the film was altered during shooting to incorporate both the Juggernaut as the main villain, and to film a post-credits scene involving Charles Xavier.
Filming took place in Britain from January through April of 2019.
We open in the year 477 AD, in Dark Age Britain. The fall of Rome has left the populous scattered and leaderless, slowly uniting under the banner of Arthur Pendragon and the Knights of Camelot. Led by Sir Percival, the Knights have become a force for justice against the varied threats plaguing the ancient land, most notably the Druidic Order of Cyttorak and their worship of an ancient Faltine God of Chaos. In the midst of battle, Percival leads a charge against the Druid Archers and Infantrymen, the black hilted Ebony Blade lifted high in the air to catch the rising sun. Victory appears at hand until four red armor clad giants approach the lines of Arthur's men, bowling through most of the knights as if they weren't even there. Perceval rallies the troops as he can, joined at his side by his king, Arthur of Camelot. Arthur grasps a small amulet upon his breastplate of armor and into his hand the sword Excalibur seemingly appears from nowhere. Together Perceval and Arthur lead the charge against the 4 warriors, eventually defeating them with the combined powers of their blades and forcing them into a dimensional portal they form, sending them to the realm of Cyttorak. They corner the leader of the Druidic Order and compel him to surrender the source of their power, a mystical ruby known as the Gem of Cyttorak.
Sometime later inside Camelot (modern day location Glastonbury), Arthur, Perceval, and the magician Merlyn are gathered together to discuss what to do with the Gem of Cyttorak. Both men agree that it cannot be allowed to be used again. However, Merlyn tells them they cannot destroy it, as the evil entity Cyttorak will detect its destruction and simply use his power to create another one. Instead Merlyn proposes each of them use the mystical artifacts entwined to their Heritage, the Amulet of Right in Arthur's case and the Sword of Might in the case of Perceval, to act as keys to lock the Gem behind a mystical door that can never be opened otherwise. After further debate, they agree, each pledging to the other to pass these artifacts down as heirlooms of the family. Merlyn himself imbues a fragment of his own soul into the Amulet of Right, to act as a guide for any future generation who may have need of its power, and to act as a warning against the dangers of the Gem of Cyttorak and the power of the Juggernaut it can bestow. We get a close fade in on the Amulet on Arthur's breastplate that transitions to the modern day, as the now somewhat tarnished gemstone is sitting inside the London Museum in an exhibit of Anglo-Saxon artifacts, it's true meaning lost.
We cut to a small flat inside the Southwark borough of London, where a young man named Brian Braddock sits in front of an art desk, struggling to work on his latest creation. As he continues to draw the overly muscled cartoon character on a sheet of paper, he is simultaneously trying to sell his idea to a comic publisher on a Skype call, only for the call to go south when the publisher learns that Braddock is the son of James Braddock, a wealthy financier who, through interrogation, we learn has prevented Brian's artwork from being sold into print. Brian sighs and hangs up the call. He looks longingly at a photo of his family in happier times briefly before an alarm on his phone goes off, causing him to curse and rush out the door. Before he can get where he is going, though, he has a brief conversation with his neighbor Dana, who is obviously taken by him, though Brian himself remains clueless.
Cut to a station at King's Cross station, where Brian meets a young girl roughly 14 years in age, whom he addresses as "Betsy". The girl smiles at her older brother, and comments off-handedly where Platform 9 3/4 is, which leads Brian to say that there's no such thing as magic, with a smirk on his face. The two of them travel back to Brian's flat where we get more of their backstory: Brian is heir to a major shipping company owned by his father, but went into the fine arts rather than business, causing a rift between he and said father. To boot the mother of Brian and Betsy died some time ago, and Betsy's new stepmother has sent her off to Brian's flat for "unknown reasons." Betsy claims it's because she's a freak of nature, and that their stepmother threatened to send her to an "island of freaks" off the coast of Scotland, but Brian assures her that is not the case. He says money will be tight, but he is starting a new job soon and, as soon as his artwork starts selling again, they'll be on their feet. Betsy asks to see some of his artwork, and he shows her an issue of a new super hero comic that he's trying to shop around to publishers named Captain Britain. Betsy says that is a hokey title, but Brian says it fits for what the hero is: a protector of all the British Isles. Before he leaves for his job after putting away the artwork. he also adds that the job is as a security guard at the London museum, and if Betsy needs anything, Dana next door will be there to watch out for her, remarking that she's a former cop and can handle most anything. Betsy says she can take care of herself, but Brian jokes to let him be humored that she still might need him after all these years.
Elsewhere, in a seedy pub, a well-dressed businessman walks inside, standing out like a sore thumb. After speaking with a couple of men, he is confronted by an individual named Garrett. The man, identifying himself as Cain Marko, says that he wishes to speak to the so-called "Gentleman Thief," and Garrett tries to insist that he is that man. Marko isn't buying the ruse though, and shows a briefcase full of money, which attracts the attention of the real Gentleman Thief, Dane Whitman. Whitman apologizes for the ruse, telling Marko that Garrett acts as a kind of filter between himself and the riff-raff. Marko explains that he is here to hire Whitman for a job, to steal an ancient Anglo-Saxon artifact from the London Museum. He also says that he needs to borrow Whitman's sword, pointing to the unique Ebony Blade that rests in a hilt on the table in front of Dane. Whitman replies that his sword is not for sale, and Marko reiterates he only needs the sword for one purpose; he has no intention of keeping it. Eventually Whitman agrees to take the job, agreeing on a sum of 3 million pounds for the retrieval of the amulet and the loaning of the sword. Marko tells Whitman to just bring the two artifacts to him, and he'll see what they are used for. He also offers a wide variety of magical trinkets, as he calls them, but Dane says he doesn't believe in magic, causing Cain to smile as he walks off. After he leaves, Whitman tells Garrett to begin scoping out the London Museum, to which Garrett replies there won't be any need. There new security system will be easy to break through.
We cut back to the London museum, where Brian is clad in his security guard's uniform ready to begin the night shift, receiving an update on the "revamped" security courtesy of the contractors at X-Con security (and they make certain to mention they came highly recommended from the folks at Pym Technologies). After a brief tutorial of how the system works and a quick show to the main security hub, they prepare to leave for the evening when the power is suddenly cut to the museum. Outside, we see Garrett and a group of goons preparing to infiltrate the Museum, while Whitman directs traffic from a nearby area, his sword closely guarded at his side. Inside, Kurt and Dave begin to freak out a bit, saying that the security system won't mean a thing if the backup generators don't come on. Brian asks another guard where the generators are, and volunteers to go across the museum and activate them. As he walks through the museum, he briefly stops in front of the Anglo-Saxon exhibit when he thinks he hears a noise in the distance. He starts to continue his trek to the generators, when he hears the noise again. Calling out to the darkness, he shines his flashlight down the hallway and pulls out a taser, only to put it away when he sees a dissheveled old man lurking about.
He asks the old man what he is doing there, as the museum was supposed to have closed an hour earlier. The old man apologizes and says he's been lost in this exhibit for some time, but that he will show himself out. Brian tells him to follow him to the generators, and that then he'll lead him back to the front door. The old man agrees, but quickly becomes distracted in front of the Exhibit with the Amulet inside of it as they start towards the other side of the building. Brian tries to coerce the man to follow him, warning him that he'll be arrested if he doesn't comply. The old man tells Brian he has bigger problems to worry about, pointing out Garrett and his men walking into the area quickly, and allowing Brian to narrowly dodge being hit by a taser blast himself. Garrett tells him to surrender, but Brian bravely stands his ground and uses his limited martial arts training (and some nearby crowd control barricade stands) to fend off the thieves. From inside his off-site location, Dane curses and stands up to take care of the situation himself, while back in the security office, the guard goes after Brian to see what is taking so long.
With the encouragement of the old man, who hides behind a nearby exhibit near the Amulet, Brian manages to subdue some of the robbers and engages in a game of hide and seek with Garrett, who decides to play loose and fast and starts firing his gun indiscriminately at him. Brian takes cover in the Exhibit with the Amulet, jostling it slightly and causing it to fall to the ground next to him, though he pays it little attention. Garrett starts to close in on him with his gun drawn, but Dane talks him down, telling him that deadly force wasn't authorized. Garrett starts to argue, but Whitman holds up his sword, causing him to back off quickly. Dane calls out to Brian, telling him that they're just there for a small trinket. The old man looks at Dane, more specifically the sword on his hip, with something approaching bewilderment. He slowly comes out of his hiding space, pointing at the blade, but Dane doesn't appear to see him. Brian calls out to him, grabbing the Amulet out of instinct, but the old man doesn't say anything. Brian finally comes out of hiding, but is caught by Dane and Garrett, the latter of whom holds up his gun at him. They tell him to hand over the Amulet he's holding, but Brian refuses. The old man yells at Brian to use the Amulet to summon Excalibur, but Brian doesn't understand what he means. Dane cocks an eyebrow, asking him who he's talking too, but before Brian can answer the old man takes matters into his own hands, disappearing and muttering a spell under his breath. A bright light shines from the Amulet and suddenly, where Brian once stood, a white clad hero similar to the Captain Britain character Brian was drawing earlier appears. We also briefly cut back to Brian's flat, where Betsy is struggling to sleep. She seemingly has a nightmare and several objects in the room briefly levitate before they fall to the ground just as quickly.
Inside the museum Whitman is taken aback by the sudden appearance of the hero. He draws his sword against this new threat, but attempts to ascertain the nature of the threat before attacking. For his part Brian seems stunned at this change of events, but sees the old man out of the corner of his eye staring at him with a gawking expression. Unwilling to wait, Garrett pulls his gun and fires at Brian, but the bullets seem to evaporate around the golden aura that surrounds him. This seems to snap the old man out of his stupor, and he yells at Brian to take the amulet and run. Several of the goons, having woken up, try to attack Brian only to be easily dispatched as the newly minted hero acts on instinct. Having seen enough, Dane prepares to intervene with his sword, but Brian suddenly flies into the air and out of the glass ceiling, leaving Whitman dumbfounded as to the whole affair. The security guard who went looking for Brian suddenly announces his presence, but Whitman and Garrett manage to escape the museum, leaving only their unconscious men behind.
Brian lands on a nearby rooftop, breathing heavily and uncertain of what is happening. He is then startled by the appearance of the old man, who is quickly revealed to be the spirit of Merlyn, tied to the Amulet and guiding its bearer. Brian asks what the hell is going on, but Merlyn says there's no time to explain it all, they need to find out why the Ebony Blade has fallen into evil hands. Brian tries to get Merlyn to stop as the old man starts to walk off the edge of the building, floating in mid-air. Merlyn explains again that he is just an echo of the real thing, the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. The spirit then looks out over London and suddenly seems to understand that he is not in his own time anymore, before turning to Brian and asking him what year this is. Brian tells him to start explaining, and then maybe he can answer some of the spirit's questions. Merlyn gives a brief backstory about the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, repeating the story of the Faltine entities being trapped in parallel dimensions to this one, and how the entity Cyttorak would empower his followers with raw magical energy, transforming them into human juggernauts. He then repeats that he sealed away the Crimson Gem behind a door that can never be opened, for the sake of the Earth. Merlyn then explains more about the Amulet of Right, and how it bestows magical powers onto the bearer. However these powers took the form of the Sword Excalibur in Arthur's day...he has no idea how they came to transform Brian into...that. Brian smirks and says he kind of likes it, and decides to fly around the city in a test of his new abilities, thwarting a mugging in the course of this action.
Elsewhere, Dane and Nathan regroup at a safe house where they are contacted by Cain Marko. The American expects that their mission was a successful one, but Dane informs him that there were "complications." Marko doesn't take kindly to this, reminding him that he has significant money tied up in this investment. He tells Dane not to cut corners and to accomplish his mission by "any means necessary." Dane sticks to his guns, telling him they'll do things by the book, causing Marko to leave. Garrett tries to convince his boss otherwise, but Dane is steadfast, as Garrett glares at him while his back is turned.
As the morning draws closer, Brian returns to his apartment (having a somewhat humorous exchange with Merlyn's spirit on how to return to his civilian form) and meets Betsy there. Betsy asks him if something happened, but Brian tries to keep her in the dark (though it is clear to the viewer she knows something is up). Dana explains to Brian about some "weird stuff happening in her flat, like objects levitating" but Brian dismisses it as Dana watching too many horror films. As they flip on the news they get a report about the break in at the London museum, which Brian quickly tries to deflect away from, surreptitiously hiding the amulet in his coat pocket. Just as quickly he receives a phone call from his boss asking him to come in and account for himself. Brian tries to claim he got injured in the attack, but his boss doesn't believe him and simply sacks him on the spot, telling him he'll be getting a visit from the police if anything turns up missing.
After taking Betsy to school, Brian tries to tell Dana about what had happened the night before, only stumbles over his words. She gets a call from an old friend at work, providing a distraction for Brian to break away from the conversation. However we can here Dana discussing with her colleague about one piece missing and that Brian is a prime suspect in the theft. Dana tries to convince her that's not possible, but is suspicious when Brian has suddenly disappeared. Outside the building, in a back alleyway, Brian again converses with the spirit of Merlyn and tries to tell him that, as much as he thinks these new powers are bloody awesome, he can't keep the Amulet. Merlyn tries to insist, saying that the people who attacked the museum will simply try again. Off in the distance some hoodlums spot Brian in the alleyway, seemingly arguing with himself. Figuring that they found an easy mark, they start to stalk down the alleyway to rob him. As they confront Brian, he tries to de-escalate the situation, only to get beaten briefly. The noise from outside attracts the attention of Dana, who grabs her gun and heads down to try and help Brian. Just as she arrives though, Brian activates the Amulet and once again transforms into Captain Britain, easily dispatching the hoodlums, but dumbfounded when he sees Dana gawking at him.
Brian tries to explain away his powers, but Dana doesn't buy it for a second. She asks how long he's been a super hero, causing Brian to explain the incident from the night previous. Dana then tells Brian that some of her contacts from Scotland Yard are sniffing around his possession of the amulet. Through their interactions, we get further proof that only Brian can seemingly see and talk with Merlyn. Brian tells Dana that he feels he needs to use the Amulet for good, but that he needs to keep Betsy safe too. To that end, he eventually agrees to turn himself in, much to Merlyn's seeming chagrin. Brian admits that he would want to be a hero more than anything, except to protect his family. Elsewhere, Garrett is acting alone in checking out Brian's background, having figured out his name from personnel files in the museum database. He learns that Brian is the son of a famous shipping magnate, and also learns of his younger sister Betsy, filing that information away for later. He is then summoned back to Dane's side as they plan on staking out the Museum again for when Brian arrives. Though this time, Dane says, they're bringing a bit more firepower, as we see an arsenal of weapons at their disposal as well as Dane's sword.
Brian and Dana slowly make their way towards the museum, Brian clutching the amulet close to himself. He asks Dana if he is doing the right thing, or if he's just doing the easy thing, but Dana tells him he's doing the only thing he can do. She says that by turning himself in with her help, they can explain the whole thing off as a mistake and that this will all be behind him soon. She goes off to get the detectives inside the museum and when she leaves, Merlyn tells Brian that he is making a crucial mistake, and that Camelot needs her champion. Brian quietly argues with him, saying that Camelot is nothing more than a myth, but Merlyn replies that every myth comes from a kernel of truth. The core of the story, regardless of how it's been embellished over the years, remains true: a kingdom of all united in justice, equality and fellowship. Brian tries to tell him that such people don't exist anymore, but Merlyn replies that if that were true, then the Amulet shouldn't work at all. Brian is about to reply when he notices a van off in the distance, identifying it as the same van used by the thieves the night before. Quickly he ducks around the building to hide, just before Dana comes out with the detectives to introduce him, causing her to look bad in front of her superiors.
Brian slowly sneaks up on the group and notices that they are packing a lot more heat this time, though he also overhears Dane insisting that no one is to be hurt (along with Garrett's half-hearted reply). As he sees the thieves storm into an eating area where hostages might be found, he tries to find an escape route and not get involved. Merlyn's spirit tells him this is the exactly the kind of reason he should use the Amulet: to be the hero of the day as he's always wanted to be. Brian replies that writing about heroes and actually being one are two different things, and that this isn't his job anymore...he got fired. Merlyn replies that it is everyone's job, he just happens to be better suited for it. Brian points to their guns but Merlyn merely repeats a phrase he had used earlier: Right makes Might, not the other way around. This seems to spur him into action as he activates the Amulet and once again transforms into Captain Britain. As he confronts Dane's men, we briefly see a shot of Marko in his hotel room, watching the situation unfold on television, as he looks over some information about Dane in a dossier.
It becomes clear that Brian is immune to the bullets in his Captain Britain form, as he quickly takes out Dane's goons in the ensuing fight. Garrett charges in to help, while Dane calmly surveys the situation from afar, subtly helping people escape from the oncoming battle. Garrett uses his bare fists to fight with Braddock, but is quickly overpowered and cast aside. Dane slowly saunters up to Brian, drawing his sword and saying that theatrical heroes like him are overrated. Brian subconsciously activates the same forcefield that protected him from the goons bullets earlier as Dane charges at him with his sword. Brian blocks the downward slice with his forearms, but the blade does manage to draw blood despite his forcefield. From afar, Merlyn yells at Brian that the Sword is the famed Ebony Blade and can cut through the magical powers generated by the Amulet. Brian rolls out of the attack and tries to avoid getting stabbed, as off in the distance Dana and the rest of Scotland Yard finally arrive to the area and are taken aback as to what is happening.
Brian asks for a weapon to defend himself, and a mace suddenly appears from nowhere. Brian uses the mace to fend off Dane's sword and fight him to a dead heat. His attention is diverted however when the fallen goons from before suddenly get the drop on Dana and the men from Scotland Yard, led by Garrett. The duel with Dane stops and Dane tells Brian to give up the Amulet, or people will get hurt. Brian replies that he doesn't think Dane wants to hurt anyone, which takes Dane aback a bit, but he simply smirks and replies (with a little less confidence) that they all do what they must. Garrett takes this as a sign of action, forcing Dana to her knees and holding a gun there. This action causes Dana to punch him in the groin, and provides enough distraction for the Scotland Yard cops to turn the tables on their would-be captors. Dane, in the confusion, sheaths his sword and runs off, with Garrett managing to escape after him while the rest of their goons are captured. Brian flies off to another rooftop far away and transforms back into Brian, calling Dana after a few minutes. She tells him to lay low, as Scotland Yard now believes he is in league with the criminals, due to his standing up of their planned meeting. Brian tells her to explain who he is, but she tells him that she tried, and that they aren't believing her. Frustrated, Brian turns to the spirit of Merlyn and asks him what he should do. Merlyn has no reply, as this is a strange world to him where "noble knights and criminals appear to be one in the same at times." With nowhere else to go, Brian gets into his bike parked nearby and heads to Betsy's school, picking her up early. Betsy seems to know something bad is happening, though how she knows this Brian doesn't ask. When she asks where they are going, and he tells her that they are going to a place he can protect her...home.
Elsewhere Garrett and Dane are arguing with each other over yet another failed operation. Dane insists that things would have been handled differently if Garrett hadn't flown off the handle...again, while Garrett returns that it is Dane's so-called moral code that is holding him back. Dane warns him in a stern voice not to talk about things he doesn't understand, and through their conversation we learn more about Dane's background and the fact that the only reason he steals is to pay for medical treatments for his family who emigrated to America years before. Dane leaves in disgust, admitting that he might have to compromise his values a bit for this quarry. As Dane walks off, Garrett receives a phone call on his cell, speaking with an unknown figure about "making sure things go right next time."
On a back country road, Brian is driving a beat-up car, looking over his shoulder as he does so. He can see the spirit of Merlyn sitting calmly in the backseat, but doesn't acknowledge him, instead trying to explain the situation as best he can to his sister. But as he does so, it becomes clear that she knows more about the situation than he is informing her of, including eventually admitting that she knows of Merlyn's existence. When pressed about this knowledge though, Betsy clams up and tries not to reveal much, as they approach a country mansion in the distance. Once they get out, they are greeted by the family butler, who welcomes them both home, informing them of the fact that their step-mother is out, but their father is home. Betsy seems afraid of this notion, but Brian stands firm and walks right into the sitting room before they can be announced. James Braddock is far from welcoming to his children, demanding to know why his feckless lay-about son and "freak of a daughter" have darkened his doorway. Brian stands up to him and tells him they only came because they had no choice. James misinterprets this and starts to rant and rave about getting into trouble with drugs or other stuff, only exacerbated by the fact that Scotland Yard has called him just that morning asking about him. Brian tries to explain himself, but James won't hear it. Finally, just as James is attempting to dial the police, his hand suddenly freezes in place and he is pinned against the wall with an unseen force. Brian looks puzzled back at the spirit of Merlyn, but the old wizard points to Betsy, who holds James in place with her mind, demanding he listen to them. Brian's mouth is agape, as Betsy confesses that she is a mutant.
Calmed down somewhat (though still obviously fearful of his daughter, who sits in the corner by herself), James listens briefly to Brian's story and considers it all ludicrous (until Brian briefly uses the Amulet to transform into Captain Britain and then back into himself.) The father and son have a heated conversation about both Betsy being sent away because she's a mutant (James admitting that they are looking into some "special facility in Scotland for her") and to their own relationship over Brian's pursuit of art. Their conversation however is cut short by the form of Merlyn, who tells them that the Ebony Blade is drawing closer. Though he can't see Merlyn, James agrees to protect Betsy while Brian deals with this returning threat. Back in London, Dana is speaking with the Scotland Yard supervisors, who still don't believe her. Frustrated, she googles the Braddock residence on her phone and sets off to meet up with Brian and Betsy, unknowingly tailed by individuals who speak with Nathan Garrett over the phone, led by Cain Marko himself. For their part, Garrett and Dane are alone in a van, moving across the countryside searching for the Braddocks.
Brian transforms back into Captain Britain and flies off looking for Dane and Nathan, accompanied by Merlyn's spirit. Brian asks why only he can see Merlyn, and the spirit explains it is because he is tied to the Amulet's power. Without it he would just fade away. They spot a van driving along in the distance that matches the one that Dane and Garrett had used before. Nodding to Merlyn, Brian decides to follow it till it stops and then get the drop on the two. Merlyn tries to dissuade him from this course of action, but the van pulls up to a stopping place before he can do so. As the van stops at a fork in the road, Brian lands a short distance away and stalks towards them, only to be surprised when Dane gets out of the van and calls out to him, saying that he knows he's here. Brian emerges from the forest, asking how he knew that, and Dane says he just did. Merlyn shouts out at Brian from the woods that the wielder of the blade can sense the Amulet is nearby and vice versa. Brian ignores this and moves towards Dane, who removes his sword from its scabbard. Brian once again forms the mace he had at the museum and the two begin clashing once again, leaving Garrett to watch from the van (though he appears to be speaking on the phone with others). The clash is as much a dead heat as before, but Dane's experience appears to win out the day. Throughout the fight though, Brian conjoles Dane as to why he is doing this, eventually getting Dane to confess about supporting his family through his thievery, and this being the final piece he needs to set them up once and for all, which seems to trigger a moment of understanding to Merlyn.
The aged wizard begins calling out to Dane, and to his (and Brian's) surprise he can see him. Merlyn tries to quickly explain that the blade and amulet are meant to be used together, and tries to explain the fear of the Juggernaut, but Dane stopping the fight to seemingly talk to air has attracted the attention of Garrett, who jumps out of the van and says enough is enough. Before Dane can question his actions, Garrett fires a stun grenade at him which blinds Dane and Brian momentarily. Garrett then shoots Dane in the chest with a single round from a handgun, which seemingly kills the Gentleman Thief. Garrett takes the blade from the ground, commenting that it feels incredibly heavy, and then drives off before Brian can recover his senses. Once he does so, Brian looks down at the motionless Dane. Merlyn says that he's not dead, and that "the sword can heal him," causing Brian to fly off after the van. He catches up with the van at his father's home down the road, stopping Garrett from getting to his sister and father. The two trade barbs briefly, before Garrett reveals his trump card, namely Marko and his squadron of mercenaries ambushing them, having already taken Dana prisoner and killing the Scotland Yard cops and holding Betsy and James Braddock, unconscious, as hostages. Garrett tells Brian that his time playing hero is over, and it's time for the big boys to play with his toys. Marko offers him a deal, the lives of Dana, Betsy and James in exchange for the Amulet. Brian seems torn by this, looking longingly at his sister as Dana yells at him not to do it. Brian glances at Merlyn, who seems resigned to the fate, before deactivating the Amulet and handing it over to Marko. Marko orders the three released and then drives off with Garrett and his goons in a large van, Amulet and sword in tow. Brian can only watch as Merlyn silently fades away.
We briefly see Dane getting back to his feet at the clearing, having been left for dead before. He coughs several times and removes his jacket, revealing a bullet proof vest beneath his clothes. Muttering under his breath about being too old for this sort of thing, he starts hotwiring a motorcycle that's nearby. He hears a voice in the background, telling him not to do that, but he disregards it. The voice grows louder and louder, driving Dane to yell out in frustration before he turns around and sees the faded visage of Merlyn in front of him. Merlyn tries to tell him that they have to act together before all is lost, but Dane disregards it as a "hallucination". Merlyn begins relaying details both of the last few days and of his past, about how he inherited the sword from his uncle whom he could never live up to because of his father's drunkenness, about how he defends his own family, even if he has to break the law to do it. Merlyn admits that he didn't understand why Dane could use the Sword of Might as he could, until he learned of these things. But even then, Dane couldn't use it to its full potential unless he embraced his heroic self entirely. Dane continues to disregard him, but his guilty conscience begins eating away at his resolve, before he angrily turns around and yells that he doesn't believe in ghost stories, only to find Merlyn having faded away again. A nearby man asks him if he needs something, and eventually Dane asks him for a ride down the road.
Back at the Braddock residence, Brian, James, Betsy and Dana are contemplating what to do now. Brian briefly explains exactly why they were protecting the Amulet in the first place, that he was told of the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak and the untold power it could unleash if it was used in the wrong way. Dana offers to get in contact with Scotland Yard, and then maybe they could get ahold of SHIELD, but there's always a good chance that the police would never believe them. James says if he lends his own voice to the routine it would offer credibility to the claims, but the four's thoughts are interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Dane. At first there is natural tension between them, but Dane says he is there under a white flag of truce, which Betsy confirms she can sense from him via her own powers. Dane admits he doesn't understand what is happening, but that he knows that this Marko guy could be bad news. He then tells him he knows where to lead them. Brian asks if they can really do this on their own, which leads to the return of Merlyn (which surprises Dana & James, who can now see the old sorcerer) who tells them that they always could. He exposits a bit more on Arthur and Percy and how even without their powers they were able to defend Camelot dozens of times. Of course, against a threat like this, power is necessary to have on your side. With that, Merlyn fades away and with his sacrifice, seemingly restores Brian's powers for the time being, as he returns to being Captain Britain. After telling James to look after Betsy (and having James tell his son he is proud of him), Captain Britain grabs Dane and flies off with him, Dane screaming as he does so.
Back in the hotel room where Garrett and Marko have arrived carrying the Sword and Amulet. Garrett continues to remark that the sword feels incredibly heavy, but Marko off-handedly remarks that its because its not meant to be used by him, but by Dane Whitman only. Once they get settled, Garrett demands the money that Marko promised him, but Marko tells him it will come in due time. He wants to savor this victory before getting what he wants out of the deal, glancing over an ancient tablet he pulls from his bag. Garrett finally asks what the two things are for, and Marko proceeds to hold the sword and amulet together, spouting off a long string of Latin and seemingly unlocking a door in midair, before an ornate but small Ruby falls onto the floor in front of them. Marko reverently holds the gem in front of himself, commenting that at last he'll have the power to get revenge on his "worthless step-brother". Garrett is intrigued by the idea of power, and Marko reveals that the gem of Cyttorak, when used in accordance with the tablet he had before, will bestow the owner of the gem with incredible strength, endurance, and overall power. All he has to do is read the words from the tablet. Before Marko can use the gem though, he is hit from behind by Garrett, who clubs him with the butt of his rifle. Garrett tells him as he lies their half-conscious that he was just going to rob him of his money and take all the loot for himself, but this power thing sounds awesome. Marko tries to fight Garrett for the gem, and in the end is shot in the shoulder for his trouble. Garrett uses the distraction to read the words from the tablet while holding the gem, causing a bright flash of crimson light to shine out from the sky. Garrett screams as he grows into the muscular form of the Juggernaut, mimicking that of the beings we had seen Arthur and Perceval fight in the beginning of the film. Marko foolishly tries to take the Gem back, but gets backhanded out the window and landing on the street below, seemingly dead. Garrett flexes his muscles and is impressed by his newfound physique, punching his way through the wall and landing on the street below, saying he can do anything he wants now, before running off and leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.
Dane and Braddock arrive at the hotel and quickly deduce what had happened. They recapture both the Amulet and the Sword (which had been left behind by the newly created Juggernaut), with Dane remarking that the sword feels lighter somehow. Almost as quickly as he says this, the sword reacts and grants him a suit of armor to protect him in the coming battle. Together the two rush off to confront the Juggernaut, who has made his way to Trafalgar Square in his rampage. Inside the Square, London Police are being swatted aside as the Juggernaut lays waste to everything in his path. Garrett revels in his newfound power, saying that he might steal the Crown Jewels, or maybe just hold the Queen for ransom. He is confronted however by Captain Britain and Dane. He laughs at his former employer's new getup, calling it a clown suit, and in the immediate confrontation the two are as easily swatted aside by the Juggernaut as the police had been. However the two eventually rally themselves and begin working together, the powers of the sword augmenting the speed and strength of Dane in accordance with the powers of Braddock, and together they begin to hold back the stronger but more hotheaded Juggernaut. However they find that they are unable to finish him off, as Garrett continue to cause collateral damage throughout the area. Eventually the voice of Merlyn speaks to Brian inside his head, telling him that the sword and mace of the Amulet must cleave open a hole in reality.
Uncertain of what that means, Brian merely lets instinct take over, and pairing with Dane the two strike at the ruby of Cyttorak that Garrett is still holding, causing an explosion of energy that briefly opens a hole in reality. Garrett is almost immediately sucked in, and Dane nearly follows him, only to be saved by Captain Britain holding on for dear life for the few moments before the portal closes, with the Juggernaut having disappeared. The day won, Brian and Dane "power down" as it were, and stare at each other uneasily. Brian tells Dane that he can't condone his actions, even if he understands them. Dane tells him it's all he's known, but that he will try and be better in the future. Dane walks off, his sword in tow, to parts unknown.
In the epilogue we see Brian reunited with his family and Dana, Scotland Yard having been called off the chase for the Amulet. Dane boards a plane headed for America, looking to visit his ailing family and perhaps start a new life there. All the while Merlyn's narration speaks of a heroic spirit in all of us, if we are merely willing to stand for what we believe and do the right thing. For it is our sense of right and honor that gives us our strength, not the other way around. The scene ends with Captain Britain flying through London, standing heroically atop Big Ben before flying towards the camera and fading to black.
[We briefly open in a London hospital, where we see Doctors trying to deal with casualties from the battle in Trafalgar Square. Two Doctors briefly look over a patient we can't see, only labeled as "John Doe" on the tag in bed.]
Doctor #1: You're saying he has a severed spinal column and severe lacerations, but he still survived?
Doctor #2: I can't explain it. Must be someone looking out for this guy, whoever he is.
Doctor #1: Still no luck on an ID?
Doctor #2: No...though from his clothes he looked like a rich guy. I'm sure someone will claim him, if he ever wakes up from the coma.
[As the doctors walk off, a small red portal opens just above the man, and a familiar ruby drops neatly into his hand before disappearing. Just as Merlyn had predicted centuries before, the gem of Cyttorak had been returned after being destroyed. Briefly, the heart monitor next to the patient blips up, and the camera swings upward to the face of Cain Marko, who smiles briefly before fading back to unconsciousness as we cut to credits.]
/ - / - / - /
[We open in a well-lit laboratory, where we see Betsy and Brian Braddock taking a tour of the place. Eventually they are greeted by the lead scientist.]
Moira: Mr and Miss Braddock...welcome to the Muir Island Research Facility. I'm Doctor Moira McTaggert.
Brian: Pleased to meet you Doctor. This is my sister, Betsy, whom I spoke with you over the phone about.
Moira: Yes of course, pleased to meet you.
[The three share some small talk as they get some information about the facility being the premiere research facility for mutant genetics and biology. Brian is impressed, but thought there was a school involved here, which draws out another face.]
Man: There is a school. But it's not here. It's in America. And Miss Braddock would be quite welcome there.
Brian: I see. And who are you.
[A bald-headed man rolls into the scene in a wheelchair.]
Xavier: My name is Professor Charles Xavier. I run a school for gifted individuals such as yourself, Miss Braddock.
Betsy: How do you know I'm gifted?
Xavier: We are all gifted in some ways.
[As the Professor continues to speak, we hear his voice speaking directly to Betsy.]
Xavier: [telepathically] Though some of us have more unique gifts than others...
[We end on Betsy's shocked face and the smile of Xavier as we fade to black, with a note on the arrival of the X-men, the following spring.]
Summary of Changes
Captain Britain is a wholly original film within the Earth-11584 universe and has no counterpart in the mainline MCU.
- Bradley James as Brian Braddock/Captain Britain- A struggling comic book artist who becomes the superhero Captain Britain with the use of the legendary Amulet of Right.
- Erica Brown as Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock- The younger sister of Brian, who is sent to live with him by his estranged stepfather.
- Daniel Radcliffe as Dane Whitman/The Black Knight- A self-professed "Gentleman Thief" who will steal anything for a price, but still adheres to a strict code of conduct in his actions. He also possesses a mystical sword known as the Ebony Blade, or the Sword of Might.
- Mark Rylance as Merlyn- The former Sorcerer Supreme of Earth who's consciousness has been guardian to the Amulet since his death a thousand years earlier.
- Billie Piper as Dana Thomas- A former Scotland Yard inspector who is the next door neighbor to Brian Braddock. Loosely adapted from the "Dai Thomas" character in the comics.
- Ron Perlman as Cain Marko- An American venture capitalist who specializes in elements of the occult, and is seeking the Amulet of Right to access the hidden powers of Cyttorak.
- Gary Lewis as James Braddock- The father of Brian and Betsy Braddock, whom he is estranged from.
- Harry Lloyd as Nathan Garrett- The right hand man of Dane Whitman, who has a meanstreak of his own.
- TI Harris and David Dastmalchian as Dave Richards and Kurt Tetrovsky respectively- Members of X-Con Security who have been hired to upgrade the security at the London Museum, following the events of Black Panther.
In addition, Ralph Fiennes debuts as Professor Charles Xavier in a post-credits scene, setting up his appearance in Uncanny X-Men the following year. Kelly Macdonald also appears briefly as Dr. Moira McTaggert. Captain Britain co-creator Chris Claremont also appears in a cameo as the butler for the Braddock family.
The film received mixed (but mostly positive) reviews upon its release. On the aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, the film scored 72% based on over 220 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads "Captain Britain will satisfy most Marvel fans, though it fails to stand out from the crowd despite a talented cast that makes the most with the relatively unknown heroes." Critics praised Daniel Radcliffe's performance as well as the film's overall message, while criticizing the attempts to connect the film to the larger Marvel universe (including the introduction of mutants into the MCU.)
Box Office Reception
While the film was successful financially, earning over $600 million dollars at the worldwide box office, it failed to make as much money as other entries within the MCU.