Comic Book Movie Buzz: Kevin Feige talks Current Marvel Cinematic Universe

Empire Magazine had an exclusive discussion with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige on the current slate of Marvel movies (and some of the future) in an interview featured in their special Director’s Cut Issue.

Empire asked many questions of the Marvel executive, chief among them was about the status of the new MCU post-The Winter Soldier. SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!

Feige on how long they had been planning for Winter Soldier’s events: “It goes back to silly things, like when we were developing Hydra logos and S.H.I.E.L.D. logos for the first Captain America film and commenting on how close those logos were. We were developing the idea of a precursor to S.H.I.E.L.D. with the SSR, just as there was a precursor to the CIA during World War II, and Operation Paperclip, which Black Widow mentions in the Winter Soldier, was a real-life thing where the US government brought Wernher von Braun and other German scientists in to work for them, and the Soviets did the same thing. The Americans wanted to snapu up the brilliant German scientists. The notion was, what if (Arnim) Zola (played by Toby Jones) was part of that, and what if the ideals of Hydra have been embedded within S.H.I.E.L.D. for a long time?”

Feige on the thematic link in Phase 2, and does this continue in Guardians of the Galaxy: “Well, what’s funny is most of the Guardians have been attacked where they live, before the movie starts. That’s what makes them these loners that team up.”

Feige on the incarnation of Thanos we will possibly see in Guardians: “There is an actor. I’m not sure we want to announce it yet.”

Feige also gives some interesting takes on a great question of whether there is a need for increased output with such a large stable of characters (based on the financial success of their successive films). Feige stated that he felt no “corporate pressure” to increase, therefore, they will do what is “comfortable” for them (which sounds like they will stick with 2 films a year). Also interesting, Feige notes that there is always a possibility for a different number of movies in each phase of the MCU, stating “Nothing is written in stone in terms of Phase sizes.”

On Dr. Strange and what his introduction might mean to the MCU: “We have stories in development, we’re meeting with filmmakers and we could be making announcements if all the pieces fall into place quickly.” Feige continues that Dr. Strange will bring a “a whole other side to the Marvel universe, which is the supernatural side, the inter-dimensional side, which we’ve always been very interested in and which has always been a very important aspect going back to the early days of Strange Tales and Steve Ditko, and Stan Lee.”

Feige on the theory that the Vision is JARVIS made flesh: “If one were to confirm anything about Paul Bettany and look at the arc and the line of what Paul has done for us, that’s pretty unique and cool and exciting and spins right out of stories we’ve told in the past.”

However, Feige does not choose to confirm that the JARVIS becomes The Vision.

Finally, Empire turned their focus to Ant-Man and how he will play into the current MCU, even though he was really the first script created ten years ago. Feige on whether they had to retrofit Ant-Man to fit in the current MCU: “A little bit. Not much. There’s been a little bit of connective tissue that wouldn’t have been there in his draft ten years ago. We changed, frankly, some of the MCU to accommodate this version of Ant-Man. Knowing what we wanted to do with Edgar and with Ant-Man, going years and years back, helped to dictate what we did with the roster of the Avengers the first time.”

For more on MCU reveals from the Empire Magazine release, keep coming back to Capeless for my coverage.

  • It is wonderful to finally see a Doctor Strange movie in the works. I have always been frustrated that this character has never been given his due in the Feige cinematic universe. He is integral to the world. On the Extremis Review we have examined this a bit and his inclusion explains things like Thanos’ love affair and just exactly how Asgard works. Though I am not sure how they will blend their realist Planet Asgard into the cosmology of Dr. Strange.

    My Best,

    Julian Munds – Editor of The Extremis Review

    • Thanks for the comment: I think that Guardians of the Galaxy is the apéritifs a tonal shift, as was the end of The Winter Soldier. I can’t wait to see what they do with Dr. Strange, but I really hope they don’t try to explain away his powers with science.

      We are going to be getting psychadelic and inter-dimensional, which will be a far-cry from the cave in the middle east where Iron Man was created.

      I think the question that still dogs me from The Winter Soldier is whether the MCU is ready for this tonal shift with the dismantling of HYDRA? As evil an organization as they “were”, Hydra (Project Insight) was going to help them prepare for other-worldly interference. I don’t know if I was the only one, but I was saying in my head at the end of Winter Soldier, “hey, why do they have to blow up SHIELD and HYDRA!?!? Don’t you guys know what else is out there?!” read: Thanos.

      • I am worried about that as well. Dr. Strange needs to remain supernatural. And we need a big screen version of Nightmare!