Over the past nine years, Marvel Studios has created an incredibly successful shared cinematic universe, delivering some of the best comic book movies of all time. Marvel’s success is unprecedented, and they have set the bar high for all other comic book movies to come. However, that doesn’t mean that the MCU films are perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It’s no secret that many fans have very specific criticisms for the MCU movies, chief among them probably being the underutilization of the villains. Over the years, there have been a few standout performances from the villains, including Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin, but as a whole, the general consensus is that the MCU needs to step up it’s game when it comes to antagonists. After years of criticism, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has finally spoken out on the issue to defend Marvel’s reasoning behind their decisions.
“It always starts with what serves the story the most and what serves the hero the most,” Feige explained. “A big criticism of ours is that we focus on the heroes more than the villains. I think that’s probably true.”
Looking back on Marvel’s films, it’s definitely true that the studio largely keeps the focus on the heroes, and that has been to the detriment of the big bads in the films. For example, one thing that disappointed me in last year’s Doctor Strange was how little screen time Mads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius received. Mikkelsen is a top-tier actor, and I was looking forward to seeing more of him. However, it seems that Feige is arguing that the purpose of the villains is to serve the heroes and their development. Feige goes on to further explain this logic by taking a closer look at Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser in Guardians of the Galaxy.
“Ronan’s great; Lee Pace did an awesome job, absolutely serves it, but certainly was there to go up against our heroes and to give our heroes a reason for coming together. Loki, a great character, serves in a lot of ways [his brother] Thor. Zemo served that conflict between Cap and Iron Man [in Civil War]. Taserface and Ayesha are less grandiose in their ambitions than Ronan was, for instance. Ayesha just wants to kill them for slighting her, and Taserface wants to lead the Ravagers and thinks that Yondu got soft.”
So it seems that for better or worse, Marvel will continue its pattern of using the villains to develop and serve the heroes in their films. Hopefully we’ll see some development for villains in the future, especially since Feige has since stated that Thanos will be the main focus of Avengers: Infinity War. What do you think? Should Marvel change up it’s strategy and focus more on villains? Let us know in the comments below!