Whenever a new MCU film comes out Kevin Feige begins making the rounds in promotion of the movie and the fans get little peaks into the bigger picture.  At this point merely seeing his name creates a Pavlovian response in those who love the MCU.  “What more will he reveal?”  Recently the master of the MCU sat down with the Toronto Sun and shared a few thoughts on various issues.  The first which most connects with this weekend’s release, Spider-Man: Homecoming, is about who we will (or more accurately will not) see in the sequel.

We are excited to use [villains] that you haven’t seen before on screen. So that narrows it down a little bit in terms of who will pop up next. Spider-Man has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to villains and there are a lot that haven’t been touched upon. It’s those that we will be looking at first.

For those without an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of Spidey films, that means that the following characters are out of the picture: Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Venom, Lizard, Electro, Rhino, Shocker, and Vulture.  That leaves some great options like Scorpion, Chameleon, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, or Hobgoblin.  Several of those characters have been rumored to appear in the upcoming Silver & Black so it will be interesting to see how that situation works out.  (There is still a lot of confusion just how connected Sony will/can make that film with the MCU.)

Speaking of the Sony projects like Venom, Feige again reiterated how different then are from the MCU, as well as pointing out how he feels about R-rated MCU films generally.

No, [Venom is] completely separate.

Deadpool and Logan were unbelievably different kinds of movies and excellent. But we have no plans right now as we build towards Infinity War and the next seven movies that we’re working on. We haven’t found ourselves in a position where we couldn’t tell the story we wanted to tell where we would have been hindered by a rating.

First of all, his approach to more adult films is another sign of just how much he understands the genre and marketplace.  Most fans will agree that the Fox properties with R ratings needed to be able to do that to fit the needs of the characters.  No Marvel property (in theaters) has required that.  If Marvel Studios can continue to pump out movies with broad audiences (i.e. movies that teens can see without mom or dad) then why limit the box office with an unnecessary rating?  While Deadpool was a big success, the rating probably stopped it from being a billion dollar film.  Certainly, the content is the reason that it didn’t air in China.

A recurring theme with Feige, whenever asked about the future of the films, is to point to how much is on his plate.  It is true that he still has a further seven announced films that will happen in the next two years.  The comment also is an avoidance technique, because it isn’t like he doesn’t think past those films.  He revealed that his previous comments about films through 2023 should now be extended.

[Our blueprint goes] a few years past [2023]. We have and are continuing to plot out the MCU post the next two Avengers films and what’s exciting is that the next Spider-Man will kick that off.

That blueprint may be plotted out some, but the role of Robert Downey Jr. is less clear.

Luckily those seven movies we just talked about …I don’t have to worry about [Downey’s departure] any time soon. I do think Iron Man, like Spider-Man, like Batman, like Superman, like James Bond has existed long before most of us were around and will exist long after most of us are gone. So it’s inevitable at some point, but certainly nothing I have to think about anytime soon.

He has, however, begun to think about the future of characters from the first phase of the MCU.  Generally speaking, the current plan appears to be to offer characters a trilogy and then move on from the property.  He said the following when asked if Thor’s next adventure is his last.

I think that we are finding ourselves as we complete Phase 3 and finish this 22-movie narrative that it’s working out that way [i.e. a trilogy for each character]. We did three Iron Man films, three Captain America films, three Thor films. Things change drastically in Ragnarok and then build directly into Infinity War.

With all of his attention based squarely on the next two years, is there anything new he can share about one of those movies?  Maybe a thought on Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers 4?

We’re on day 73 of 90 on Infinity War right now and then we shut down for three weeks and then we start filming untitled Avengers. It is a very big undertaking; both what’s on the screen and what’s going on behind the scenes to make it possible. It is very ambitious.

Nothing too explosive there, but the overall scope of these films is still amazing to fathom.  The cast and VFX work alone is too big to comprehend.  Ambitious is a perfect way to describe what is happening.

With Feige giving as much info as he can for the films through 2020, but with plans for 2023 and beyond, when might we reasonably expect to hear more about the future of the MCU?  What he obscures with his comments is that we have gone a long time since hearing much news.  The Phase Three mega announcement at the Capitan Theater is now nearly three years ago.  Since there have been little shifts to the schedule (adding Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ant-Man and the Wasp and deleting Inhumans, plus release date shuffles), but nothing major.  It certainly has been a distinct difference between announcing half a dozen movies on one afternoon, and only three in the three years since.  What still is to be seen is if this year’s San Diego Comic Con or D23 will be an avenue for major announcements.  Here’s hoping one or both are!

For more on the development of Spider-Man: Homecoming check out the rest of the interview with the Sun, which includes a lot of great behind the scenes nuggets.  What do you think is coming next in the MCU?  What are you hoping to see in Phase Four and beyond?

Source:  Toronto Sun