At a recent Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 press event, Collider landed an exclusive interview with Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige. During the event, they covered the past, present, and future states of the MCU; whether he’s had regrets from choices made in previous films and what he’s looking forward to most in the near future. Mild spoilers ahead…
I think the notion of Spider-Man in the MCU is one of the most exciting things that has happened to us in our almost ten-year history.
Fans of the massive franchise, built in great part by Feige and his brain trust, appreciate what goes on behind the scenes to produce the incredible cohesive story-telling that has made the MCU what it is today. After nearly a decade at the helm of crafting this enormous ongoing narrative, does Marvel Studios’ President have any regrets?
“I think it’s human nature to go and to watch things that are done, and see the flaws, but I cannot think of anything that we would want to go so far as to completely change or redo to be honest with you. I think there are characters, you look at the Thor: Ragnarok trailer, there are characters that can evolve and can continue to change and grow throughout. That’s one of the benefits, one of the most exciting things of having a film series that has multiple parts, and that’s what excited us is how do we take what worked, and expand upon it or even surprisingly change it up. That’s what we focus on as opposed to, ‘I wish that was different.'”
When asked in the grand scheme of what’s still to come out of the Marvel Studios powerhouse, Feige admitted it’s difficult to pinpoint specifically everything he’s looking forward to, however, he did admit what’s at the forefront of his mind:
“That is a very hard question to answer, but I would say as we are finally finishing and unveiling to the world the next solo, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker adventure is something I’m very excited about. I think he’s amazing, and I think the notion of Spider-Man in the MCU is one of the most exciting things that has happened to us in our almost ten-year history. I can’t wait. Some people have glimpsed a little peek already. I’m excited for them to see their first glimpse to what Ryan Coogler is doing on Black Panther, which I think is groundbreaking, and is going to excite a lot of people. And every day what we’re filming on Infinity War is amongst the best stuff we have ever put on film.”
On the future state of the MCU and what happens after Phase 3, Feige was reluctant as usual to go into great detail about the big picture but elaborated on what we already know and how the actors’ contract agreements factor into Phase 4 (or whatever it will be called):
“We have an idea yes, and it’s going to be very different…We’ve had people under contract for certain films. Then, we’ve had new ideas and new directions, like Civil War, that we wanted to do, and we’ve been lucky enough to make new contracts. Or Spider-Man: Homecoming, the cast has been awesome in their enthusiasm for the direction of the storylines that we’ve been telling. So, it really does right now all start with where we want to take the stories, and certainly as we get to Infinity War there’s a sense of a climax and if not a conclusion to, by the time we’re at Untitled Avengers, the 22 movies that will have encompassed the first three phases of the MCU. And what happens after that will be very different. I don’t know if it’s Phase Four. It might be a new thing.”
Longtime Spider-Man producer and Sony Pictures executive, Amy Pascal, has infamously stated that the three studios (Disney, Marvel, & Sony) coming together for the benefit of the character is unprecedented and likely never will happen again “after we do the sequel”. This left many fans stunned at the realization that Sony may pull Spidey out of the MCU after his sequel to Homecoming, as some have speculated Sony’s safety net to the character is being kicked off with their own cinematic universe in the R-rated Venom movie currently slated for October 5, 2018.
The Spider-Man deal between Marvel Studios & Sony Pictures currently exists with his first appearance in Civil War, two solo adventures, and two Avengers outings. After that, Holland is contracted for two more films with Sony should they decide to pull him out. Feige went into as vague of detail as possible as to why they are just focusing on the now:
“Every time we make a movie, Guardians included, Black Panther included, Infinity War included, we just feel lucky to be making that movie, and that’s basically what the focus is on. We’re just lucky to feel lucky and thankful that Homecoming came together, and that everybody wants to continue that with another Spidey avenger post Avengers movies. Where we go beyond that is not even [something we’re] thinking about right now.”
Clearly, Peter Parker’s continued future is up in the air and solely rests on Sony’s success with Spidey swinging around in the MCU. But fans can rejoice for one new character on the live-action horizon whose rights are safely secured with Marvel Studios; Adam Warlock was not-so-subtly teased in a Vol. 2 post-credit stinger. Naturally, we would assume this was to set up for Infinity War, as he is a major character in the comic book on which the story is based. Feige explained, however, why we can expect to see him pop up in the future cosmos end of the MCU, but not necessarily in Infinity War:
“Adam Warlock is a character that we all love very much. James [Gunn] in particular has come very close, as I think he’s revealed recently, to including him in Vol. 2, but when it was decided that that was one character too many, and the movie coalesced into the awesome form it is now, he wanted to seed that appearance in future Guardians movies in the tag…Right now, I think we envision him as a Guardians thing. That being said, with James at the helm up to this point, I would presume it would continue to be the case. Any one of his Guardians or any pairing of his Guardians I think could carry their own movies now.”
The latter statement could be a hint at spin-off potential for the Guardians franchise. For now, it’s safe to say that the future of other properties, like Doctor Strange, are in development, but are not being officially announced at this time. Furthermore, Feige expressed that there is nothing new to be said about Marvel’s First Family, the Fantastic Four (whose character rights solely rest with 20th Century Fox, for better or worse), and explained whether or not we should still be holding our breath for their own Homecoming party:
“No, but I would say there’s not like there’s anything frozen that there needs to be a thaw. There’s no weirdness. It is just very, very cut and dry, and they’re doing their thing, and they’re doing it quite well in most regards, and we’re doing our thing.”
“In most regards” is right. You have to wonder what Feige’s vision of what an MCU Fan4stic team could potentially be. Thankfully, we can be content that there’s plenty of toys left in the Marvel Studios sandbox to play with for years to come. What are you most excited for from Marvel and what do you think their biggest mistakes have been so far (other than going bankrupt in the mid-90s and auctioning off their characters to the highest bidders)?