With Marvel’s next blockbuster, Doctor Strange, less than two weeks away from hitting cinemas in the United States, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has been making the press rounds to discuss all things related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While we’ve already seen him tease the possible Multiverse in a recent interview, it’s his latest interview with Collider that has proven to be most fruitful. Taking some time out of his busy schedule to sit down with the folks over at Collider, Feige opened up about those rumored talks with Fox, the future of Coulson and the Avengers, as well as possible new characters for Avengers: Infinity War.
When it comes to Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), fans have been eagerly awaiting some sort of indication on screen that the Avengers are aware he’s still alive following his death in 2012’s The Avengers. We’re now four seasons into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and while we know Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) know he’s alive, we have yet to see a nod towards Coulson’s resurrection in the films. Unfortunately, when asked about that very prospect, Feige played rather coy, giving a simple ‘maybe’ in response.
Collider: Got a bunch of questions for you from some of my staff and myself. Are the Avengers ever going to be made aware that [Phil] Coulson is alive?
Of course, as much as fans have been eager to see the films acknowledge the TV shows (i.e. Coulson with S.H.I.E.L.D.), the past year has brought upon more interesting questions. Shortly after the deal with Sony and Marvel regarding Spider-Man was announced, rumors seemed to start-up that a similar deal would be taking place to bring the X-Men and the Fantastic Four back to Marvel. And while, unlike with Spider-Man, the trades haven’t chimed in to suggest any sort of conversations were actually happening between the studios, it seemed as though the rumors only continued to grow. This, naturally, led to Collider trying to get an answer from Feige, and unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be good news at this point in time.
Collider:Fans are very excited about the Marvel/Sony team up. Has the iceberg between Fox and Marvel started to thaw or is it still a frozen tundra?
Feige: Well, it’s the same as it has always been. I don’t want to attribute it as a frozen wasteland or anything like that.
Collider: I’ll say it’s a frozen wasteland.
Feige: We all get along and I see them occasionally but there’s no change in any dynamic.
With both Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok – which should wrap tomorrow – finishing up filming, it’s time to turn our focus to the next projects slated for production. And while Black Panther, which is well into casting at this point, is set to kick off production in the New Year, it’s Avengers: Infinity War that most are curious about. After all, this film (as well as the untitled Avengers film that’ll follow it) will see Marvel’s biggest cast to date in a feature. The Russo brothers, who are already in Atlanta for pre-production, have been teasing the film for some time now, posting an image with Josh Brolin, as well as images of Cap’s shield, making many believe filming is right around the corner. However, like with Black Panther, filming on Infinity War isn’t set to kick off until January.
Collider:What are the actual filming dates for the next two Avengers movies?
Feige: Well without being super specific cameras start rolling in January and will continue rolling in some form or another through October, November.
When it comes to Infinity War, while we know the cast is guaranteed to be massive already, a lot of fans have been wondering if we’ll see Brie Larson make her debut as Captain Marvel in the film ahead of her solo film in 2019. This is something that Feige has previously shot down, stating that they want to give the character time to shine in her own film rather than shoehorning her into Infinity War just for the heck of it. With that said, that doesn’t mean we won’t see any other new characters pop up in Infinity War.
Collider: Will we see any new characters in Avengers: Infinity War or is it enough just to bring together the MCU characters in two movies?
Feige: It is primarily enough just to bring together all those characters in movies but there will be some new players.
With Inhumans still in a holding pattern release date wise, the post-Avengers 4 MCU still remains a mystery. While new properties like Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man will surely warrant sequels, fans are also eager for new films with new faces. Feige seems to have it under control though hinting at continuing their tradition of bringing new and exciting stories while still pushing forward the narrative of their existing characters.
Collider: Post Avengers 4 what does the MCU look like. Is it going to be a mix of sequels and new movies, will some of the phase one people start to retire, if you will?
Feige: I think anything is possible. I think absolutely you’ve seen our model this year last year that we like a new adventure in the ongoing stories of existing characters and then something completely new and completely different. I think next year you will see it with Guardians. Then frankly, I almost count Homecoming and Ragnarok as two almost entirely different and brand new thing— even though there’s been other Spider-Man films and two other Thor films. They’re [both] very, very, different.
Speaking about what’s next for the MCU, Feige talked about future Captain America installments and whether or not they require Steve Rogers in order to be successful.
Collider: Does a Captain America movie have to star Steve Rogers?
Feige: It’s a good question and if we look back at the comic books as our inspiration and as the well from which this all springs, then the answer is “no.”
When it comes to the announcement films for 2019 and 2020, many fans suspect at least one sequel to be added to the slate. According to Feige, they have an idea of what films they’d like to see in those spots but admits that nothing is solidified yet.
Collider: Marvel has announced 2019 and 2020 placeholders. How much do you guys know what those movies are and just haven’t announced them yet or are they still in flux?
Feige: It’s a combination. We know what we’d like them to be for 2020. Over the years, where we’re aiming we’ve been lucky enough that it’s usually been the same thing but we always leave ourselves the opportunity to bob and weave and adapt if we have to. But we know where we’re headed for 2020 and we have ideas and were beginning to solidify the years beyond that.
Switching gears a bit, Feige talked a bit about Doctor Strange, which hits theaters in the US next week. While viewing films in 3D has always been a polarizing topic, especially in terms of Marvel Studios films, it sounds like the most recent installment o the MCU has knocked it out of the park.
Collider: I’m gonna give you props on the 3D here, because I have come at you in the past and ridiculed Marvel’s 3D attempts….even though Guardians was great, this was Marvel’s first 3D home run.
Feige: Well that’s good. You know when you talk about storytelling tools, you have to understand that 3D is always a tool. Sometimes it is a tool that merely enhances something. In the case of Strange, in particular, I think the 3D version tells the story of the movie better.
Marvel’s latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange, will hit the big screen on November 4th.