Spoiler Warning: There may be some minor spoilers below.
Over the weekend, Marvel held a press junket for Ant-Man, which will finally hit movie theaters in three weeks after a long journey to the big screen. Since then, bloggers have been posting bits and pieces from their interviews on their sites hinting at the next phase in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three.
Back in October of 2014, Marvel Studios held a fan event where they revealed the entire Phase Three line-up, and they also [finally] confirmed the casting of Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, who will make his debut in next year’s Captain America: Civil War. At the time, the deal with Sony and Marvel that would allow them to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe was being rumored by multiple outlets, although Kevin Feige insisted that, had there been news to share on that front, it would have been revealed with the rest of the Phase Three slate.
Cut to February of this year, when Marvel and Sony announced that they’d worked out a deal to allow Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At the time, not much was known about the joint production, other than the fact that it would be released on July 28, 2017, formerly Thor: Ragnarok‘s release date, forcing Marvel to readjust their release schedule for multiple Phase Three films.
Since then, they’ve announced that actor Tom Holland will be playing Peter Parker, and will make his debut in next year’s Captain America: Civil War, while new-comer Jon Watts (Cop Car) will direct the solo film for 2017.
During the press junket this past weekend, Devin of Birth. Movies. Death. was able to talk to Kevin Feige about what we can expect from the new Spider-Man film. Feige has already stated previously the new Spider-Man films will focus on Peter in high school and that he’ll be sporting a homemade costume when we first meet him. Other than that details have been rather sparse.
Now that Holland has landed the gig, however, it appears that Feige is slowly beginning to open up about what we can expect from the Spider-Man solo film, which is currently still untitled. According to Feige, the film will have a “John Hughes” feel to it.
“It’s the soap opera in high school, and those supporting characters, that are interesting,” said Feige. “Just as we hadn’t seen a heist movie in a long time, or a shrinking movie in a long time, we haven’t seen a John Hughes movie in a long time. Not that we can make a John Hughes movie – only John Hughes could – but we’re inspired by him, and merging that with the superhero genre in a way we haven’t done before excites us.”
As someone that grew up loving Hughes’ work, I’m actually excited by this comparison. It’s not something you’d expect to hear in reference to Spider-Man, and yet, it works.
Feige also goes on to explain that we’ll see new villains in the 2017 Spider-Man film, telling BMD that,
“Right now we’re interested in seeing villains we haven’t seen before.”
Given how many excellent Spider-Man villains there are, I’m glad to hear that we won’t be getting Green Goblin yet again with this next installment. The one thing this new franchise needs to do is separate from the films before it. While the first two Spider-Man films were excellent, Sony seemed to lose focus on both the character and the world they were trying to establish with Spider-Man 3 and beyond. Thankfully, Feige is now on board and Spider-Man now exists within the MCU, meaning The Amazing Spider-Man franchise will soon be nothing more than a distant memory.
Devin was also able to get Feige to discuss Doctor Strange. Last week, director Scott Derrickson made his way to London to enter pre-production on the film which will begin filming in November. We know that Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast in the titular role, and that Tilda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor are rumored to appear as the Ancient One and Baron Mordo respectively.
One of the things that I’m most excited about regarding Doctor Strange is the fantastic cast they have assembled already. While some may take issue with the changes Marvel is making bringing certain characters to life, I’ve found their casting choices to be inspired. As of right now, Swinton’s casting has not been confirmed by Marvel, but Feige’s statements regarding the casting of the Ancient One seem to offer confirmation of her casting.
“As we were developing this film we looked at The Ancient One as a mantle more than a specific person,” Feige explained. “The sorcerers have been around for millennia, protecting us from things we didn’t know about until this story. There have been multiple [Ancient Ones], even if this one has been around for five hundred years, there were others. This is a mantle, and therefore felt we had leeway to cast in interesting ways.”
Devin and Feige also talk a bit about the end of Ant-Man, and how it relates to Doctor Strange. Given that it’s a spoiler and we’re still a few weeks out from the release of the film, you’ll have to head over here to read it.
Finally, Devin was able to get some information out of Feige regarding Black Panther.
We’re about two months into the filming of Captain America: Civil War, which should finish sometime around August, and while we know that Chadwick Boseman will make his debut in the film, we have yet to spot him on set. This is more than likely due to the fact that after filming on a rather public set, the production seems to have moved mainly indoors.
Marvel has already revealed concept art for the Black Panther costume, and Feige confirmed during the October event last year that we will see Boseman suit up in Civil War, but one thing that fans have been curious about is if he’ll already be Black Panther at the start of the film.
According to Feige, who does his best not to spoil anything, it’s still early on after he becomes Black Panther.
“I don’t know how to answer that question without spoiling it!” Feige said. “It is a role that he is still in the beginning phases of taking on, it’s a mantle he is only beginning to take on because his father is older.”
If you’ll recall, awhile back, Latino-Review reported that actor Ernie Hudson was rumored to be circling the role of T’Chaka, T’Challa’s father. Unfortunately, nothing has come of that report since it was reported, however given how well Marvel hid the castings of Linda Cardellini and Julie Delpy in Avengers: Age of Ultron, anything is possible.
Of course, Devin from BMD wasn’t the only blogger to get information out of Feige regarding Phase Three. Germain from io9 was also able to get Feige to reveal a few interesting bits regarding multiple Phase Three films, including a tease regarding Thor: Ragnarok, and a small bit regarding the Mandarin.
While Thor director Kenneth Branagh was rumored to direct Thor: Ragnarok, Feige told Germain that isn’t true, and that they’ll probably announce who will direct the film towards the end of the summer.
I think towards the end of the summer there will probably be a filmmaker announcement and a writer announcement and maybe even some additional casting announcements. That won’t start filming until middle of next year.
It has been rumored that the directors for both Captain Marvel and Black Panther will also be announced by the end of the summer, and with D23 right around the corner, it’s entirely possible Marvel is holding off on announcing anything until then.
He also goes on to tease the possibility of the Mandarin in Ant-Man.
In Iron Man 3, actor Ben Kingsley played the role of the Mandarin. He later went on to reprise the role in the Marvel One Shot All Hail The King where we learned that Kingsley’s character wasn’t the real Mandarin. Since then, fans have been hoping to see the real Mandarin pop up in the MCU. According to Germain, actor Martin Donovan was spotted on set with “several extras were spotted with 10 Rings tattoos on their necks”, so naturally, he had to ask if Donovan was the real Mandarin.
“I guess anything is possible but that’s not necessarily what we were currently thinking,” Feige said. Then he jokingly added “But now that you said it…”
As of right now, all we know regarding Donovan’s role is that it is a “pivotal” one and that he appears in a flashback scene, although that should change soon enough.
Ant-Man, which will have its premiere tonight, will hit movie theaters on July 17th, 2015.
As always, be sure to follow along here for all of the latest MCU news.