Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige knows what to say when talking the future of the MCU, something he proves once again in the most recent Avengers: Infinity War issue of Entertainment Weekly.
Feige was asked a bit about everything during the spotlight feature, because let’s be honest, there’s HOW MANY films still on the slate for this phase of the universe alone? Needless to say, it’s a lot of ground to cover, so we’re going to break up the piece into parts, because it’ll make more sense that way.
In part 3, Kevin spoke a bit about what a Marvel “end” means, and how Avengers: Infinity War fits into that mold. Following up on that, Entertainment Weekly asked about a classic Marvel trope: “What If”. As in, what if the Iron Man and Captain America films didn’t end up meshing? What if the MCU never really came together?
Entertainment Weekly: You mentioned before that Marvel Studios was all-in at important junctures. What’s the dark version of the Marvel Universe where you had to activate a backup plan for Avengers if Cap or Thor hadn’t connected?
Kevin Feige: Well, not on Avengers necessarily. As we develop stories and develop scripts, you have to deal with the realities of deal making, and the realities of schedules, and the realities of budgets. We always have A, and B, and C plans. That doesn’t mean the B or C plan wouldn’t have worked. It just meant it would have been different.
EW: Had those movies failed, would Avengers have become basically Iron Man 3?
Feige: The real answer is we were all-in. God forbid those films had [flopped] … I think the marketing probably would have been different [for Avengers] and maybe the way the film was cut together or recut with additional scenes would have been different, but it was all-in on that one.
EW: What feels like the big gamble now?
Fiege: Every time you do a film that doesn’t have a part two behind it or wasn’t a sequel. After Iron Man, and certainly after Captain America and Thor, and certainly after The Avengers, Marvel Studios could have made, theoretically, a nice game plan only making sequels to those movies. A lot of studios would love to have four franchises that they can keep doing sequels to. We specifically didn’t want to do that, because we wanted to keep bringing new characters to the forefront, because there’s an embarrassment of riches in the comic books.
EW: Which of those new films felt like risks, felt uncertain?
Feige: You look at Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man … You look at Black Panther or Captain Marvel, that we have just started filming. One could consider those risks, whenever you’re doing something new and it’s not proven. Doing a third version of Spider-Man. Those are all things that have a certain amount of risk associated with them, but early on we decided we didn’t want to be just the Iron Man studio or just the Avengers studio. We want to be the Marvel Studio.
EW: Years back, you listed all of those new movies as possible projects you wanted to make. Now most of them have happened. So, what’s on your wish list now?
Feige: Well, there are lots. There are lots. It’s a testament to the 8,000-plus characters in Marvel Comics. We still haven’t made or developed every character we saw when we flipped through a comic and went, “This would be cool. This would be a good story.”
EW: Such as …?
Feige: We’re not ready to talk about what those are, but like the ones we’ve made in the first three phases, they’re ones that are either just great concepts for a film, great characters with great supporting characters, like Panther. New locations and lands that have cultural significance all their own, and continuing to tell stories that represent the world as it is, that represent people who perhaps haven’t seen themselves portrayed in this light in the past. We want to continue to do that.
Wow, now I’m even more curious as to what the things are that Kevin isn’t ready to talk about. What do you think it was that he won’t name?
Pick up your copy of Entertainment Weekly’s Avengers: Infinity War issue out now.