Victoria Alonso, executive VP of physical production for Marvel Studios, has been involved with the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the very beginning. She joined the company in 2006 as chief of visual effects and was promoted to her current position in 2015. She, Marvel president Kevin Feige, and co-president Louis D’Esposito are the trio that is keeping the MCU together. Alonso recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the budgets of these insane movies and the thing she is most proud of after 10 years.
Georgia, where a lot of the Marvel movies are filmed, has considered bills that would allow discrimination against same-sex couples. Alonso, who is married to a woman, was asked if she would advocate pulling out of the state if such legislation would pass.
The Walt Disney Co. has been very vocal about that, and I side with the company. I have very strong feelings about it. My wife comes with me everywhere. We’ve been married for 16 years. We have a child. I’m as out as they come. I don’t walk in every room and say, “Hey, I’m gay, nice to meet you!” [But] when people say “Are you married?” I never shy from saying, “Yes, to my wife.” That to me is part of the advocacy that needs to happen in order for us to have a common ground.
Black Panther has been in the works since before Marvel Studios was created, but it only just happened this year. When asked why it took so long for T’Challa to make it to the big screen, Alonso said that she believes they had to build a foundation first.
I’ve been saying the same thing for a long time: You have to build a foundation so you can see the floors rise, right? Having people in front of and behind the camera that represent who we are as a culture and as an audience is exactly what is needed. This is not a political move for us. We answer to the fans, we answer to the characters. We have built this company on that philosophy; this is what the company is about.
Marvel has had a problem getting women behind the camera, and Captain Marvel co-director Anna Boden is the first. When asked if we’ll be seeing a solo female director, Alonso gave the same answer that Kathleen Kennedy tends to give when asked about women or people of color directing Star Wars: they want to find the right person.
Soon, I hope. Here’s the thing: We want the best person for the job. I don’t think it’s fair to the movie to say, “This has to be directed by a man,” or “That has to be directed by a woman.” I think it has to be a conscious search for the best human — and hopefully the best human, as we continue to fill out our slate, is half and half.
Alonso commented that she used to walk onto a set and would lament being the only woman there. She would have to actively seek out someone like a makeup artist to find another woman. She was asked if she is part of the #TimesUp movement, and Alonso said she believes it’s extremely important to help women get in the door.
Yes. It is necessary. I think women have this tendency to think that if we get a job, we still have to earn it. No, no, no, no, no. Once you have the job, you’re there. Own it. Men don’t do that. I grew up in production and visual effects, which is a man’s world. You have to own your place. When I walk into a room, I do a head count of males and females. When I leave, I say it. Every room, every time. I get no pride, no power by being by myself. I’m happy to hold the banner, but I don’t want to be there alone. I want to be the first of many, not the first and only.
Finally, Alonso was asked what she is the most proud of in these 10 years of doing Marvel movies, and it turns out that it’s Black Panther and Captain Marvel.
Black Panther and Captain Marvel. Social change is not up to me, it’s up to everyone, but this is my little part as a parent of a daughter and as a filmmaker.
Alonso, Feige, and D’Esposito are planning on bringing us Marvel movies for as long as they can. The trio no doubt has a plan for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe post-Avengers 4. We can just hope the gender imbalance gets better going forward both in front and behind the camera.
Summary: As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.
Avengers: Infinity War, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, and Anthony Mackie. It will be released on April 27th.