Following yesterday’s big announcement of Marvel Studios’ slate of Phase Three films from “Captain America: Civil War” opening May 2016 through to “Avengers: Infinity War Part II” opening May 2019, Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige sat down for a fairly extensive Q&A and answered a bunch of lingering questions about the line-up.
First up, Feige admits the plan was originally to do this big announcement at Comic Con in July but they weren’t able to lock down various elements in time:
“We wanted to do this at Comic Con this year. Things were not set. Things for Civil War were not set yet, Guardians hadn’t come out yet, the comfort with dating a few of the other movies wasn’t set yet.
So the plan has been, since a few weeks before Comic Con when we realized we weren’t going to be able to do everything we wanted to do, is to decide ‘let’s do either something we haven’t done in a long time, or something we’ve never done.’ Which is a singular event, just to announce what we have when it’s ready.
I thought that might be early August, or mid-September, it ended up being today.”
Asked about the Benedict Cumberbatch cast in “Doctor Strange” reports earlier this week and why no announcement was made yesterday, Feige says:
“I can say that if it were confirmed, we would have introduced him. I like that Chadwick [Boseman], for the most part – I think there’s always been speculation on lots of different actors for Black Panther – but I’m glad that didn’t leak in earnest, the way every single other actor in human history that is of a certain age has been for Doctor Strange.
So like everything else, [Doctor Strange] will be announced maybe this afternoon? Next week? Next month? Sometime before the release of the movie. With Black Pather, what our little song and dance at the end was meant to signifiy, and I’ll just clarify it for you: he is definitively a big part of Civil War. We will meet him for the first time in Civil War, in costume.”
Asked about the casting of an actress for Captain Marvel, Feige says they want to lock down a writer and director first:
“My guess is rumors will start flying this second. The initial announcements, in terms of attachments for that film, will probably be writer and director announcements, which I do actually expect will be quite soon. In terms of the actress, I think there’s more time.”
No mention of a fourth “Iron Man”?
“Not yet… if there are more years after 2019, there’ll be more possibilities after 2019.”
In terms of the ‘Civil War’ storyline, he advises that don’t expect this to be utterly faithful to the comic storyline:
“Make no mistake, this is the ‘Civil War’ of the cinematic universe which will be greatly inspired by the ‘Civil War’ of the comic universe, but we have very different continuity going now. So this will be ‘Civil War’ based off of all the other films you’ve seen up to this point, particularly ‘Winter Soldier’ and particularly ‘Age of Ultron’.
The generalities of the act are the same, something happens, perhaps it’s culmulative from the events of all of the movies leading up to this point, that’s made the Governments of the world say we need some oversight of these guys. They need to report to somebody.
So it falls under that umbrella versus take off your mask, it’s not about the secret identity thing as much as it is overall who reports to who, and who can agree to an oversight committee. Because as of ‘Avengers 2’ there is no more world security council obviously, there is no more SHIELD obviously. Stark is paying for it, Captain America is running it, and things occur that make Governments begin to question that.”
The notable absence of a standalone Hulk film?
“Hulk is going to appear in many of those [Phase 3] movies, particularly all those ‘Avengers’ movies leading up to 2019. Mark Ruffalo is onboard for all those films, and we’re excited to bring you all those films. What happens with a standalone ‘Hulk’ film? We’ll see… We’d love to do it, we’d love to find a place to put it, but right now Hulk will be appearing with his friends in the other films.”
Asked about Phase Four films, Feige says they won’t go into details about the third Phase films due to potential spoilers:
“We’re not going to talk specifically about the storyline of any of those films, the plot lines of any of those films, what happens to those characters in any of those films, and frankly to even talk about who will be in what movies is a bit of a spoiler as to what may or may not happen to them in earlier movies.”
Asked how the “Inhumans” fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he says the groundwork may be layed sooner than you think:
“Where they fit into the universe? You may find out sooner than you’re expecting frankly. I already mentioned in the presentation that there are seeds leading to “Black Panther” and Wakanda starting very very soon in things you’ve already seen and will see soon. Likewise with Inhumans, there may be easter eggs starting before you know it.”
Asked about the potential over saturation of the market with superhero films, Feige says as long as the movies are of good quality – people will come:
“Our plan has never been altered based on what anyone else is doing. In any genre, frankly, particularly in any other superhero film. In terms of the dating, that’s why we plant flags as early as we do, to mark some territory, so that you can hopefully have some room. But the truth is there are always going to be big movies on almost every weekend. What we’ve found so far is that if the movie delivers, the movie will do well. That’s what we focus on: what we can control, which is the quality of the pictures.”
Asked about the lack of a “Black Widow” solo film, he gives a similar answer as to what he gave about Hulk:
“It’s about bringing new characters to the screen. Black Widow couldn’t be more important as an Avenger herself, and like Hulk, the Avengers films will be the films where they play a primary role.
Her part in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is very very big, and further develops and further enhances her character. The plans that we have for her throughout the rest of the ‘Avengers’ saga is very very big and lynchpin in fact to those films.
So instead of taking her out there, or instead of doing a prequel which we haven’t done yet, continuing the forward momentum of the continuity of the cinematic universe of which Widow is a key key part.”
Asked about his involvement with the Marvel TV properties, Feige says he’s exclusively involved with the movies but did offer some input regarding ABC’s upcoming “Agent Carter” limited series. Finally, asked about members of “The Defenders” (the heroes of the four Netflix shows) showing up on the big screen, Feige says:
“There are a lot of people from the movies in ‘Infinity War’, a lot of it is about space, and a lot of it is about what happens between now and then. But all of those things inhabit, however far on the outskirts, the same continuity so certainly that opportunity exists.”