Kevin Feige Talks GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Franchise Potential, Adam McKay’s Work on the ANT-MAN Script, and the Status of DOCTOR STRANGE

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As President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige gets to enjoy the accolades associated with their successful films, while suffering the slings and arrows of sub-par performances or crowd-displeasing decisions.  Nowadays, Feige can field questions on both sides of that line in the same interview.  That’s exactly what he did at Barcelona’s CineEurope event, in which he talked about the potential for a Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, the decision to bring Adam McKay onboard to rewrite Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man script, and the current status of Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-movie-posterThis episode of “Kevin Feige Talks Marvel Movies” comes courtesy of Total Film, which also features his comments on the Marvel TV and Netflix series, as well as future potential Marvel movie crossovers.  We’ve included some choice bits below.

With James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy opening stateside on August 1st, Feige addressed the potential of this being the first film in a franchise:

“Every time we make a movie, we focus on the single movie, the importance of doing the best version we can to introduce a new audience to the characters. So we don’t have, necessarily, two or three or four movies planned because if we have a good idea – a fun idea for a scene or a cool character – we put it in this movie because we know if the first movie doesn’t work, there won’t be any movies after that.

“That being said, there are dozens and dozens of Guardians Of The Galaxy storylines – there’s a group that came about in the ’60s, they were revamped again in the ’80s and they changed into this incarnation that you see in this movie about eight or nine years ago – so there are a lot of other characters and worlds and stories. So should this film work, should the audience come out for this one, there are definitely places we can take it and we have ideas of where we’d like to go with it, but really all the energy goes into the first movie first.”

That’s kind of Feige’s stock answer as far as “firsts” go in the Marvel movieverse, but it’s an honest one.  Vote with your box office dollars; if it’s enough, they’ll make more.  Another risky first film is Ant-Man, which is not only unfamiliar to the general movie-going public, but has now developed a fair share of ill will among the more informed crowds due to Marvel’s not-so-amicable split with Wright.  Here’s how Feige addressed that particularly tricky situation:

ant-man-test-footageAnt-Man is still going to come out on 17 July [2015], we start filming this August. Edgar Wright, who I’ve known for many years, who wrote the draft with Joe Cornish – much of the movie will still be based very much on that draft and the DNA of what Edgar has created up to this point, but Peyton Reed has stepped in [to direct].

“Adam McKay, a very good writer is reworking parts of the script – not the entirety of the script, but some of it – and it’s going to, we believe, come to life in the best version of Ant-Man that we could possibly make. Again Ant-Man is a very important character for us. We like that people don’t necessarily know what it is, we like that it sounds sort of strange when you first hear the notion of Ant-Man, or a hero that can shrink, but he’s a very key Marvel character: he’s a key Avenger. He’s an important character we want to bring into our universe and Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and an amazing cast all set to start in August, we believe that we’re on the road to the best version of Ant-Man that we could have.”

It’s not that I think McKay is a bad writer, or even that Reed is a horrible director, it’s the fact that neither of them are Wright and, as such, lack his particular brand of movie-making.  I’ll have a tough time getting excited for Ant-Man until I can get over the idea of watching Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man.

doctor-strange-imageOn to yet another potentially risky movie for Marvel: Doctor Strange.  Since this one dips into the supernatural and mystical moreso than any other Marvel movies have so far, the casting of the lead is paramount.  Feige commented on when we might be hearing some casting confirmations:

“Scott Derrickson has been announced as the director. Doctor Strange is a character that I’ve been interested in for many, many years and that I’ve talked about in interviews for probably 14 years, because I believe it’s very, very important for us to explore every nook and cranny of the comic-book universe and we’ve done the street-level heroes, and we’ve done the billionaire superheroes [on Earth]. We’ve now done the cosmic side withThor and Avengers and most obviously with Guardians, but there’s a whole other side of the Marvel comics, which is that supernatural side – the interdimensional side of the Marvel universe, and Doctor Strange is, I believe, our entry point into that other realm, which has dozens of characters and storylines all of its own.

So Strange is very, very important, not just because it’s an amazing character study, and a journey of a man who’s gone from this very arrogant surgeon to somebody who is quite zen and literally keeps all of reality together on a daily basis, but it also is going to open up a whole other side of storytelling for our movies. So we’re about to hire a writer to redo a draft, and we think we’ll be casting probably in the next month or two, and announcing an actor, and then we get into production in the spring of next year.”

We’ve got the first part of Feige’s comments down already since it was reported that Jon Spaihts was hired to do a Doctor Strange rewrite.  Now, we just have to see who will be playing the Sorcerer Supreme.

Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1st, Ant-Man follows up with a July 17, 2015 release, and Doctor Strange’s release date has yet to be confirmed.

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  • Leo Spaceman

    “and it’s going to, we believe, come to life in the best version of Ant-Man that we could possibly make”

    No the best version you could possibly make would have been the one with the passionate director who would fight for his story and maintain his dignity and walk rather than bend the knee to the studio, and not just the “Yes Man” director.

    • Liderc

      yeah this is just utter bs to me. Feige is the one who said that the only reason they were even making ant-man was because of Wright’s vision of Ant-Man.

      Feige is now a puppet to Disney, like they were trying to make Wright, but he bailed because he actually cares if a movie is good, not if it just makes tons of money COUGH Iron Man 3 COUGH.

      I hope Ant-Man flops big time, will be freakin’ hilarious.

    • Liderc

      yeah this is just utter bs to me. Feige is the one who said that the only reason they were even making ant-man was because of Wright’s vision of Ant-Man.

      Feige is now a puppet to Disney, like they were trying to make Wright, but he bailed because he actually cares if a movie is good, not if it just makes tons of money COUGH Iron Man 3 COUGH.

      I hope Ant-Man flops big time, will be freakin’ hilarious.

      • The Flobbit

        Honestly, if Edgar Wright filmed a 3 minute movie on his iPhone with Nick Frost in a homemade ant costume running around in his garden, and then charged $20 bucks to see it, I would go to that one instead just to spite Marvel.

      • Alexander Calvo

        Ok, so you’ve admitted to being a completely biased int this decision, that makes your opinion completely useless.

      • Al

        Hes playing to the odds. One guy does paint by numbers shot/reverse shot comedies while the other guy make kinetic passionate genre comedies. Its not really bias to predict by track record.

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      • TigerFIST

        agree

      • Alexander Calvo

        Fiege never said they were only making antman because of wright… this is hyperbolic bs. You should quit the internet.

      • Al

        Fiege did in fact say it was only because of Wright. Read it a year or so back on Collider, well, collider and everywhere else as well.

      • TigerFIST

        Dude he’a said that plenty of times. Do your research!

      • TigerFIST

        again do you reseach. 57 days ago this was posted on this site. “We changed, frankly some of the MCU to accommodate this version of Ant-Man. Knowing what we wanted to do with Edgar and with Ant-Man, going years and years back, helped to dictate what we did with the roster for Avengers the first time. It was a bit of both in terms of his idea for the Ant-Man story influencing the birth of the MCU in the early films leading up to Avengers.”

        So what do you have to say now?
        http://collider.com/ant-man-news-kevin-feige-thanos/

      • vpuik

        So who made bigger changes Marvel or Wright? That quote makes it sound like Marvel is more flexible here.

      • Alexander Calvo

        Um what? he never once in the paragraph you posted says they only made ant man because wright wanted to make it. Not even close. Can you read? They have said many times that they loved wright’s vision, and his passion. They have never said he was the only reason they were making the movie.

      • TigerFIST

        BE QUIET!!! You don’t know what you’re talking about. If you scroll up and look at all the related articles he says it there!

      • Alexander Calvo

        You have supplied no evidence to back up what you said. You posted a quote that in no way said what you were saying it did, in none of those related articles does Fiege say that they were only making ant man because of wright. You be quiet, you butthurt tool.

      • TigerFIST

        Here you go SMART MAN,

        “‘Ant-Man’ is definitely part of Phase Three. Like ‘Iron Man 3,’ it’s certainly set in the Marvel Universe, but it’s also through the lens of Edgar Wright — which is the only reason we’re making the movie…I’ve known Edgar since our first lunch together at Comic-Con in 2004.  He asked me what Marvel was doing with ‘Ant-Man’ — we weren’t even a studio then; what a difference eight years makes! It’s very much an ‘Ant-Man’ origin movie from the perspective of Edgar Wright and his co-writer Joe Cornish. It will of course be firmly planted in the MCU, but a different corner than we’ve seen before.”

        http://collider.com/doctor-strange-movie-marvel-phase-3/

        *** NOW LIKE I SAID BE QUIET!!! ***

      • Liderc

        Um, yes he did: “Kevin Feige who continually championed Wright’s vision, citing the fan-favorite director as the “only reason we’re making the movie.”

      • Liderc

        “‘Ant-Man’ is definitely part of Phase Three. It’s also through the lens of Edgar Wright — which is the ONLY reason we’re making the movie…”

        Where ya at now Alexander? Feige said it himself, as I said, the only reason they were making ant-man was because of Wright. It’s public knowledge that was the only reason they were making it. He had worked with them for almost a decade on it.

      • TigerFIST

        I agree

    • Alexander Calvo

      It is completely ridiculous that you assume that edgar’s version of antman is the best version. Maybe they thought that it wasn’t? And that is the reason they changed directors. This is exactly what we wanted from marvel studios. A studio that wasn’t afraid to tell a director no, this isn’t what we want. Marvel studios has proven itself beyond competent. There is no reason to assume that they made a bad call here. Edgar Wright is a fringe director with some cult movies. He is not the end all be all director. And if marvel was unhappy with what he brought to the table good for them for kicking him to the curb. This is exactly what we were saying they should have done with Ang Lee and Brett Ratner before they had control. Stop being such a baby.

      • Al

        You have hollywood backwards. Very rarely in hollywood history has a movies failure been due to a studio unable to control a director.

        You’re right though. Marvel is beyond competent. About one notch above competent. And may all there films be continue to be just a little bit more then competent. That isn’t what I look for though.

        Meanwhile, I look forward to the next Edgar Wright film. As it will in all likelihood be EXCEPTIONAL as always.

      • Alexander Calvo

        Please, Wright exceptional? Hot Fuzz was great, the rest of his movies are mediocre to good. He has never made a movie that could compare to Iron Man, The Avengers, or The Winter Soldier (all well beyond “competent”). you wear your biases flamboyantly.

      • Al

        You’re misreading my “bias” thank you very much. I never said all of them were, I was speaking to the average. I would very much agree that Iron Man, Avengers, and Winter Soldier (despite many problems) were more then competent.

        You see how this works don’t you? Not everything is black and white. THIS TIME I am with Edgar Wright because all signs (the long history, Feige over Wright’s shoulder for year, it getting so far as a green light) point to Wright being the one to support here.

        There have been MANY times where I am in Marvels corner. Hugo Weaving, Terrance (gimme the money) Howard, et. all. Its not always bias with everyone my friend. I want an Edgar Wright Ant Man and I am willing to agree to disagree with people who don’t. But at the very least he is a passionate man who spent a decade developing something discarded so at the very least I would expect a little sympathy.

      • The Flobbit

        What was the deal with Weaving?

        And PS, Marvel clashes with every director they have. Like, every one bar Joss Whedon, who is regarded as some sort of deity.

      • Al

        Hugo Weaving was freaking out over playing villains around the release of First Avenger and was kind of crapping on the Marvel community. If he had a problem with the studio, yeah, that totally happens, can’t blame him per say. But it came across more that he was ‘above’ nerd culture which was strange coming from him. He also kept saying he’d never do another one even though he was under contract.

        He very well could have been in the right but it just left a bad taste in my mouth.

      • Al

        Hugo Weaving was freaking out over playing villains around the release of First Avenger and was kind of crapping on the Marvel community. If he had a problem with the studio, yeah, that totally happens, can’t blame him per say. But it came across more that he was ‘above’ nerd culture which was strange coming from him. He also kept saying he’d never do another one even though he was under contract.

        He very well could have been in the right but it just left a bad taste in my mouth.

      • The Flobbit

        OK, interesting… Marvel has a history of tangling with their directors and cast.

      • Jamesy

        If it wasn’t the best version of Ant-Man, then they should have man’d the f up and told Wright this months ago, not at the last minute. They had been working on this for years, I still don’t understand why they left it so late it just seems sloppy. And saying that Wright is a fringe director with some cult movies? Seriously, what were Favreau and Whedon before IM and Avengers? Wright is a great director with a keen eye for visuals and humour, telling ordinary moments in a new and inventive way. He had been pushing the boat more and more with each new movie, playing with special effects in Scott Pilgrim and also TWE, showing that he could deliver. The main reason I think a lot of people were even remotely interested in this movie was Wright and Rudd’s involvement, even the test footage showed you how great it could be. This is just gonna be one of those “what if” moments.

      • Alexander Calvo

        Have you read about the split? I’m guessing no, marvel let him go when they couldn’t agree on the script, wright’s final script was not ready until a couple months ago, regardless of how long he had been working on it. When marvel finally got the final product they did not like it, good for them for kicking him to the curb.

      • Al

        They didn’t kick him to the curb. They had an inside writer screw with his script after a green light. They wanted his NAME and he said no.

        He f’d them up.

      • milo

        His name? What the fuck does is that supposed to mean?

      • Al

        It means they clearly didn’t want an Edgar Wright movie if they kept changing things without his input. But they still wanted him in the directors chair. Hmmm….Edgar Wright directing, but its not really Edgar Wrights? Hmmm….oh. Then the only thing Edgar Wright would be…..hmmmm….OH YEAH!

        his name -.-

        sit Milo, sit.

      • Al

        It means they clearly didn’t want an Edgar Wright movie if they kept changing things without his input. But they still wanted him in the directors chair. Hmmm….Edgar Wright directing, but its not really Edgar Wrights? Hmmm….oh. Then the only thing Edgar Wright would be…..hmmmm….OH YEAH!

        his name -.-

        sit Milo, sit.

      • milo

        Before IM Favreau directed Elf which made $173M. It’s not like he was a nobody before IM.

      • milo

        Before IM Favreau directed Elf which made $173M. It’s not like he was a nobody before IM.

    • TigerFIST

      omg! I couldn’t agree with you more!

      “We changed, frankly some of the MCU to accommodate this version of Ant-Man. Knowing what we wanted to do with Edgar and with Ant-Man, going years and years back, helped to dictate what we did with the roster for Avengers the first time. It was a bit of both in terms of his idea for the Ant-Man story influencing the birth of the MCU in the early films leading up to Avengers.”

  • Leo Spaceman

    “and it’s going to, we believe, come to life in the best version of Ant-Man that we could possibly make”

    No the best version you could possibly make would have been the one with the passionate director who would fight for his story and maintain his dignity and walk rather than bend the knee to the studio, and not just the “Yes Man” director.

  • TwilightNewsSite

    “…that we could possibly make.”

    It was budget issues.

  • TwilightNewsSite

    “…that we could possibly make.”

    It was budget issues.

  • The Flobbit

    Everyone: answer this question honestly. Are you getting sick of Marvel films and superhero films in general?

    I know I’m feeling the fatigue. But whenever my doubts are lowest, along comes a Winter Soldier or Days of Future Past to remind me that superhero movies can be thrilling and classy. I still wished they amped down their releases – two, maybe three Marvel movies a year (including X-Men and Spider-Man) – not 4 or 5.

    • Jeremy Flores

      I blame Sony (mainly Avi Arad) and their Spider-Man “franchise”. They’re so bad that it brings the whole genre down a notch. And Disney making all these live-action adaptations of their princesses. Oh yeah, Micheal Bay’s Transformers series.

      MCU has its flaws (there hasn’t been a good Thor film yet, TIH is clearly the ugly stepchild, the films all look the same, creative control clashing w/ Patty Jenkins/Alan Taylor, Edgar Wright), but I’m such an unabashed fan. I do like that Feige knows that fatigue does set in, and is trying to remedy that by making genre films that happen to have superheroes in them. (eg. GotG is their space adventure, Ant-Man is their heist film, Doctor Strange possibly getting some horror-like infusion?)

      • kj

        …everything you said is spot on.

    • milo

      No. Tons of superhero movies come out but I just don’t watch them unless I expect them to be decent.

    • milo

      No. Tons of superhero movies come out but I just don’t watch them unless I expect them to be decent.

  • Al

    Ant Man: Based on a draft by Edgar Wright. Yup, cool Kevin…

  • Ruprect

    Interesting. Seems a lot more Edgar Wright fans on Collider than MCU fans. Who knew?

    • Al

      I love both Marvel and Edgar. But just because you love comics doesn’t mean you have to agree with the people in charge of them.

      • Ruprect

        Certainly. My point is that there are a lot of people here who are getting to the point of open rebellion JUST because Wright and Marvel (you know, the ones writing the cheques) had a parting of the ways.
        For me, I just want to see a good Ant-Man movie however, or BY whoever, that comes about.

      • Al

        Yeah, I understand. I am very upset and unapologetic about Edgar’s leave. I’m also far from optimistic that it’ll turn out well, but I’m still seeing it. And I’m still hoping.

  • ozzie96

    Am I the only one that hasn’t read Wright’s script? Perhaps he had something in it that marvel couldn’t stand for and instead of coming to an agreement, Marvel made changes they wanted and he walked. At the end of the day, Ant-Man is a Marvel property and it isn’t inconceivable that they will want to protect it. Of course I’m biased, I didn’t like Scott Pilgrim at all.

    • Al

      With the only seeming variations in synopsis are mentions of Stark Industries, a larger team up with Pym and Lang and “saving the world” I’d wager that it has more to do with Marvel wanting more money then it does protecting their property.

      From a business standpoint, of course there is nothing wrong this. But lets not pretend its anything more then that. I can’t fault business men with this approach. They want money, think of all the other great movies then can make with this money. But if you ask me as a paying customer, as a fan of Marvel comics, I want to see the best Ant Man film possible. And I believe that was Edgar Wright.

      • vpuik

        To me it seemed like marvel wanted the movie to tie more to the established universe and give pym a bigger role which is what fans have been asking for all along. Who knows how much wright has modified his script already from a script that was written to be stand alone movie to accommodate, but looks like it wasn’t enough.

        it would be weir for marvel to release a stand alone movie after spending years to create cohesive universe no matter how much movie buffs want to see it.

    • TigerFIST

      The point people are making is the script was approved in 2007. So why the F did they wait one month to change it before filming. They are. Ow two months behind do on filming. That’s the stupid sloppy part. Not only the 6th choice director but a rushed filmed we won’t get excited for. This sucks!

      • milo

        If anything was approved back then, it was an early draft. Sounds like Wright had been working on it for years, they didn’t wait at all, they just didn’t have a final script from Wright until the last minute, and then they had issues with it.

      • milo

        If anything was approved back then, it was an early draft. Sounds like Wright had been working on it for years, they didn’t wait at all, they just didn’t have a final script from Wright until the last minute, and then they had issues with it.

  • jack

    idk im willing to give benefit of the doubt, joe and anthony russo’s only other movie is “you,me and dupree” and look how the winter soldier turned out. it seems like Wright(just a possibility) wasn’t keen on taking a few notes from the studio which is totally reasonable seeing they are the ones dealing with the whole of the intertwined universe.at least they’re keep most of his script

  • Dan

    Joaquin Phoenix for Stephen Strange.

  • Manuel Orozco

    We gotta give Guardians of the galaxy enough dough to confirm a sequel

  • theseeker7

    Less than one calendar year from the start of principle photography to theatrical release? Considering the level of VFX that I can only assume would be involved for Ant-Man, oye that’s gonna be tight…

  • TigerFIST

    I wonder who will try to argue this:

    I want Edgar Wright! This still sucks! They are behind schedule two months now on filming. Back when CATWS was screening in March Frosty did an interview with Feige on 03/11/2014 and he stated they would be filming Ant-Man in about 12 weeks. That would make it June which of course is now. So now that’s being moved to August. It’s just another reason NOT to get excited.

    “We changed, frankly some of the MCU to accommodate this version of Ant-Man. Knowing what we wanted to do with Edgar and with Ant-Man, going years and years back, helped to dictate what we did with the roster for Avengers the first time. It was a bit of both in terms of his idea for the Ant-Man story influencing the birth of the MCU in the early films leading up to Avengers.” http://collider.com/ant-man-news-kevin-feige-thanos/

    HOW IN THE WORLD do you make comments like this no more than TWO months ago then pull a stunt like changing Wright’s script at the last minute? Ridiculous! They could’ve changed his script around October of last year but they waited this long. Sloppy and unprofessional.

    Again, if Marvel keeps having these Fall outs with directors and they produce ABSOLUTELY AMAZING films I wouldn’t have an argument, but they keep having these fallouts and the films are only good to great. Out of 9 films only 3 have been ABSOLUTELY AMAZING which are IM1, Avengers, and CATWS. So excuse me if don’t get excited for screwing over a director.

    “and it’s going to, we believe, come to life in the best version of Ant-Man that we could possibly make”

    Total crap! I’m rooting for Marvel and want them to make quality films but the best version is Wright! Who would get excited for the 5th or 6th choice for director. There’s a reason Reed wasn’t number one.

    I’m so fucking frustrated! You don’t do that to people, you just don’t!!!!!!!

    • HORSEFLESH

      The mass, general audience who earn these films most of the money they need don’t pay attention to who writes or directs films.

      • TigerFIST

        True but could you elaborate please

      • HORSEFLESH

        I think it’s self-explanatory. You posted:

        “Total crap! I’m rooting for Marvel and want them to make quality films but the best version is Wright! Who would get excited for the 5th or 6th choice for director. There’s a reason Reed wasn’t number one. ”

        It doesn’t matter who does or doesn’t get excited for Wright because in the grand scheme of things, with Marvel producing the type of films they want and millions of people paying for them, it’s not a priority if the director is the fifth or sixth choice … no one gave a shit about Alan Taylor, and the 3 directors who were originally assigned to THOR 2 -before him- have been forgotten.

    • vpuik

      So a multi billion dollar company should bend over backwards to accommodate a guy who has made few cult favorite movies so he can make a movie? Would I have loved to see Wrights version of the movie? Of course, but Commission work is commission work.

  • Royale With Cheese

    Did I want Edgar Wright to direct Ant-Man? Yes. Am I interested at all in Ant-Man now that Edgar Wright is no longer directing? No. Will I (and everyone else commenting) still go watch Ant-Man upon its release? Yes.

  • johhny

    Just throwing this out there for who should play Strange: Mel Gibson. It’s time for his Downey-style comeback.

    • Jamesy

      I love Gibson but for this, I’m not sure. Maybe he could nail it though? But I’m not sure he would be welcomed with open arms to a movie this size considering his past comments. I’ve always wanted Mel Gibson for Year One styled Commissioner Gordon.

    • BongBong

      It’ll be George Clooney.

  • mattinacan

    wow amazing how fat ant-man went from most anticipated film of 2015 to a rental

  • TedSallis

    I think Ant Man will be a fine movie without Wright personally. Adam McKay does some seriously funny stuff and Paul Rudd with deliver the lines and look of the character fine.

  • Cog

    Why even have thumbs down as an option? They dont work.
    Are people here that tender?

    • paul h

      iirc it’s a Discuss decision that they brought in … 6-12 months ago or something like that, nothing to do with Collider, any Discuss powered comments are the same.

    • The Flobbit

      It pisses me off. Bring back the downvote!

  • Marvel Movie Fan

    Keanu for Dr. Strange?

  • Marvel Movie Fan

    Keanu for Dr. Strange?

  • milo

    “ill will among the more informed crowds” Man, Marvel must be bummed that those ten or fifteen people are going to stay home…

  • Doug

    The more they hype GotG, the lower my expectations are.

  • Doug

    The more they hype GotG, the lower my expectations are.

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