Kevin Feige Gives Advice for JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie; Says to Have Confidence in the Characters and Source Material

by     Posted 1 year, 118 days ago

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As the two biggest comic companies, Marvel and DC Comics have always been rivals.  They have huge stables of superheroes and decades of history.  But when it comes to movies, Marvel has taken a gigantic lead having been able to crank out seven hit superhero movies in the last five years while Warner Bros. (which owns DC Comics) has been stuck trying to create a bankable movie superhero who isn’t named “Batman” or “Superman” despite having other recognizable names like Wonder Woman and The Flash.  Warner Bros. has been trying to figure out how to get to their own Avengers-like movie, Justice League, to the big screen but their most recent effort was sent back to the drawing board, and the studio’s superhero hopes now rest on Man of Steel.

Steve recently sat down with Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige, the guiding force behind the Marvel Movie Universe.  Since Feige found a way to get his superheroes to The Avengers, Steve asked the Marvel chief if he has any advice on getting Justice League to the big screen.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

justice-league-movieUnsurprisingly, Feige didn’t go into specifics nor did he criticize Warner Bros.  However, he did point to the fact that the studio has to be courageous when it comes to embracing their material, no matter how outlandish the characters may be:

Steve:  If you could give any advice to DC and their Justice League movie, what would you tell them?

Feige:  I don’t know.  I’m sure they have smart people over there who have a plan and know what they’re doing.  Man of Steel looks like it’s going to be awesome and obviously Dark Knight is awesome.  I don’t know.  It’s what I say all the time and have said over the years, which is, have confidence in the characters, believe in the source material, don’t be afraid to stay true to all of the elements of the characters no matter how seemingly silly or crazy they are.  I don’t know, I think the Marvel characters have a bit of a leg up for all the reasons that Marvel fans are aware of in terms of the emotional complexity of the characters and the flawed nature of the characters.  Those are obviously the elements we want to accentuate amongst all the action.

Feige also acknowledged that the superhero team-up template came from the Justice League comics, and how they took that model for The Avengers:

Feige: I think there have been a lot of great DC stories and there are a lot of great DC characters, and if they focus on those things the audience will be interested.  It was a very unique model that we were lucky enough to be able to do – introducing each individual hero before introducing The Avengers.  That, to me, is what was always interesting about The AvengersThe Avengers are not The Guardians of the Galaxy, are not The Dirty Dozen, where you spend a movie introducing each character and putting them together for the first time.  The Avengers was cool because they were preexisting characters that teamed up for a big event.  I think that’s why Justice League was cool, Justice League was first.  That’s what they did first in comic form.

Look for more from our interview with Kevin Feige tomorrow night.  If you missed his comments on when his contract ends, a Doctor Strange movie, and his updates on The Avengers 2 click here.

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  • Strong Enough

    I’m starting to think Frosty and Feige are the same person the way Feige has an article on this site every f(*(*) day

    • Brandon

      Clearly you have no idea what you’re talking about. He’s breaking up a long interview into pieces. If you were paying attention you would have read the FULL Interview saying will be released (even the “on this site every f(*(*) day” ones) in the coming days.

      Tsk, tsk, tsk!

      • Strong Enough

        I know its one interview jackass. But Feige is constantly being interviewed and quoted on Collider every other day. I feel like he’s my retarded brother i never wanted but keep seeing. Go back into your cave

    • Muh

      There’s a very easy solution to this problem.

  • dogg

    Whedon pulled off the impossible with Avengers. All the characters had their moment, plus they all fought each other, plus they all worked together, plus it was funny, plus it was the best Hulk movie, and (still) the second best Iron Man movie, all with a great villain. Good luck finding someone else who can pull that off.

    • filmquack

      And it was a mechanical mess that made no sense and lacked any dramatic tension. That is a whole lot to do in one movie!

      • Matt C

        Mechanical mess that made no sense? Maybe if you were asleep through half of the movie…

      • HeSaidSheSaidReviewSite

        No it wasn’t. It was a very successful and praised film. Mess, my ass.

    • Person

      Ok even I didn’t think the Avengers was the Second Coming most people seemed to think it was, but i was undeniably entertaining and did exactly what it set out to do. Hate on it all you want, but it’s a Top 10 comic book movie without a doubt.

      • LEM

        The bottom line is it’s just cool to see a bunch of superheroes in one movie. Does DC want to crush the Avengers? then do a really well done Superman/Batman movie because they are two well established characters and you don’t have to waste years building the other lesser known heroes.

    • LOL

      “All the characters … all fought each other”

      Which was precisely the problem. The villain was weak and in jail for half the film, so there was nothing else to do but have the good guys fight each other. Which there was absolutely zero reason for.

  • Kyle

    Emotional complexity? uhh DC has always had much strong characters..i know he needs to rep for Marvel though

    • Nate H

      I definitely think he’s right about that. That’s one of the major differences between Marvel and DC. Marvel has more human, emotionally flawed characters while DC has more iconic, god-like characters. Each approach is valid, but DC’s approach makes it harder to connect to a movie audience. Why do you think it’s been so hard to make a good Superman movie? Because he’s a god that can’t be hurt and has an uncompromising belief in good. Hard to get any complexity/danger/vulnerability there.

      Just look at the Justice League. Superman. Wonder Woman (for all intents and purposes, the female Superman). The Flash, who can run at the speed of light. Green Lantern, who can essentially do anything with his ring (I’ve seen him literally pick up New York City with it to save it from a tsunami). Martian Manhunter, who has all of Superman’s powers plus telepathy, invisibility, intangibility, and shapeshifting. The list goes on. They are all godlike and basic in their “we’re good guys fighting bad guys” character. Batman is the only exception.

      On the other hand, look at the Avengers. Captain America is a fish out of time trying to adapt his old fashioned ideals to the modern world. Iron Man is cocky, arrogant, and narcissistic with numerous eccentricities. Black Widow and Hawkeye both have numerous skeletons in the closet. The Hulk is a brilliant scientist who is trying to contain his inner monster. Thor is an arrogant god trying to learn humility and protect humans from his own culture as well as their own. There’s way more complexity here to play with. They don’t even get along half of the time. In the comics, there’s typically an equal amount of inner turmoil to match the external villain. I love the Justice League, but it’s often a group of godlike heroes taking down a godlike villain. Epic? Absolutely. Emotionally complex with great character development? No way.

      • EBo

        Nope, that’s a joke. Marvel has more colorful and flawed characters. That’s it though. DC has more complex and developed characters. Look how deeper Batman and Superman’s origins are. Marvel’s origin movies were basically lead-ups to the Avenger.

        You’re wrong about Superman too, and you must have amnesia because Marvel’s movies under Feige weren’t all hits especially in the beginning. The reason why it’s been a while since the last good Superman movie is because they never updated him until Man of Steel. Marvel didn’t have that problem for the most part because it was basically the first time they brought them to screen. Oh wait, they still had to reboot Hulk in Avengers so you don’t know what you’re talking about. There was no character development in Avengers. There was no emotional complexity. You must be thinking of Nolan’s Batman. Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America performed well in the BO, but they got average ratings. The only thing Marvel is doing well at is marketing and franchise building and that’s at the expense of Disneyfied stories.

      • DMcHugh

        Wow. That was perfectly said.

      • Gambit

        Nate H nailed it.

      • Convoy

        @EBo, what are you smoking? DC has churned out how many Batman and Superman movies? They’ve churned out how many movies based on their other characters? Don’t go talking about Disneyfied stories because Warner Bros would love to have some JLA themed stuff at the Six Flags parks right about now.

      • Joebba

        Who’s more human than Batman? I can’t agree that Marvel’s characters are more relatable…

  • Scurvy

    DC lives off Batman and to a lesser extent Superman. The problem with Justice League is most of the DC characters are silly characters. Until someone can crack that, they won’t catch Marvel.

    What is amazing about what Marvel did with the Avengers is they were able to pull it off without any of their top tier characters. No Spiderman, No X-Men, No Fantastic Four and yet they got audiences to buy into these lesser characters.

    Imagine Justice League without Batman and Superman.

    It’ll be interesting to see how they do a super serious Superman movie but I find it hard to believe they’ll be able to pull of a super serious movie about Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Flash. Unfortunately they look to be more in line with the Green Lantern movie than the Dark Knight Trilogy.

    • Nate H

      I think it’s possible to do a serious Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, or Flash movie. Green Lantern could’ve been awesome. It’s essentially Star Wars – a space epic with some good characters. Not the garbage that they made recently. Wonder Woman should be half Gladiator, half modern action movie. Flash could have some of the coolest visuals of any superhero movie – the problem is that he has crappy villains. they could make it work, though. They just need to be willing to take some smart risks and stay true to the characters, like Feige said.

      • Joe

        Agree 100%

  • Ged

    Looks like he may be open to going to producing at Warner Bros after his contract with Marvel ends after Avengers 2.

    • Matt C

      Feige heading the DC film division would be awesome, but there is no way Disney and Marvel will let him go after “Avengers” and “Iron Man 3″ cleaned up at the box office.

    • ckped

      there is no contract for Feige. He is THE PRESIDENT OF MARVEL STUDIOS. If WB offer him to involve JL movie be might be interest but Marvel or Disney cannot or has no right to stop him.

      • Donovan

        It’s called a non compete clause. Not only does marvel have the right to stop him thy could potentially stop him for years after his contract is up depending on te specifics of his contract.

    • Ken

      We don’t need his garbage spilling into DC, no thank you.

  • Ash Talon

    “I say all the time and have said over the years, which is, have confidence in the characters, believe in the source material, don’t be afraid to stay true to all of the elements of the characters no matter how seemingly silly or crazy they are.”

    You know…like what they did with the Mandarin. Oh wait…

    • Keith

      Spot on.

    • Sovereign

      This.

    • Joe

      ZING!

      It was disgraceful what they did to The Mandarin character.
      If the whole film was already a hot mess, that turnaround certainly killed it.

    • Jesus

      It would be fair to argue that there’s a stark difference between “silly or crazy” and “incredibly racist”. If Mandarin was just a crazy magician with a jewelry fetish and a dragon steed that’d be one thing, but the majority of what that character is is little more than a comically Orientalist stereotype created specifically to demonize/mock Communist China. Unfortunately, when they were making the character, they forgot to mock the communist part and only mocked the Chinese culture. So instead of leaving him as a racist caricature they turned him into a terrorizing mastermind and did away with any concept of ethnicity.

      • Joe

        Fair point…but they did more than that. They made him a ‘fraud’ – and in so doing, completely and utterly destroyed any semblance of the character stereotypical or otherwise.

        To me that’s just wrong and while shocking, it is also an extremely lazy approach. Instead of trying to make it work, they faked the whole thing.

        This together with the numerous other plot holes, boggles the mind as to how this script actually got approved in the first place. But it doesn’t matter right? It’s still killing at the box office.

        Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    • ryan g

      Nice

    • bythepowercosmic

      I look at it this way – More Iron Man movies aren’t guaranteed. Every actor’s involvement is up in the air. Why would they invest in a character like the Mandarin when A: he’d probably get recasted down the line, because Ben Kingsley doesn’t exactly work for peanuts and B: because it’s quite possibly the last movie in the franchise and it’d be pointless to open up another plot-line for something that everyone involved doesn’t really know is going to happen.

      I mean, let’s say they did have Ben Kingsley portray the Mandarin more faithfully. Iron Man 4 actually comes along and Ben Kingley’s busy. Or he doesn’t feel like doing it. Marvel isn’t going to shell out millions of dollars and contract Ben Kingsley for future films for something that they quite possibly might never get to do. They’ve got to keep things moving because, like I said, any future Iron Man movies aren’t guaranteed.

      I don’t know, just my two cents.

  • RorshachLives!

    I’d pay a hundred bucks never to see this guy Feige’s face again, every time there’s an article or story on a Marvel-rated project, I see this guy’s big dorky mug attached… I think this guy wants to be famous as much as the actors or directors! Hey Kev dude, get a real job either acting or directing, if not, keep your big ugly goofy mug off my computer…

  • Joe

    Well of course Feige can give advice. Iron Man 3 was such a mess that it validates whatever he has to say right? It may well be that DC doesn’t HAVE to do a JL movie. They can run continuity arcs for years just on Bats and Supes alone.

    “I think the Marvel characters have a bit of a leg up for all the reasons that Marvel fans are aware of in terms of the emotional complexity of the characters and the flawed nature of the characters.”

    On this statement, I think Nolan’s Dark Knight films and the upcoming MoS will also address the same “emotional complexity…and flawed nature of the characters”. It’s a more even match-up than Feige seems to suggest – as long as the right script and director are attached.

  • Ash

    yea……. keep to the source material…………look at the Mandarin Mr.Feige

  • Joe

    I think Warner needs to get Bruce Timm involved in scaping the future of the DC character franchise. He could be their version of Feige.

    • Jesus

      To be fair, Feige is Marvel’s Timm. The difference is DC lacked the foresight to move Timm up beyond just animation and let him take a crack at their live-action franchises. I’d pay all the monies to see Timm and Dini’s Batman/Superman/Justice League stories and characterizations brought to live-action.

      • Joe

        me too! even so, I hope this somehow happens – unless Nolan already has that unformalized role as a Producer.

  • Toope

    Class act, that Feige Fella.

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  • wtff

    I like The Avengers as much as the next guy, but COME ON to anyone who thinks Whedon somehow achieved the impossible with his script. Watch any film that features an ensemble cast and you can see the necessary balancing act of characters and screen time. And don’t give me any “Oh, but THESE characters are LARGER THAN LIFE..” bull$hit. The film did what it needed to in the required amount of time, nothing more. The plot developments were all largely predictable.

  • wtff

    I like The Avengers as much as the next guy, but COME ON to anyone who thinks Whedon somehow achieved the impossible with his script. Watch any film that features an ensemble cast and you can see the necessary balancing act of characters and screen time. And don\’t give me any ‘Oh, but THESE characters are LARGER THAN LIFE..’ bull$hit. The film did what it needed to in the required amount of time, nothing more. The plot developments were all largely predictable.

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  • Guy Smiley

    “believe in the source material, don’t be afraid to stay true to all of the elements of the characters no matter how seemingly silly or crazy they are.”

    So… Like The Mandarin?

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  • Joebba

    I think that while Marvel might be up on them in terms of quantity of movies, and therefor overall dollars…I think the quality of The batman trilogy along with the upcoming Man of Steel, are far better than the majority of marvel movies. Marvel has rebooted and sequeled so many times, that I really don’t think they’re in a place to claim dominance over DC. While the justice league thing is frustrating, I think in the end they’ll end up with a more quality product because of it. Especially if Nolan is involved.

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