Marvel’s Kevin Feige Talks When His Contract with Marvel Studios Expires; Says He’s on Through at Least Phase Two

     May 5, 2013


Much has been made recently about the fact that Robert Downey Jr.’s contract with Marvel is currently up for re-negotiation.  When Downey finally landed the lead role in Iron Man back in 2007, he signed a contract with Marvel for a set number of films.  Cut to five years later and RDJ is now the most recognizable face of a unique and ambitious cinematic universe that culminated in last year’s The Avengers, which currently holds the record for the highest grossing opening weekend of all time.  While Downey’s performance as Tony Stark was certainly one of the keys to Marvel’s success, that crazy Marvel Cinematic Universe plan and its execution are the brainchild of Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.

Steve recently spoke with Feige for an extended interview, and during the course of their wide-ranging conversation, Steve asked Feige when his contract with Marvel ends.  While it’s tough to think of an Iron Man movie without Robert Downey Jr., it’s impossible to consider the whole Marvel Studios going forward without Kevin Feige at the helm.  Hit the jump to for Feige’s response and how long he thinks he’ll be running Marvel.

kevin-feige-marvelHere’s the full exchange between Steve and Feige regarding when his contract with Marvel is up for renegotiation:

Steve:  A lot of people are discussing Robert Downey Jr.’s contract and how it will impact the Avengers sequel and Iron Man movies.  But I think the bigger question is, when does your contract end?

KEVIN FEIGE:  You’re the first person that’s ever asked me that question. 

I think a lot of people should be asking that question because being honest, there is a reason why all the Marvel movies are good and I think it has your name on it.

FEIGE:  Oh, that’s very nice.  My contract negotiations are not nearly as exciting as Mr. Downey’s.  I’m here for a while, certainly through Phase Two. 

Do you see yourself still running Marvel in five years?

FEIGE:  I don’t know, the truth of the matter is, I always sort of set a goal or set a horizon line and look towards that. Then say, “Once I get to that horizon line I will see where we stand.”  For a long time it was X-Men 2 and then for a long time it was Iron Man and Incredible Hulk – are we going to be a studio by then or not?  Is it going to work or is it not?  Then it was Avengers, now it’s Avengers 2.  So, two years after that, three years after that, I can’t even begin to guess. 

So it sounds like Feige’s contract might be up for re-negotiation at the close of Phase Two, which would be the release of The Avengers 2.  This crazy plan of making five different movies with five different superheroes that maintain connective tissue and culminate in a team-up movie—which, in theory, shouldn’t work—was made possible with Feige at the helm, and Iron Man 3 marks an incredibly promising start to Phase Two, so it’s really tough to imagine what Marvel Studios looks like without Feige in charge.  Here’s hoping he sticks around for a long, long time.

Look for more from Steve’s interview with Feige in the coming days.  If you missed what he had to say about a Doctor Strange movie click here, and for Feige’s updates on The Avengers 2 click here.


  • Axel

    The only movies that I enjoyed that Marvel made were Iron Man and The Avengers. Although Iron Man was a much better film structurally, it was a lot of fun to see all those heroes on the screen at once. That said, I think the Feige’s influence in Marvel has been incredibly counterproductive for the creatives, because he doesn’t trust the creatives. Feige has engineered a hubristic collaborative work environment, almost to pathological proportions and the results are in the financially successful, but uninspired films.

    • Rose

      “Creatives” are prone to flights of fancy and live in dream worlds where things like numbers and bottom lines don’t exist. It’s takes a man like Feige with a level head and a focused vision to herd these disparate creative elements into a nice straight line.

      And in regards to the films being uninspired…well, it’s obvious critics and audiences don’t share your point view.

      • Axel

        Um, not nowadays Rose. It’s not only archaic but monumentally incorrect to say creatives don’t understand numbers when they bid for jobs by giving the studio a budget. That IS the process of hiring a director. Once he or she is hired, get out of the way and let them execute. Jon Favreau might agree with me.

        And respectfully, I find Feige’s “focused vision” analogous to a world of homogeneous mediocrity.

  • Kay

    “ALL the Marvel movies are good”?
    Really, Frosty?

    • Max

      Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers, and Iron Man 3 are all good to great

      • Hugo Boliche

        Thor is enjoyable but mediocre, Incredible Hulk is just okay, and Iron Man 2 is as fucking dire as they come. If you think Iron Man 2 is “good to great” then you have shit taste in movies.

      • Jim

        Iron Man 2 and 3 sucks. Thor was OKAY. Cpt America is the worst Marvel movie to date. Avengers was just OKAY too. And finally Hulk sucks. Let me tell you why. When you watch each one of these movies, they have no heart or emotions in them. These movies are cartoonish and silly. Filled with comedy, it really seems like their priority of these movies is to make them as funny as possible. Who cares about the action or the story or character development right? Marvel is killing themselves right now with these crappy movies. DC will soon show them how to make a movie.

  • Danny

    Iron Man and Avengers were great movies the rest was lame and ordinary.

    • Max

      Captain America is the best next to The Avengers

      • Anonymous

        You’re joking of course, the fact of it being about your favorite superhero (I assume) alone doesn’t make it a good movie.

        Study some filmaking, story telling and and then you’ll realize as I have how superior the way Thor was edited and delivered is next to captain america’s which had massive cheesy scenes opposed to natural funny ones, lackluster dialogue not to mention lame action scenes, Thor remains nearly as good a movie from start to finish as Iron Man 1.

      • Anonymous

        Thor was engaging and it has a lot to thank to it’s soundtrack and to it’s love story, cap was a messfest, as ridiculous as the blue ray guns that looked straight out from Rise Of Cobra.

    • TruthBeTold

      Except The Avengers was super lame too.

  • Strong Enough

    god i’m so tired of seeing this guy’s face. he has the same douchy smile in all his pics

    • R

      He’s like John Travolta’s nerdy, ginger brother.

  • Bray

    How much influence does Marvel have on this site? It seems every other article is some fluff piece praising anything and everything Marvel Films and Kevin Feige do or say.

    • ChanandelerBong

      Marvel IS actually good. They’ve made a string of consistently brilliant decisions.

    • Ryan D

      Well since they are the most sucessful franchise based on box office and critics praise the heck out of these movies, save for a few stragglers (IM:2), there is a reason to focus on where the future goes.

    • Jesus

      Well, they do tend to have 2-3 films in production and 4 in development at any one time. That makes for a lot of news and thus lots of opportunities for Feige to talk about something. And all of them are big budget blockbusters. That’s the kind of thing that gets reported by entertainment news. This isn’t a new concept.

  • Zedd

    Sounds really interesting and I Disagree with the rest of you, Iron Man and The Avengers where amazing, so was the incredible hulk, and captain america was fun to. I bet none of you ignominious spoiled brats ever seen iron man 3, which is pretty amazing and kick ass, its defiantly better then number 2, and is very satisfying. if this was the end of iron man, i’m okay with it. this movie was pretty kick ass and close in form to IM1, and stands on its own as something fun. it’s defiantly very Shane Black. are there some bad things about it? yeah, but all films have flaws to them, a lot of people like that crappy Amazing Spider-Man Film.

    • ch

      I also saw Iron man 3 and thought I would give it a 7/10. I thought what they did with the villain, whilst fresh and at the time funny, was ultimately a terrible waste of what they really could have done with it. Also, i think this had Shane Black written on it but not all over it. It’s almost as if creative control was something much in the hands of Marvel. I think if they had the guts to do what they did with the Mendarin, then I don’t see why not go the full mile and do that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang thing where he talks into the camera. Certainly couldn’t have made the movie any worse.

      • Robby

        “do that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang thing where he talks into the camera”

        it’s called breaking the fourth wall.

  • RobertTC

    I didn’t grow up reading “Captain America” comics and frankly didn’t think much of the character. However, I really enjoyed the movie. While the direction was by-the-numbers, the story had a lot of heart, Chris Evans’ portrayal was engaging, Tommy Lee Jones was fun, the love story with Hayley Atwell was charming and the 1940s-like movie serial action scenes (ray guns included) made my inner 12 year-old grin big. I hope Kevin Feige stays; he’s doing an excellent job.

  • filmquack

    Iron Man- Good-Great
    Incredible Hulk- Good
    Iron Man 2- Terrible
    Thor- Fun as hell (also biased as he is my favorite Marvel character), but ultimately just OK.
    Captain America- The definition of mediocrity
    The Avengers- Admittedly it was a quite a spectacle, but structurally a mess, and terrible the second you get over the fact that 4 superheroes are on screen at once.
    Iron Man 3- The twist was brilliant, the movie sucked.

    The Series has pretty much been in a downward spiral since Iron Man. Kenneth Branagh brought a certain something to Thor, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the lacking script, and other than that I am pretty much done with the Marvel movie universe. I will give Thor 2 a chance, simply because it is Thor, but after that, if it isn’t any good, I will be hard pressed to be excited for a Marvel film again. Good riddance to Kevin Feige if he goes, and honestly I am getting a little tired of Downey Jr.’s perpetual snark, so I am not sure at this point I’d even be disappointing to see him go.

  • Robb B.

    Regardless of whether you like the movies or not … you can’t deny they’ve been insanely successful. From a film executive point of view, I just don’t see where else this guy would want to go. He’s already got the top job you could want. From a business perspective, he’s crushing it. The only reason to leave would be if he just wants to do something else.

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  • Bleezy Bo

    Let’s wind the clocks back a year…

    Remember when everyone was fighting over which was better, Avengers or Dark Knight Rises?

    What do you guys think now? I’m biased because Batman has always been my favorite hero, so I was a little underwhelmed with TDKR

    • Thomas Giovannini

      I hate TDKR but don’t think Avengers — which is the best team-up superhero movie ever made — is too much better made, but Avengers is so much more enjoyable.

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