With Marvel and Disney’s The Avengers opening around the world in the coming weeks, last night was the world premiere in Hollywood and it was also the first time members of the press were shown the film. As you may have already read on my Twitter feed, I loved it and think Joss Whedon delivered a movie that both fans and casual moviegoers are going to love. Also, it’s really funny and it has the best action of any Marvel movie thus far.
Anyway, just an hour ago I got to sit down with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. Since I already posted an in depth conversation with him when I visited the set of The Avengers last year, I decided to use my limited time to discuss Marvel’s future projects like Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2, the Avengers sequel and whether Joss Whedon is signed to come back, what movies are coming in 2014 and 2015, Ant-Man, Dr. Strange, if Marvel is making an animated movie, another Hulk movie, and so much more. Hit the jump for more.
- He’s seen an unfinished version of The Amazing Spider-Man and says it is excellent and should quiet concerns over the idea of rebooting the franchise.
- They have an option for Whedon to direct The Avengers 2 when and if the time comes.
- There are currently no plans to do a new Hulk movie with Mark Ruffalo.
- Iron Man 3 starts filming in five weeks in North Carolina.
- When approaching Iron Man 3, their gut instinct was to not make it be a pseudo-Avengers 2. It’s a full-on Tony Stark movie.
- Iron Man 3 is inspired by the first half of Iron Man 1 in that they’re metaphorically putting Tony back in the cave. He’s stripped of everything, back against a wall, and has nothing but his intelligence to get him out.
- Filming on Thor 2 begins in three months in London and it picks up where the first film left off in terms of Jane and Oden.
- Thor 2 also addresses what’s been happening in the nine realms with the Asgardians unable to use the Bifrost.
- Loki has a part in Thor 2, but there will be a different, big villain.
- The crux of Thor 2 is continuing the dynamic between Thor and Jane, as well as the relationship between Thor and Odin.
- Feige says there are no plans for Marvel and Pixar to team up on a feature.
- Creative talks have been progressing for years between Marvel and Disney about possibly doing a Marvel property as an animated film.
- Edgar Wright did not film something for Marvel recently, but Feige says to pay attention to Wright’s tweets in the coming months “and that might change.”
- They’re still figuring out how much period flashbacks to include in Captain America 2.
- The primary story of Captain America 2 will be Steve Rogers figuring out his place in the world. For the time-being, he’ll be staying with S.H.I.E.L.D.
- They should announce by Comic-Con or before what’s coming out in May 2014.
- Zak Penn did not write a Doctor Strange movie.
- Feige says, “depending on what Edgar Wright films for us” circumstances could possibly force them to make three films in one year.
Here’s the full interview. If you’d like to listen to our conversation, click here.
Steve: I’m gonna start by saying congratulations on the movie, I absolutely loved it. I laughed my ass off. So, so good. I put it on Twitter that I was talking to you and I got a whole bunch of questions. First off, have you seen The Amazing Spider-Man? I know it’s not your movie.
Kevin Feige: Yes. It’s excellent. It’s not finished, but what I saw was very encouraging and very good. And the whole notion of [I hate that they] “reboot this, that” should go away when people actually see the movie.
I loved the Hulk in Avengers. It was so, so good. The Hulk and the humor were the two things that blew my mind.
Feige: That were unexpected, or were better than you thought?
So much better than I thought. When you first saw the movie, were you like, “I really need to sign Joss the sequel today before people see this thing?”
Feige: We did that before he wrote one word of the script.
Oh so you already signed him for another one?
Feige: Well they’re called options, so basically anybody we work with we ask for options.
So Joss has an option for The Avengers 2?
Feige: I’m very happy (laughs). We’re not talking about the next one right now, we just finished this last week and I don’t get to rest, I start Iron Man 3 in five weeks. But Joss needs to rest and enjoy this, and we need to unleash it on the world and see if other people feel the way you do. So we’ll see.
That’s not even up for discussion.
After seeing what Mark Ruffalo did with the Hulk, does it open the door a little bit that maybe you’re like, “I might wanna do another Hulk movie?”
Feige: Look, that’s what I do for a living so every time I see a good take or a good storyline or read some good pages, I think, “Oh should we make a movie about this?” But with the Hulk we’re gonna play it very carefully. We had varying degrees of success on those first two movies, so we’re not gonna say, “Oh we did it! Another one!” We’re gonna be smart about it and play it out. There are no plans right now to do another Hulk. Hulk might be just the special guest in Avengers movies, who knows?
Feige: Well I’m very pleased, and on any Iron Man movie the way the script is right now and the way the movie will be then are two different things, but we’ve been working with Shane for a year already, which is astounding to me and to him. Let’s put it this way: all of these movies and the way we make these movies and the way we lay out these movies comes from a gut instinct. A gut instinct for the way we should introduce Thor to the world, a gut instinct that we’ve gotta go period with Captain America, a gut instinct of “let’s make all these movies first then do Avengers.” The gut instinct on the next phase and phase two is to not have Iron Man 3 be a pseudo-Avengers 2 just like we didn’t want Avengers 1 to be a pseudo-Iron Man 3 and now that you’ve seen it it’s not at all that. That’s feeling like the right choice.
Iron Man 3 is a full-on Tony Stark-centric movie—and I’ll tell you because you’re a good guy—is very much inspired by the first half of Iron Man 1. Metaphorically, we’re not going back to the cave there’s nothing like that, but we’ve always said let’s get Tony back to the cave, which is he’s stripped of everything, he’s backed up against a wall, and he’s gotta use his intelligence to get out of it. He can’t call Thor, he can’t call Cap, he can’t call Nick Fury, and he can’t look for the Helicarrier in the sky.
Feige: (smiling) I don’t think we’ve confirmed that. I don’t think we’ve discussed that.
Well it’s been out there that you guys are in talks with him, if you will. So I’ll just say congrats if you end up getting him, phenomenal actor. How long are you filming the movie, is it the same kind of schedule as the first two, and where are you filming besides North Carolina?
Feige: Primarily North Carolina, there are a few locations sort of in and around that area. And yes, it’ll be a similar big feature film-length schedule.
I’m assuming it takes place after the events of The Avengers.
Feige: We start filming in three months, it’s well underway. Look, the way The Avengers is constructed, not a lot of time passes over the course of the movie and whether it’s Cap or Thor on the ground in the States here in modern day, they don’t have a lot of time to deal to deal with their own stories, they’ve gotta deal with the stories of The Avengers. So while the relationship between Loki and Thor certainly has changed and has progressed, a lot of Thor 2 is picking up where it left off in terms of Jane, who you just saw for a moment on a computer monitor, and also what’s been going on in the nine realms without the Asgardians being able to use the Bifrost? I will just say it’s not good.
Are you filming that in North Carolina as well?
Feige: No that’s in London.
I’m assuming most of the cast is coming back?
I’m assuming you’ve figured out the villain. Is Loki a big part, is he a minor part?
Feige: Loki has a part, but there will be a different villain, another big villain. But you can’t do a Thor movie without Loki.
Are we going to see Odin’s vault again? Is anything missing out of the vault or is anyone going after something in the vault?
Feige: You know, it remains to be seen. Whether it’s specifically that or along those same lines, the darn thing about the nine realms is that there are a lot of relics. Whether it’s a Casket of Ancient Winters or a Tesseract or something else, they wreak a lot of havoc.
How has Thor’s growth into a man shaping what you wanna do in the sequel, in terms of him being an adult?
Feige: Well it’s sort of the crux of the whole sequel and it’s what Hemsworth is most excited about diving into, and it’s what is the heart of story; it’s Thor and Jane, to continue that dynamic. Really they were only together for three days, and do they love each other? Do they like each other? Do they know each other? We’re acknowledging that that love story in the first movie was sort of a quick crush, essentially, over the course of three quick days in the middle of the desert. And [the heart of the movie is also] the relationship between Thor and Odin, which does change drastically as it did over the course of the first movie, and picks up and continues from there.
We’ve talked about this before. What’s the update on Marvel and Pixar maybe doing a movie together?
Feige: Well, I think I’ve said, don’t know that Pixar would ever do something. Pixar generates their own material, comes up with their own stuff.
Feige: It’s probably not hard to put two and two together and assume that once Disney purchased Marvel, there would be conversations about are there any characters or properties that would make sense for Walt Disney’s animated studios to bring to life. They’re having those discussions, they have been for years. I don’t know if something hit online recently.
No, but I’m assuming something will be announced soon; just my gut feeling.
Really? In other words, in a matter of the next few weeks, I might hear something?
Feige: Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know to expect that. You might know something I don’t.
I truly don’t. There have been a lot of rumors that Edgar Wright filmed something for you guys recently, so I’m asking, “Did Edgar Wright film something for you guys recently?”
Feige: He did not. But I saw that tweet as well and thought, “Did he do something for us? No?” No, it wasn’t for us. But pay attention to his tweets in the coming months; that answer might change.
Captain America 2, how much are you going to…obviously it’s taking place after the events of The Avengers. A lot of talk of maybe doing some stuff back in time. Are you still figuring that out?
Feige: We’re still figuring that out. We love that cast, we love his dynamic with that cast and we want to see that again…the cast from the first movie; we want to see that again because I think it informs his character in a big way. But the primary storyline takes place post-Avengers, Steve figuring out his place in the world. Tony goes back to Malibu, Thor goes back to Asgard, but there are a number of people who stay in S.H.I.E.L.D. Steve, for the time being, is going to be one of them.
I’ve got wrap with you, but real fast: I don’t think you’ve announced what’s going to be coming out May 16th, 2014.
So, is that coming soon?
Feige: I hope so. The announcement you mean?
Feige: Yeah, I was hoping to do something in the coming weeks which I don’t think they’ll let me. Certainly by Comic-Con or before.
Okay so pretty soon. Zak Penn, it seems like maybe he’s writing the Dr. Strange movie?
Feige: No. I don’t know where that came from.
So that’s not true?
Feige: Not at all.
At Comic-Con, do you think you’ll be announcing stuff for those years?
Feige: Well, 2015 is more likely than 2016.
Sometimes you’ve done two years.
Feige: No, not 2016. But certainly confirming 2014 and probably revealing the second movie of 2014. I don’t know about 2015.
One last thing, do you think you’ll ever do three movies in one year?
Feige: Never say never. It’s not a goal, we’re not striving to do that, but circumstances sometimes may allow that to occur. Depending on what Edgar Wright films for us [laughs].