When you get to talk to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, you never have enough time. After all, he knows everything that’s going on behind-the-scenes at the studio, including which projects are getting ready to be announced. So when I recently landed an exclusive phone interview with him for Iron Man 3, I tried to use the time to find out about a million different things.
During the wide ranging conversation, we talked about how long he’ll be staying at Marvel, how the studio goes about choosing directors, whether The Avengers sequel be called The Avengers 2 or if it will have a subtitle, whether they have considered casting Dwayne Johnson in a Marvel movie, the status of the Doctor Strange movie, if anyone is currently working on a Falcon or War Machine spinoff movie, whether they have cast Thanos yet, if they be at Comic-Con, D23, or both, and so much more. If you’re a Marvel fan I promise you’ll enjoy reading this interview.
The folks at Marvel are no doubt celebrating the massive opening weekend for Iron Man 3—which currently stands as the second highest of all time behind The Avengers—but the studio still has a very large question mark lingering over its future. With the release of Iron Man 3, star Robert Downey Jr. fulfilled his contract with Marvel. He is not contractually obligated to appear in any more Marvel films, and thus has a rather sizable amount of leverage over Marvel going forward given that he is, to the moviegoing public, the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man is the most recognizable character in Marvel Studios’ roster, and the character is now synonymous with Robert Downey Jr.
As such, everyone has been wondering whether RDJ will be back and if there are any more standalone Iron Man films in the future. The negotiations have now begun, and things are, well, a bit complicated. Hit the jump for much more.
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.
It appears that Marvel Studios has secured the rights to another very popular comics character. While 20th Century Fox’s 2003 take on Daredevil was a bit of a misfire, the studio had been trying to move forward on a new iteration of the character in recent years. 30 Days of Night director David Slade came onboard to direct a Daredevil reboot in the spring of 2011, and Fringe scribe Brad Caleb Kane was subsequently tapped to pen the screenplay. Movement on the project was quiet for a full year, though, and the following summer Slade left the film to helm the pilot for NBC’s Hannibal.
When Slade exited the project, however, Fox was facing a ticking clock. The studio had to move quickly to get a new Daredevil movie into production before the rights to the character reverted back to Marvel. Well, a new Daredevil film failed to materialize in the ensuing months, and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed today that Marvel now holds to the rights to the character. Hit the jump for more.
We’ve got a couple of brief Marvel-related stories for you this morning. First up, Screen Daily reports that The Avengers 2 will be filming at Pinewood-Shepperton Studios in early 2014, and pre-production will be underway later this year. The U.K. studio has already developed a strong relationship with Marvel by playing host to Thor: The Dark World. They’re also setting up to house filming on Guardians of the Galaxy this summer.
In other Marvel news, hit the jump to check out a sneak peek of the upcoming Phase Two featurette that’s on the new Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One box set. The Avengers 2 opens May 1, 2015.
In addition to recently talking about Iron Man 3, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige also spoke about Phase Two and Phase Three of the upcoming Marvel Movies. First, he talked about how Phase Two and The Avengers 2 will be about taking these characters deeper. Speaking to SFX Magazine, Feige says “Almost whatever the heck else is happening is gravy in that franchise, because all I care about is Bruce and Tony, Tony and Steve, Widow and Bruce – and how Thor fits into it, because he’s always the outsider amongst outsiders. So I think that’s where the value lies. And going deeper amongst those characters in those relationships.” So it looks like when we finally come back around to The Avengers in 2015, we’ll be seeing the same team but with a different mood based on what happened to the characters earlier in Phase Two.
However, we might be seeing some new members on the team as well. Hit the jump for more including what we might see from Doctor Strange.
Last month, it was rumored that The Avengers 2 would involve the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) being deemed too dangerous to live on Earth and he would get shipped into outer space. From there, Hulk would get a solo Phase 3 movie based off Greg Pak‘s comic book arc Planet Hulk. In the comic, Hulk becomes enslaved on the planet Sakaar, is forced to participate in gladiatorial games and eventually becomes a hero of the rebellion against the Red King. Then the rumor continued that The Avengers 3 would have Hulk and his subjects returning to Earth and wreaking havoc, which would be based on Pak’s World War Hulk storyline.
At some point, it’s difficult to tell how carefully Marvel Studios has mapped out their movies and at what point it’s just fanboy dreaming masquerading as a serious possibility for future films. Since Joss Whedon is one of the Marvel Movie Universe overseers now, IGN asked him about the Planet Hulk rumor. Hit the jump for his response.
While DC and Warner Bros. are still trying to figure out what to do with their superheroes, Marvel already has the path laid out for “Phase Two”: Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Granted, all of the films except Guardians are sequels, but Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige says we shouldn’t be expecting more of the same. Fans should anticipate new approaches, different sides of the characters, and trying to build it all to The Avengers 2.
Hit the jump for more.
Though Marvel Studios is incredibly secretive when it comes to developing projects, we’ve known about director Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man for quite a long while. Wright has been working on the script alongside co-writer Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) for the past few years, but he’s understandably been busy with his other directorial projects. The studio finally announced a release date for the film late last year, and at last summer’s Comic-Con Wright unveiled a test reel that demonstrated his fantastic visual approach to the character’s unique fighting style (ie. switching between normal size and ant-size within the blink of an eye).
With a 2015 release date approaching, Wright is gearing up to begin production on the film fairly soon. He recently provided a bit of an update on the film, talking about its relationship to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and why it took so long to come together. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Plenty of Marvel fans were disappointed when the massive “Phase One” box set containing Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers hit a snag over a legal issue regarding the design of the case. The set now has a new case, new date, new features, but the same glowing Tesseract cube in the middle. The new “Phase One” box set will be available for pre-order later today, and will hit shelves on April 2, 2013. Marvel will also make up the delay to fans by adding features like new deleted scenes, and more importantly, a sneak peek at the upcoming “Phase Two” films, Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Avengers 2.
Hit the jump for more and click here to pre-order the box set.
Disney has just sent out a press release announcing release dates and changes for their upcoming slate of films. The most notable announcement is that Edgar Wright‘s Ant-Man finally has a release date. The little-big-superhero is due to hit theaters on November 6, 2015. Since this will be the first Marvel movie to follow The Avengers 2 (which opens May 1, 2015), I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Hank Pym pop up in Joss Whedon‘s film.
Here’s the rest of the list:
- Iron Man 3 will now be available in 3D – previously announced 5/3/13 wide playdate is unchanged (Marvel)
- Phineas and Ferb moves to “2014 Undated Wide” (from 7/28/13 wide)
- Thor: The Dark World is final title of previous “Thor 2” and will now be available in 3D – previously announced 11/8/13 wide playdate is unchanged (Marvel)
- Bears is now dated on 4/18/14 wide (Disneynature)
- Guardians of the Galaxy is final title of previous “Marvel Untitled” – previously announced 8/1/14 is unchanged (Marvel)
- DISNEY ANIMATION UNTITLED is now dated on 11/7/14 wide
- PIXAR ANIMATION UNTITLED is now dated on Wed 11/25/15 wide
Last month, we reported the exciting news that James Gunn (Super) was in talks to direct Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Today, Gunn has confirmed that he will direct the film, and he will also rewrite Chris McCoy and Nicole Perlman‘s script. Guardians is by far the strangest Marvel movie to date (a talking space raccoon is just one of the more bizarre elements), and getting an offbeat voice like Gunn in the director’s chair is a savvy move on behalf of Marvel and President of Production Kevin Feige. I’m also jazzed that he’ll be writing the script. As we saw with The Avengers, when the director is also the writer, the project can truly take on a unique personality.
Hit the jump for more including a statement from Gunn. Guardians of the Galaxy is due out August 1, 2014.
Marvel has announced that Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers 2 (aka Untitled Marvel’s Avengers Sequel) will open on May 1, 2015. The Avengers 2 will be the culmination of “Phase Two“. Here’s how the Phase Two release dates shake out: Iron Man 3 on May 3, 2013; Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013; Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014; and Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014. There are rumors that Edgar Wright‘s Ant-Man might shoot in 2014, so it’s possible Marvel might squeeze the tiny superhero into a January or February release date. However, Guardians of the Galaxy is expected to be the lead-in for The Avengers 2‘s villain, Thanos. While I would love to see Ant-Man sooner rather than later, it might take the wind out of The Avengers 2‘s sails to take a brief detour unless Thanos plans on showing up in Ant-Man, which would be surprising to say the least.
The 2015 release date doesn’t come as too much of a shock. Whedon recently signed on to stay with Marvel until 2015, and he’ll also be overseeing their other projects. The Avengers 2 will come out 1092 days after The Avengers, so mark your calendars and start counting down. Hit the jump for the brief press release from Marvel and Disney.
Considering the 2012 election cycle is currently in full swing, I feel compelled to lend my endorsement to a truly worthy candidate: The Campaign. As someone who unashamedly enjoys a majority of Will Ferrell‘s manchild cinematic escapades, I expected to like the pic. That said, I’m now putting The Campaign just behind Anchorman, Step Brothers, and Elf in my personal “Ferrell Top 4″: something I didn’t expect to be writing the day after seeing it. Sure, the film borrows a ton from Talladega Nights and Ferrell’s take on President Bush. It also manages to combine relevance, irreverence, and humor in a way many mainstream comedies can only promise and ultimately fail to deliver on.
Political endorsements aside, this week’s Top 5 contains a considerable share of The Bourne Legacy coverage, Joss Whedon returning to write/direct The Avengers 2, The Campaign interviews with Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, and more, the first trailer and new poster for the Red Dawn remake, and the news that some of Bane’s backstory was left on The Dark Knight Rises‘ cutting room floor. A brief recap and link to each awaits after the jump.
Yesterday, we reported on the interesting possibility of Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox possibly trading comic book characters for the benefit of both studios. In short, Fox’s rights to Daredevil are set to expire on October 10th unless the movie goes into production before then (which is highly unlikely to happen). Marvel would extend Fox’s rights to the character, if Fox allowed Marvel to use Galactus and Silver Surfer from the Fantastic Four universe. It would be a neat trade, and hopefully open the door for Marvel being able to use some of the characters they licensed off before the studio could develop movies independently.
However, Deadline is now reporting that this trade is far from a reality. Hit the jump for more.