Businessweek just published a lengthy profile about Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. If you want an easy, definitive reason why Marvel films have been so successful, you need look no further than Feige. Where other studios have scrambled to figure out how to handle their superhero properties, Feige has a clear vision for Marvel Studios.
A large part of Businessweek’s article is about the development of Marvel Studios, higher-ups doubting Feige, Feige sticking to his guns about staying true to the comics, and Feige winning. Even among fellow Marvel people, Feige has to make compelling arguments like when he insisted that the majority of Captain America: The First Avenger should take place in the 1940s, and that doing so wouldn’t alienate young audiences. He was absolutely right. Hit the jump for Feige’s far-reaching plans for Marvel Studios as well as his involvement in an interesting scene from Guardians of the Galaxy.
There’s a map of films reaching far into the next decade on the wall of Feige’s office. “It’s like looking through the Hubble telescope. You go, ‘What’s happening back there? I can sort of see it,’ ” he laughs. “They printed out a new one recently that went to 2028.”
Businessweek doesn’t say if this is at Marvel’s current pace of two movies a year (and I imagine Feige wouldn’t go on record about this even if they asked), but it’s still impressive that he has a tentative, far-reaching plan for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And it’s not so crazy when you consider that even though Captain America, Thor, and The Avengers have their trilogies underway, new franchises are likely to begin with Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Speaking of Guardians, the article contains a brief anecdote showing how involved Feige gets into every detail of a production. Here, he comes in on director James Gunn editing Guardians of the Galaxy. From the article:
Gunn freezes a frame of an imposing-looking villain any serious comic book fan would recognize instantly. He sits on a rocket-powered throne. Feige sees something on the screen that he doesn’t like. The evildoer needs to be farther away in the frame so he looks more imperious, he says.
“I don’t know,” says Gunn. “I think it’s going to look cool, man.”
“You just don’t want him to feel petty in that way,” Feige says. “I think it’s a fine line.”
“How do you think it comes off as petty here?” Gunn says.
“He’s so damn close,” Feige says.
“Yeah,” concedes Gunn. “I think I’m going to have him floating in space.”
Feige is concerned about the throne, too. He points at the base. “Those don’t need to be rockets,” he says. “Maybe gravity disks?” Feige says he’ll check back later.
In the hallway he extracts a pledge not to name the bad guy. “That could not be a bigger spoiler,” Feige says.
Is it Thanos? It’s probably Thanos.