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Kevin Feige talks DC/Marvel comparisons, the pinnacle of Phase 2 and more

06.24.2015

With ANT-MAN coming out a few weeks' time, Marvel uber-producer Kevin Feige opened up about the differences between DC and Marvel, why ANT-MAN is so important to the Marvel universe and how things are going to change in Phase 3. As most of us know, HOT FUZZ writer/director Edgar Wright was originally lined up to direct ANT-MAN, but then walked away from the project. Some pointed the finger at Marvel, and Warner Bros.' Greg Silverman stated that the difference between DC and Marvel movies is that Warner Bros. allows directors to fulfill their visions. I'm guessing Feige didn't take to kindly to that, as he states quite the opposite for Marvel's movies.

Kevin Feige's response to Silverman's statement:

My response is: Look at the movies. IRON MAN and IRON MAN 2 are as Jon Favreau films as you can see. Kenneth Branagh has his stamp all over THOR. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER is very much a Joe Johnston film. The greatest example of that, look at GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY with James Gunn. And the one I always point out is AVENGERS. We knew the general structure when we sat down with Joss [Whedon]. But I don't want you to think we gave him a story. We gave him a "Here's where we think the movie should start, here's where we think this character should come into it; it would be fun if something like this happened in the middle and in the end a hole opens up and aliens pour out into Manhattan." So arguably, there were many pieces in place, and yet now that everyone has seen the movie, it's completely a Joss Whedon film. He was able to take all the elements that were handed to him – that were studio-imposed, if you want to look at it that way – and make it his own. We wouldn't have hired any of the filmmakers we've hired if we just wanted somebody who would do what we say.

How ANT-MAN fits in with the rest of the Marvel universe:

It really is the movie that closes out Phase Two. Phase One ended with AVENGERS. So some people thought that Phase Two would end with an Avengers film. But the truth is, there is so much in ANT-MAN: introducing a new hero, introducing a very important part of technology in the Marvel universe, the Pym particles. Ant-Man getting on the Avengers' radar in this film and even – this is the weirdest part, you shouldn't really talk about it because it won't be apparent for years – but the whole notion of the quantum realm and the whole notion of going to places that are so out there, they are almost mind-bendingly hard to fathom. It all plays into Phase Three. It became very clear that ANT-MAN is the pinnacle and finale of Phase Two and CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is the start of Phase Three.

If Marvel characters will show up in SPIDER-MAN movies:

Specifics of the story aside, the agreement that has been made between Sony and Marvel is that we could do that. Well, we're producing it for Sony. It's exciting, and we're treating it like we treat all of our films. To try to make the best version now of Spider-Man and a version of Spider-Man that inhabits this universe that we've created. We're in lockstep with [Sony Motion Picture Group chairman] Tom Rothman and [producer] Amy Pascal at every turn.

Paul Rudd on when he filmed his scenes for CIVIL WAR and which side he's on:

I did a couple of weeks ago. Those are government secrets. I was telling Kevin, it was the first time I really felt like I was in it. I started working on ANT-MAN a couple of years ago, and I've been so immersed in it. But we've been shooting it in a bubble. When I went to the set of CIVIL WAR, I was 10 years old. There's Captain America, there's Iron Man. And not only that, but I'm doing scenes with them, calling them by their names. That feeling of excitement, the surreal nature of it is the best, it was great. I really felt for the first time part of the Marvel Universe.

I have no qualms admitting that I often wonder if Marvel doesn't give enough freedom to its films' directors, but in all fairness, they know their characters better than anyone else. It's really not much different than any other studio issuing notes to a film's director simply because they feel they know best. As far as comic book films go, Marvel has a pretty good track record, so they deserve the benefit of the doubt.

As for ANT-MAN, those results will still be up in the air for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, we have some Entertainment Weekly exclusive character posters for the film and I'll tell you what; if you love your film characters blurry and in low-resolution, then you just better sit the eff down! On the flip side, there's no way the movie can be worse than these, right?

ANT-MAN will hit theaters on July 17, 2015.

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6:39AM on 06/25/2015
I'm really looking forward to a smaller (pardon the pun) Marvel film sandwiched between the two throw-everything-in but-the-kitchen sick movies of Avengers 2 and Cap 3...
I'm really looking forward to a smaller (pardon the pun) Marvel film sandwiched between the two throw-everything-in but-the-kitchen sick movies of Avengers 2 and Cap 3...
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12:42AM on 06/25/2015

"are as Jon Favreau films as you can see."

Jon Favreau has a recognisable style now? The Marvel films are so cookie-cutter pedestrian in their direction they're practically interchangeable. Nothing sets any film apart from any other, aside from, AT BEST, Avengers 1 & 2 featuring distinctly "Whedonistic" dialogue. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as it creates a sense of stylistic (or lack thereof) consistency from film to film. NO ONE who didn't already know James Gunn wrote and directed 'Guardians' started watching it and said,
Jon Favreau has a recognisable style now? The Marvel films are so cookie-cutter pedestrian in their direction they're practically interchangeable. Nothing sets any film apart from any other, aside from, AT BEST, Avengers 1 & 2 featuring distinctly "Whedonistic" dialogue. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as it creates a sense of stylistic (or lack thereof) consistency from film to film. NO ONE who didn't already know James Gunn wrote and directed 'Guardians' started watching it and said, "Hmmm, this feels like a James Gunn movie." Now it's up to WB to actually prove what they're claiming is true.
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9:57PM on 06/24/2015

ha!

we're Warner Brothers. we're not Marvel. we let the directors fulfill their vision. just look at Aquaman. the way Jason Momoa looks. that was totally how James Wan visioned it. i mean, we had already developed all that before we hired him. but that's what his vision was gonna be anyways. we're totally giving him full control. we're gonna have Hal Jordan and John Stewart in the Green Lantern movie five years from now. we don't know who will direct it yet, but that's their vision. not ours.
we're Warner Brothers. we're not Marvel. we let the directors fulfill their vision. just look at Aquaman. the way Jason Momoa looks. that was totally how James Wan visioned it. i mean, we had already developed all that before we hired him. but that's what his vision was gonna be anyways. we're totally giving him full control. we're gonna have Hal Jordan and John Stewart in the Green Lantern movie five years from now. we don't know who will direct it yet, but that's their vision. not ours.
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9:19PM on 06/24/2015
Excited to see Ant-Man and how big and vital the film will be in terms of having an impact on the MCU. I just hope they do a solid story of just telling Lang's story in becoming Ant Man and not introducing too many references and Easter eggs towards the future of the Marvel storyline.

But having Rudd appear in Civil War and future films only makes my excitement for Ant Man that much more (even though when Wrigh left, I was pretty disappointed).
Excited to see Ant-Man and how big and vital the film will be in terms of having an impact on the MCU. I just hope they do a solid story of just telling Lang's story in becoming Ant Man and not introducing too many references and Easter eggs towards the future of the Marvel storyline.

But having Rudd appear in Civil War and future films only makes my excitement for Ant Man that much more (even though when Wrigh left, I was pretty disappointed).
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6:39PM on 06/24/2015
Never been too sure of what a director does when it comes to the intricacies of a movie...but pretty sure they're creating a movie that has already got it's key components in place.
Never been too sure of what a director does when it comes to the intricacies of a movie...but pretty sure they're creating a movie that has already got it's key components in place.
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6:08PM on 06/24/2015
Word is no Stan Lee cameo in this one, also no word about post credit sequence.
Plus there is actually another comedy action film opening the week after it (Marvel films usually have nothing opening against their second week.)
This film has got some weird vibes about it.
Word is no Stan Lee cameo in this one, also no word about post credit sequence.
Plus there is actually another comedy action film opening the week after it (Marvel films usually have nothing opening against their second week.)
This film has got some weird vibes about it.
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3:12PM on 06/24/2015

Yeah, that's BS

Feige has done a masterful job at bringing comic book characters to life in a way most of us never believed we'd see. That said, Iron Man 2 was a train-wreck (blamed mostly on Marvel interference), Ultron came in over 20% under Avengers and making less money. . . . especially domestically (blamed mostly on Marvel interference), and Ant Man had to switch directors and other personnel (blamed mostly on Marvel interference).

There's a great article by a film critic that excoriates Marvel for
Feige has done a masterful job at bringing comic book characters to life in a way most of us never believed we'd see. That said, Iron Man 2 was a train-wreck (blamed mostly on Marvel interference), Ultron came in over 20% under Avengers and making less money. . . . especially domestically (blamed mostly on Marvel interference), and Ant Man had to switch directors and other personnel (blamed mostly on Marvel interference).

There's a great article by a film critic that excoriates Marvel for what they did to Wedon during AoU. There are so many bizarre story-lines (that go nowhere), glut of cameos (that don't help the movie), and rushed plot points that the movie is a mess. It was still enjoyable, but as the writer pointed out, this is what future Marvel films will be because Marvel won't allow them to be any better because it might not help the "Marvel Universe."
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3:59PM on 06/24/2015
Can we have a link to that article?
Can we have a link to that article?
8:18PM on 06/24/2015
Bullshit. You keep saying "Marvel interference." They're Marvel's movies based on Marvel's properties that don't get made without Marvel's say, not original spec scripts by auteurs that the studio system chews up and spits out and laughs at. And Fiege isn't wrong. Favreau, Branagh, Johnston, Whedon, Gunn, Black. They're movies are characterized by their personal styles.
Bullshit. You keep saying "Marvel interference." They're Marvel's movies based on Marvel's properties that don't get made without Marvel's say, not original spec scripts by auteurs that the studio system chews up and spits out and laughs at. And Fiege isn't wrong. Favreau, Branagh, Johnston, Whedon, Gunn, Black. They're movies are characterized by their personal styles.
2:40PM on 06/24/2015

Hyped!

I've been waiting to see this for years now
I've been waiting to see this for years now
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1:58PM on 06/24/2015

You know who would disagree with 'Iron Man & Iron Man 2 are as Jon Favreau films as you can see'?

Jon fucking Favreau.

I also like how literally all of Phase-2 is left out, except Guardians.
Jon fucking Favreau.

I also like how literally all of Phase-2 is left out, except Guardians.
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2:57PM on 06/24/2015
Iron Man felt like a Jon Favreau movie to me. And Iron Man 3 absolutely felt like a Shane Black movie.
Iron Man felt like a Jon Favreau movie to me. And Iron Man 3 absolutely felt like a Shane Black movie.
3:46PM on 06/24/2015
Of course he left out Winter Soldier - the Russo's managed to overcome Marvel's structure and create the best Marvel movie to date.
Of course he left out Winter Soldier - the Russo's managed to overcome Marvel's structure and create the best Marvel movie to date.
4:04PM on 06/24/2015
@Michaelb1492 But so much of The Winter Soldier is right in line with "Marvel's structure", though. The inclusion of HYDRA was studio-mandated, the fall of SHIELD was studio-mandated, the entire storyline with Bucky was studio-mandated ...even the finale with the helicarriers was in place before the Russos signed on. It just so happens that the Russo brothers took those studio-mandated requirements and crafted something spectacular out of it. That's what Shane Black did with IM3, James Gunn
@Michaelb1492 But so much of The Winter Soldier is right in line with "Marvel's structure", though. The inclusion of HYDRA was studio-mandated, the fall of SHIELD was studio-mandated, the entire storyline with Bucky was studio-mandated ...even the finale with the helicarriers was in place before the Russos signed on. It just so happens that the Russo brothers took those studio-mandated requirements and crafted something spectacular out of it. That's what Shane Black did with IM3, James Gunn with Guardians, Jon Favreau with Iron Man, Whedon with Avengers 1 and 2, Joe Johnston with Cap 1, etc etc.

With a sprawling cinematic universe, of course some things will be studio-mandated and of course there will be an overall structure to the movies. But it's up to the directors to let their individual vision shine through while also making it fit in the larger universe. That's what they're getting paid for, and they knew what they were getting into when they signed up.

No reason to "overcome" anything.
8:52PM on 06/24/2015
@SauronsBANE - and helicarriers are just dumb. But to your point, Shane Black wrote the same movie he always does. That's why its dull.
@SauronsBANE - and helicarriers are just dumb. But to your point, Shane Black wrote the same movie he always does. That's why its dull.
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