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Kevin Fiege on Marvel villain issue; says Thanos is like a "main character"

02.09.2017
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Most people love the Marvel movies. They've provided parents and the middle-aged men who live in their basement something to actually share an opinion about. But there's one over-arching complaint we’ve heard again and again, and it’s regarding the infamous Marvel “villain problem.” Even Marvel head Kevin Feige has heard your groans over the villains of these hit films and, for the most part, he’s right there with you.

While speaking on the set of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, Feige spoke to the aforementioned issue fans have with Marvel’s villains, but then assured us we probably won’t have those same complaints when it comes to Thanos in INFINITY WAR:

We've been criticized... if a big criticism of ours is that we focus on the heroes more than the villains, I think that's probably true. I don't think it will always be true, and I think some of you spoke to Chris [Markus] and Steve [McFeely] at the Civil War junket. ... And they talked about, in appropriately oblique terms, Thanos. Thanos in Infinity War is -- in a movie that has a lot of characters, you could almost go so far as to say he is the main character, and that's a bit of a departure from what we've done before. But that was appropriate for a movie called Infinity War.

This isn’t the first time the villain problem has been addressed. Last year our own Paul Shirey got a chance to visit the CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR set, and there Markus and McFeely addressed the problem, citing the fact that these movies are about the heroes, not villains, but that once they get past the origin story it allows for more freedom with the bad guys. On that note, Thanos has the potential to challenge our superhero pals in a way no other villain has, as it’s a threat that equally effects everyone we’ve seen up to this point.

Thanos, the galactic space tyrant played by Josh Brolin, has been teased as a massive villain since being seen at the end of 2012’s THE AVENGERS, and his arrival will finally be upon us next year. We got a great look at him in 2014’s GUARDIANS, and he promises to be an imposing, vicious antagonist for our hero friends. Or he’s just misunderstood and could use a puppy.

The villain problem is one that’s quite obvious (not just here, but in most blockbusters), but I’ve never had a huge opinion on the matter. I get what the writers are saying in that these movies are about the heroes and not their foes, so the former is where they put their focus. As long as they admit they can, and will, do better is step one, and if Thanos is as impactful a figure as they’re hinting I think INFINITY WAR will stand out in the MCU for more than a few reasons. Still, there's nothing that can't be solved with a puppy.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is set for May 4, 2018.

Source: Cinema Blend

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-1
10:23PM on 02/09/2017
Eh, I've never had a problem with Marvel's "villain problem." I want my villains to show up, be mean, and then swiftly get their asses kicked.
The heroes are the main characters, and giving them more screen time is alright by me.
Eh, I've never had a problem with Marvel's "villain problem." I want my villains to show up, be mean, and then swiftly get their asses kicked.
The heroes are the main characters, and giving them more screen time is alright by me.
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6:35PM on 02/09/2017
So reading between the lines, does that mean we can expect the same type of forgettable villains in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spider-man: Another Reboot, Thor 3, and Black Panther? We need to wait until the next Avengers film until we get a great villain?
So reading between the lines, does that mean we can expect the same type of forgettable villains in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spider-man: Another Reboot, Thor 3, and Black Panther? We need to wait until the next Avengers film until we get a great villain?
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1:36PM on 02/09/2017

Root for the bad guy

I like the idea of focusing on the villain a little bit more. When done right, villains can be more memorable than the heroes (Hannibal lector for example). The television show The Walking Dead was getting soft and boring until Negan showed up and cracked some skulls. Now he's my favorite character. Maybe Thanos or whoever else could be an intriguing and more charismatic villain if we saw more of him.
I like the idea of focusing on the villain a little bit more. When done right, villains can be more memorable than the heroes (Hannibal lector for example). The television show The Walking Dead was getting soft and boring until Negan showed up and cracked some skulls. Now he's my favorite character. Maybe Thanos or whoever else could be an intriguing and more charismatic villain if we saw more of him.
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+2
11:47AM on 02/09/2017
I think this is more so a problem with superhero villains in general than just the MCU. Apocalypse was boring. Eisenberg's Lex Luthor was weak. Michael Shannon's Zod was decent, not great. And we don't need to get into the new Fantastic Four. So I don't get why only Marvel is given a hard time for this problem when really all studios owning comic book properties are pretty guilty of it.
I think this is more so a problem with superhero villains in general than just the MCU. Apocalypse was boring. Eisenberg's Lex Luthor was weak. Michael Shannon's Zod was decent, not great. And we don't need to get into the new Fantastic Four. So I don't get why only Marvel is given a hard time for this problem when really all studios owning comic book properties are pretty guilty of it.
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10:57AM on 02/09/2017
It would be great if Infinity War was from his perspective (for most of the film); would be a great opportunity for Thanos to really separate himself from previous villains. And if Marvel really wants Thanos to have a major impact than I'm expecting to see him lay down some of the Avengers and/or certain parts of the universe towards total destruction.

And I don't think Marvel's issues with each film's villains are as bad as people are making it out to be. Obidiah, Abomination, Loki, Red
It would be great if Infinity War was from his perspective (for most of the film); would be a great opportunity for Thanos to really separate himself from previous villains. And if Marvel really wants Thanos to have a major impact than I'm expecting to see him lay down some of the Avengers and/or certain parts of the universe towards total destruction.

And I don't think Marvel's issues with each film's villains are as bad as people are making it out to be. Obidiah, Abomination, Loki, Red Skull, Alexander Pierce, Ronan, Ultron, Loki, and Baron Zemo, I thought were all portrayed just fine in terms of story and depth; the real films of the MCU to have misfires with their villains have been The Dark World, and Doctor Strange. I will admit that I would like to see Justin Hammer pop up again somewhere down the line.
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10:02AM on 02/09/2017
I agree with JediteX. So far Loki is the best and only interesting villain in a Marvel as of late. Thanos better be an epic villain.
I agree with JediteX. So far Loki is the best and only interesting villain in a Marvel as of late. Thanos better be an epic villain.
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+4
9:09AM on 02/09/2017
With the exception of Loki, Marvel Studios has yet to have a great villain. I'm really hoping Thanos turns out to be a great antagonist. So far Marvel Studios villain track record is pretty terrible. Seriously, can anyone even remember the bad guy's name in Thor the Dark World?
With the exception of Loki, Marvel Studios has yet to have a great villain. I'm really hoping Thanos turns out to be a great antagonist. So far Marvel Studios villain track record is pretty terrible. Seriously, can anyone even remember the bad guy's name in Thor the Dark World?
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9:52AM on 02/09/2017
Malekith -- know how I know? Because I've heard that exact question asked several times in the past. A villain so unmemorable he's becoming memorable for it!

I thought Zemo in Civil War was a great character with a strong arc. But I can understand the want for more traditional supervillains that have memorable and imposing aesthetics. Hopefully Phase 3 will bring some so it's not just Thanos.
Malekith -- know how I know? Because I've heard that exact question asked several times in the past. A villain so unmemorable he's becoming memorable for it!

I thought Zemo in Civil War was a great character with a strong arc. But I can understand the want for more traditional supervillains that have memorable and imposing aesthetics. Hopefully Phase 3 will bring some so it's not just Thanos.
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