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Marvel's Kevin Feige talks Thanos, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and more

Jun. 23, 2014by:
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At the CineEurope Event in Barcelona, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige took part in a Q&A where he talked a bit about Thanos and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY's franchise potential, and gave updates on ANT-MAN and DOCTOR STRANGE. Interested in knowing what he had to say? Of course you are! Let's get right to it.

On GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY:

Every time we make a movie, we focus on the single movie, the importance of doing the best version we can to introduce a new audience to the characters. So we don't have, necessarily, two or three or four movies planned because if we have a good idea - a fun idea for a scene or a cool character - we put it in this movie because we know if the first movie doesn't work, there won't be any movies after that."That being said, there are dozens and dozens of Guardians Of The Galaxy storylines - there's a group that came about in the '60s, they were revamped again in the '80s and they changed into this incarnation that you see in this movie about eight or nine years ago - so there are a lot of other characters and worlds and stories. So should this film work, should the audience come out for this one, there are definitely places we can take it and we have ideas of where we'd like to go with it, but really all the energy goes into the first movie first.

On Thanos:

If you remember we had a tag scene in Thor: The Dark World where Benicio Del Toro showed up for the first time as The Collector, so that was our way of saying the Guardians and the other Marvel characters inhabit the same reality and the same universe. In particular, there's a villain in this film, that comic fans know as Thanos, that moviegoers will begin to learn more and more about in the coming years. He appeared at the very end of the first Avengers film, when he turned into camera and smirked, and we realised he was the person behind the alien army that Loki teamed up with to terrorise New York City, and that the Avengers had to fight."We see him again in this movie [Guardians], we learn a little bit more about him in this movie, and he - and his band of followers - is the biggest piece of connective tissue that will eventually lead us back into Avengers films in the future.

On Marvel's upcoming TV series for Netflix:

I think the television division first and foremost need to make great TV shows that stand on their own. But because it is Marvel, we do think they will all fall under the umbrella of the Cinematic Universe, the way Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. does now, the way the Agent Carter series will, so I do think that Daredevil and Jessica Jones and the other ones [Iron Fist and Luke Cage] will have a loose connection to the overall storyline. But, just like the most important thing for us with each film is that each film works independently and stands alone as a great movie, and then the fun part is it connecting to the other world; I think the TV group is doing the exact same thing with each series.

On the Edgar Wright-less ANT-MAN:

Ant-Man is still going to come out on 17 July [2015], we start filming this August. Edgar Wright, who I've known for many years, who wrote the draft with Joe Cornish - much of the movie will still be based very much on that draft and the DNA of what Edgar has created up to this point, but Peyton Reed has stepped in [to direct].

Adam McKay, a very good writer is reworking parts of the script - not the entirety of the script, but some of it - and it's going to, we believe, come to life in the best version of Ant-Man that we could possibly make. Again Ant-Man is a very important character for us. We like that people don't necessarily know what it is, we like that it sounds sort of strange when you first hear the notion of Ant-Man, or a hero that can shrink, but he's a very key Marvel character: he's a key Avenger. He's an important character we want to bring into our universe and Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and an amazing cast all set to start in August, we believe that we're on the road to the best version of Ant-Man that we could have.

On where Marvel is at with DOCTOR STRANGE:

Scott Derrickson has been announced as the director. Doctor Strange is a character that I've been interested in for many, many years and that I've talked about in interviews for probably 14 years, because I believe it's very, very important for us to explore every nook and cranny of the comic-book universe and we've done the street-level heroes, and we've done the billionaire superheroes [on Earth]. We've now done the cosmic side with Thor and Avengers and most obviously with Guardians, but there's a whole other side of the Marvel comics, which is that supernatural side - the interdimensional side of the Marvel universe, and Doctor Strange is, I believe, our entry point into that other realm, which has dozens of characters and storylines all of its own.

So Strange is very, very important, not just because it's an amazing character study, and a journey of a man who's gone from this very arrogant surgeon to somebody who is quite zen and literally keeps all of reality together on a daily basis, but it also is going to open up a whole other side of storytelling for our movies. So we're about to hire a writer to redo a draft, and we think we'll be casting probably in the next month or two, and announcing an actor, and then we get into production in the spring of next year.

On the possibility of a Marvel/Spider-Man/X-Men crossover:

It would be great, I think, to be able to have all of the Marvel characters interact one day, in a single movie with Marvel Studios, [but] I don't think that'll happen anytime soon. Fox is doing very well - Days Of Future Past just came out, was a big hit, was a very, very good movie. As long as they keep doing that they'll be able to keep those rights. Sony - same thing - has very long term plans for Spidey, and I think as long as they keep doing that and as long as they keep succeeding, Sony will have Spidey for a long time. So I wouldn't say anything's impossible, I've been at Marvel for almost 14 years now, and it's a very different company today than when it was a near bankrupt company just trying to get a foothold in movies when I started. So I always say nothing is impossible but I'm not sure that's going to happen any time soon.

Very interested in seeing how Marvel will handle the supernatural elements in DOCTOR STRANGE, and what future plans they might have for the good doctor. Comic-Con is right around the corner, so we might be learning more about a few of these upcoming projects in the near future.

Marvel's next film, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, will be in theaters on August 1, 2014.

Extra Tidbit: What characters/storylines from Marvel's "interdimensional side" would you like to see appear in a future movie?
Source: Total Film

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10:06AM on 06/23/2014

Everything here sounds great, but...

...the thing that really stands out to me is that first quote about how they focus on one movie at a time, stuffing all the best ideas into one movie rather than "saving" things for potential sequels. THAT proves to me that they get it. Nolan had the same idea with his Batman trilogy. Tell self-contained, COMPLETE stories in the movie you're working on now, and worry about sequels later. In an age where The Amazing Spider-Man movies drag out plot threads throughout 2-3 movies, where Man of
...the thing that really stands out to me is that first quote about how they focus on one movie at a time, stuffing all the best ideas into one movie rather than "saving" things for potential sequels. THAT proves to me that they get it. Nolan had the same idea with his Batman trilogy. Tell self-contained, COMPLETE stories in the movie you're working on now, and worry about sequels later. In an age where The Amazing Spider-Man movies drag out plot threads throughout 2-3 movies, where Man of Steel promises to deal with horrific ramifications in a "sequel", it's refreshing that Marvel is operating on a whole other level right now. Great stuff.
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1:43PM on 06/23/2014
It's exactly why I always prefer that Marvel do all their movies in house. They want to tell a great story more than just give us teasers for the sequel.
It's exactly why I always prefer that Marvel do all their movies in house. They want to tell a great story more than just give us teasers for the sequel.
9:12AM on 06/23/2014
Marvel is on a roll.
Marvel is on a roll.
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8:59AM on 06/23/2014

would love

Give me an xmen film from marvel already!!!
Give me an xmen film from marvel already!!!
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8:31AM on 06/23/2014
Unlike a lot of other producers/suits in the movie biz, it does sound like Feige knows what he's talking about.
Unlike a lot of other producers/suits in the movie biz, it does sound like Feige knows what he's talking about.
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8:09AM on 06/23/2014
I think Marvel Phase 3 is going to be great. Have high hope for Doctor Strange.
I think Marvel Phase 3 is going to be great. Have high hope for Doctor Strange.
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8:03AM on 06/23/2014
So ready for Guardians of the Galaxy.
So ready for Guardians of the Galaxy.
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