Kevin Feige

Over the course of my interview with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, we spoke about two spoilers in Guardians of the Galaxy. Those have been removed to be published at a later date. What remains is an interesting exchange about what’s coming up at Marvel Studios starting as soon as this week’s San Diego Comic-Con, and out to 2019. We discussed what we may or may not see at San Diego Comic-Con, how he deals with wild rumors that pop up on the internet, the way the Marvel Cinematic Universe handles death and how Phase Two shares some DNA with the original Star Wars trilogy. Below, read our spoiler-free Guardians of the Galaxy interview with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

Kevin Feige Red Carpet

/Film: Does the fact that we didn’t see an end credits [on the press screening of Guardians of the Galaxy] scene mean there’s not going to be one? Or will it be revealed at Comic-Con?

Kevin Feige: No to the second part. We’ll have to see to the first part. [Note: James Gunn confirmed an end credits scene will be attached starting August 1.]

You just announced movies through 2019Why announce all those movies now, before Comic-Con? Also, do you you have a tentative ideas of what they’re going to be, or is it in flux?

Yes and yes. It’s because of the competitive landscape. It’s because if we don’t announce dates soon, somebody else is gonna announce and then the weekends will be gone. So that was really the onus. I was the one who said, “You sure you wanna do that before I go to a press junket and get asked what they are before Comic-Con?” But in the big picture, we just need to get those flags planted.

The only May date in there is the 2019 date, suggesting that Phase Three is going be much longer than the previous two.

It’s nothing that I can talk about, but yes, a number of people have asked me that. And the thing that I like most about that is basically that people know and care about our phases. It was something that I just made up at one point, maybe on the spot on some panel during a New York Comic-Con once or a San Diego Comic-Con once. Because nothing like this has ever been done before. And I wanted ways to characterize them so they didn’t feel like people were saying oh here we go, M.C.U. part 15 or 16. And yet at the same time, they weren’t just thinking there’s an Iron Man Trilogy, a Thor Trilogy, a Cap Trilogy. It’s all those things, but I like breaking it into these phases. And I like that people have adopted that.

And that people assume a May release date means an Avengers film. That’s the Avengers month.

[2019] not the only May date. I think there’s a May date in ’17.

Yeah, I think so. But I think the way it was announced it looked May 2019 was Avengers 3.

Right.

In all your other interviews, you’ve talked pretty much at length about the Ant-Man and Edgar Wright situation. But I have a different question about it.

Good.

I had heard that he storyboarded the whole movie. Will it have his D.N.A., visually? 

Yeah. It wasn’t the whole movie and there are new elements in the movie obviously, now, that [Wright] was not involved in. But there are some segments that are awesome and will be brought to life in some incarnation. Peyton [Reed] certainly has all that material and is a talented enough and a secure enough guy to notice if something is really cool and go “No reason to change that, that’s great.” Or if he’s got his own spin on something to go and adapt it from there.

You recently screened Avengers 2 footage in the U.K.; will we see the same footage at Comic Con?

I don’t know if you’re gonna see anything next week.

You have an hour next week and that’s your next movie.

Who knows what you’re gonna see next week. No, we showed in Barcelona and the U.K., some behind the scenes stuff. So some B roll stuff. Maybe that’s what we’ll show.

Okay. You’ve been saying that Thanos was in this movie for the longest time.

I was telling the truth.

I know you were! But you kept the actor secret, and never revealed him in marketing. Why adopt the super-secretive approach?

Well I don’t know if it’s super secretive. I mean, often I don’t think there’s a reason to put out any sort of big press release for each and everything we do and every little move we make. And also in the overall context. So in other words, if we put Thanos in the middle of marketing for Guardians of the Galaxy, I don’t know if it’d make a lick of difference in terms of who goes to see the movie.

In fact we take away from [the characters] we actually are advertising. So that wasn’t a strategy of any kind. It was just, you know, it was something in the body of the film that hopefully within the context of the film, even if you don’t know who he is, makes some sense as an over guy to Ronan, giving Ronan something [SPOILER REMOVED]. But we didn’t say don’t use any advertisements.

A rumor came up recently about the fate of the Hulk in Avengers 2.

The Planet Hulk thing?

No, not specifically Planet Hulk. That the end of the Avengers 2 [SPOILER REMOVED, READ IT HERE]. When rumors like that crop up, do you get frustrated?

It depends what it is. If it’s something that’s incorrect, like that, we don’t worry about it. And if it’s something that’s correct, we usually don’t worry about it. Because you’re not gonna alter your plans based on something [written online]. We’ve had things that have been spoiled that are annoying, but you move on with life and you find for the most part it’s really only a select group of us that are obsessing about these things.

Which we, even I have a tendency to forget sometimes. Like for instance, if I was a huge Hunger Games fan, I’m sure there’s a website I can go to and have everything spoiled about coming up. But I’m not and I go see the movie and I go “Oh cool, that’s a surprise.” If I talk to a fan and they go, “Yeah, I knew that two years ago.” Or you can read the book in that case.

It’s just about knowing you can’t control those things. And then there are some things that I’m happy haven’t gotten out. Stuff that’s coming up that hasn’t gotten out that people don’t know anything about. And, you know, going back to last year, had the Mandarin twist been revealed in Iron Man 3, it would have been a disaster. And the fact that it didn’t made me very happy.

Speaking of Iron Man 3, basically for like four movies in a row, maybe even five, you guys have killed somebody and then brought them back in some way. Are you going to actually kill somebody in the Marvel Universe?

[Thor's mom] Frigga’s dead. Lest we forget that was a big moment in that movie. Until we announce her Frigga ABC Family TV series. But I think there will be. There can be. There will be. You know, the Coulson thing came up after Avengers. The Nick Fury [Cap 2] thing, you’re counting that?

Yeah.

I mean, that was sort of the idea with the movie.

And Loki. It’s just something that has been happening in many of the films and as a moviegoer I don’t buy it now. 

I understand. I don’t think that will always be the case. I think that will often be the case with comic book movies where characters have been alive in comics for a long time. And even Bucky came back in an awesome way. We can count Bucky too.

That’s true, Bucky does come back, yes.

But you didn’t count that ’cause it’s awesome.

Yes, it is, but that was a different movie he came back in. It wasn’t the same. Well I guess I can’t count Coulson then, because Coulson came back in the TV show.

Exactly. I would say that that is not a tempered, but there are things and we’re not quite finished with Phase 2 yet, but I do hope some day fine journalists like yourselves will go back and look at what are the common threads in the Phase 1 movies? What are the common threads in the Phase 2 movies? What are the common threads in the Phase 3 movies? You’re tapping on something that’s a common thread in a Phase 2 movie.

I’ll tell you another one which you can write about or not. Because we’re all children of Star Wars. And this sort of happened by coincidence, but now I sort of want it to be a thing. Which is in each Phase 2 movie, if you look at Phase 2 as a middle ’cause we always think in threes for some reason, because of the Star Wars Trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back. Somebody gets their arm cut off in every one of our Phase 2 movies. Just like…

Just like Luke Skywalker.

I guess everyone gets their hand cut off in Star Wars.

Guardians of the Galaxy opens everywhere August 1. Check back soon for more from Feige about the film’s Easter Eggs and the unique editing at the end of the film.

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