Marvel Phase 3 Kevin Feige

Today in Hollywood Disney held a Marvel Event to announce their plans for phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I was in attendance at the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Blvd for the announcements, which have already been covered elsewhere on the site.

After the event was over and the fans in attendance were escorted out of the theatre, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige gave a 20 minute question and answer session answering all of the press’ questions about the newly revealed Marvel Phase 3 slate and even some answers that extend beyond that (phase 4, 5…etc). I was able to record the entire question and answer session on video using my IPhone, and have uploaded the entire thing for you to watch. So hit the jump now to watch Kevin Feige answer all your questions about Marvel Phase 3 and beyond.

Marvel Phase 3 Kevin Feige

Marvel Phase 3 Kevin Feige

Questions answered in the Marvel Phase 3 Kevin Feige video include:

  • Why did Marvel decide to make these announcements at this event instead of Comic Con?
  • Why didn’t Marvel announce the casting of Doctor Strange?
  • Will Black Panther, Captain Marvel and the other new characters be introduced before their solo films?
  • When will we heard about the casting, directors and writers for the solo films like Captain Marvel?
  • Addresses The Russo Brothers public hesitations with not wanting to do the Civil War storyline in Captain America 3.
  • When will the Hulk get a solo film?
  • Are they already working on Phase 4?
  • Will future phases in the Marvel Cinematic Universe be comprised of more films like Phase 3?
  • Why Marvel did the misdirect with the Captain America: Serpent Society title, and will Marvel do a Serpent Society movie one day?
  • Will Marvel pursue black and female filmmakers for the Black Panther and Captain Marvel movies?
  • How does Marvel Phase 3 and Infinity War connect with the Marvel television shows? How involved in Marvel Studios?
  • How will the Inhumans work without the Fantastic Four?
  • What does Marvel think of Big Hero 6?
  • What ever happened to The Runaways movie? Will we ever seen the comic book property as a movie or tv series?
  • What is Marvel’s marketing plan for the increased schedule of Phase 3?
  • Why isn’t Black Widow getting a solo film?
  • How will Civil War work without Spider-man and secret identities?
  • Could The Defenders appear in Infinity War?

All these questions and more are answered in the video above.

Here’s a transcription:

There was no mention of Iron Man 4 — is that still a possibility?

If there are more years after 2019, there will be more possibilities, I expect.

Last week, DC and Warners announced their slate. Did you always plan to announce this far out, rather than going just a couple years out for your announcements?

We wanted to do this at Comic Con this year. Things were not set. Things for Civil War were not set yet, Guardians hadn’t come out yet, the comfort with dating a few of the other movies wasn’t set yet. So the plan has been, since a few weeks before Comic Con when we realized we weren’t going to be able to do everything we wanted to do, is to decide “let’s do either something we haven’t done in a long time, or something we’ve never done.” Which is a singular event, just to announce what we have when it’s ready. I thought that might be early August, or mid-September, it ended up being today.

Speaking of things not being set, we saw Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, but there’s no confirmed casting for Doctor Strange. Can you address that?

I can say that if it were confirmed, we would have introduced him. I like that Chadwick, for the most part — I think there’s always been speculation on lots of good actors for Black Panther — but I’m glad that didn’t leak in earnest, the way every single other actor in human history that is of a certain age has been for Doctor Strange. So along with everything else, [Doctor Strange] will be announced maybe this afternoon? Next week? Next month? Sometime before the release of the movie.

You’ve announced Black Panther and Captai America solo movies, but will we see Black Panther introduced in another film before his own?

With Black Pather, what our little song and dance at the end was meant to signifiy, and I’ll just clarify it for you: he is definitively a big part of Civil War. We will meet him for the first time in Civil War, in costume.

Will Cosmo [the dog briefly seen at the end of Guardians] have a bigger part in Guardians of the Galaxy 2?

The great thing about Guardians, seriously, is that there’s no lack of characters we can do fun things with. Is Groot going to be small, is Groot going to be big? Is Cosmo going to come back, will he speak? What’s that duck doing? Where’s the Collector? All of those are questions we like having fun with. We developed them, and when Mr. Gunn returns from Tokyo, those will be the questions we start to  move through.

Are we going to find out if anyone is in consideration for Captain Marvel?

My guess is rumors will start flying this second. The initial announcements, in terms attachments for that film, will probably be the writer and director announcements, which I do actually expect will be quite soon. In terms of the actress, I think there’s more time.

[Somewhat inaudible question about interviewing the Russo Bros and asking about Civil War, which they downplayed.]

Well, the Russos do a very good job of trying to answer all your questions without giving things away. They are truthful in that it is very hard, and it was very hard. Which is why we couldn’t announce it at Comic Con, and we couldn’t announce it until today. Now it’s a big storyline, of course it is. Winter Soldier is a big storyline.

And let me say, this is the Civil War of the cinematic universe, which will be greatly inspired by the Civil War of the comic universe, but we have a very different continuity going on. So this will be Civil War based off all the other films you’ve seen up until this point, particularly Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron. So I believe Joe and Anthony were being very good and very coy when talking about the difficulty of putting this together.

There’s a green 900-lb elephant in the room. Mark Ruffalo is killing it as The Hulk, who is is absent from the timeline;  What’s going on with the Hulk?

Well, I wouldn’t say he’s absent from the timeline, I’d say Hulk is going to appear in many of those movies, particularly all those Avengers movies leading up to 2019 and Infinity War. Mark Ruffalo is on board for all those films, and we’re excited to bring him to those films. What happens with a standalone Hulk film? I’ll only say what I would have said about Black Panther last week or Captain Marvel the week before that, or Doctor Strange the week before that, or Guardians of the Galaxy two years ago, or Ant-Man ten years ago: we’ll see. We’d love to do it, we’d love to find the place to put it, but right now, Hulk will be appearing, with his friends, in their films.

You just left other rumors hanging in the air, like Hawkeye, and the duck…

Hawkeye and who? Hawkeye and Howard the Duck in the same question. I’m gonna tell Jeremy. I’ll tell him.

So are you already working on Phase four, or will fans have their rumors and their hopes?

I hope fans always have their rumors and their hopes. Uh, yeah. We’re not going to talk specifically about the story of any of those films, the plot of any of those films, what happens to any of the characters in any of those films. In fact, even to talk about any of those characters, frankly as I just did with The Hulk — who will be involved in those movies will be a bit of a spoiler as to what may or may not happen to them in earlier movies. So let the rumors continue.

Can you confirm the Russos might direct that two-part Avengers movie, and address Marvel working out an appearance from Spider-Man?

Anything that wasn’t specifically and obviously revealed today is either not true at all, or is still rumor until it is worked out.

Can you talk about the plan going forward with how many movies are planned for each phase?

I wouldn’t say we set out to say any particular number. Phase One was six films. Phase two — and for those following along you’ll realize that Ant-Man truly is the end of Phase Two and Civil War is truly the beginning of Phase Three — that leaves us with six films in Phase Two. And it is nine films in Phase Three. One of the reasons is that one of the films is being split into two parts: Infinity War. And because frankly, the success that we’ve had, which is beyond our wildest dreams — I mentioned before, ten films, over 7 billion dollars, it is amazing — gave us confidence. And frankly, the studio’s firing on all cylinders right now. We have the absolute best team in Hollywood in front of the camera and behind the camera working on these movies, which made us comfortable for the first time as you saw in 2017 and 2018 that we have the ability to increase to three films a year instead of just two, without changing our methods. That’s why we were able to put in two additional films.

Just to clarify, are there any plans for Serpent Society?

There are always plans, but they are mainly jokes.

What are your thoughts on looking for directors and actors for Black Panther and Captain Marvel, such as Reggie Hudlin, who wrote Black Panther for years? Will you look at women and minorities to make those movies?

Oh we are, and we’re doing what we always do, which is looking for the best filmmakers, the best writers, the best directors possible. So I’m not going to say for sure that we’re going to hire from any one demographic, but we’re meeting a lot of people. Reggie, for one, i’ve known for many many years, and he’s a great guy. I think I’m meeting with him again shortly. We will do what we’ve always done, which is hire what we believe to be the best people to write the films, and to direct the films.

I want to say one more thing about Serpent Society. We had this great idea, right? Because Civil War’s first up, but we don’t want to blow our wad on the presentation with Civil War. Then Mike Shule had the great idea to put Serpent Society on there, and I thought it was awesome and hilarious. And then part of me thought “people are going to love Serpent Society, and think that would be really cool.” But we figured they wouldn’t think it was as cool as Civil War, which is why we did that. But now it’s on the radar.

Marvel also has two TV shows and Netflix shows. How does that affect your end of things?

Well, it doesn’t affect my end of things much at all because my end of things is exclusively the features, and Jeph Loeb runs our TV division, which is overseeing Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, and of course all the awesome Netflix series. I have some smaller involvement in Agent Carter, because of Haley and because of Louis D’Esposito did the short upon which the show is based. He directed the pilot, just finished it. It’s awesome, even in its rough form, and I had asked to be a little more involved on that one, so I’m helping them out there. But primarily, and exclusively, I want to make the movies.

I can either ask you about Inhumans or Big Hero 6, which do you want?

Well, I don’t know much about either, so…

Obviously there’s no Fantastic Four here, so can you give us any idea of how you’re creating the Inhumans world?

Well, obviously I know a lot about the Inhumans. Where they fit into the universe… you may find out sooner than you expect to, frankly. I already mentioned in the presentation that there are seeds leading to Black Panther, leading to Wakanda, starting very very soon in things you’ve already seen and will see soon. Likewise, with Inhumans, there may be easter eggs starting before you know it. Will those easter eggs include Fantastic Four? No. [The Inhumans] will be into the cinematic universe as it exists at Marvel Studios.

And what do I think of Disney Animation Studios making Big Hero 6? I think it looks awesome. I’ve heard it’s awesome, the trailers look awesome, the characters are awesome, and I think Disney Animation is on a roll with what they’re doing. Frozen dominated not only the planet, but my household, with my five and a half year old daughter. True story: I could not get to sleep last night, because (sings) “for the first time in forever…” was in my head. I was like I have to get to sleep, and this is in my head. So they’re on a roll, and I think that’s going to continue in Big Hero 6.

You touched on the reinventing of Captain America, reinventing of Thor — I’m wondering about the Marvel mindset and the writing and the tonal changes that are happening with the characters.

Well, I like to think it’s a natural evolution based on what’s come before and based on where we want to go. I think in general, the tone of all of our movies are equal parts very serious and very lovingly respectful, and at the same time humorous, and funny, and some more than others. I think that is our default tone. Because that’s the kind of movies we want to go see, and that’s the kind of movie we want to make. Sometimes, as in Winter Soldier, the storyline calls for it to be a little more serious. Sometimes, like in Guardians, there are incredibly emotional moments, and very serious moments, particularly the opening of the film, but also liberties to be much funnier and much sillier. We like having both ends of the spectrum to play with in all of our franchises, in all of our films, regardless frankly, of what the “A” plot is.

I was wondering whatever happened to The Runaways.

The Runaways is still an awesome script that exists in our script vault, by Drew Pearce. Frankly the best thing that has happened with that script is that it brought our attention to Drew Pearce, who ended up co-writing Iron Man 3 with Shane Black. We’d love to do something with Runaways some day. In our television and future film discussions, it’s always one that we talk about, because we have a solid draft there. But again, we can’t make them all.

What are the challenges of having so many superhero films in the market?

I think that’s a challenge that we’ve faced for many many years. My general feeling is: let’s stick to our plan, let’s keep doing what we believe in, let’s keep doing what the audience is telling us we’re doing right. Our plan has never altered one way or the other based on what anyone else is doing. In any genre, frankly, particularly in any other superhero film. In terms of the dating, that’s why we plant flags as early as we do, to mark some territory, so that you can hopefully have some room. But the truth is there are always going to be big movies on almost every weekend. What we’ve found so far is that if the movie delivers, the movie will do well. That’s what we focus on: what we can control, which is the quality of the pictures.

With Scarlett Johansson being one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, why did you decide not to give Black Widow her own movie?

Well, frankly, as I said in the presentation, it’s about bringing new characters to the screen. Black Widow couldn’t be more important as an Avenger, herself. Like Hulk, the Avengers films will be the films where they play a primary role. Her part in Avengers: Age of Ultron is very very big, and further develops and further enhances her character. The plans that we have for her throughout the rest of the Avengers saga is very very big, and lynchpin, in fact, to those films. So instead of taking her out there, or instead of doing a prequel, which we haven’t done yet, continuing the forward momentum and the continuity of the cinematic universe. Of which Widow is a key, key part.

You talked a bit about Civil War. The comic storyline will be very different, it has to do with secret identities. There aren’t secret identities in the cinematic universe, and you don’t have Spider-Man. So how will you do Civil War?

I don’t want to give too much away, but needless to say, the generalities of the act are the same. Something happens, perhaps it’s cumulative for things that have happened though all of the movies leading up to this point. It has made the governments of the world say “we need to have some oversight of these guys. They need to report to somebody. So it becomes more… it falls under that umbrella, rather than “you have to take off your mask.” It’s not about the secret identity thing, as much as it is about, overall, who reports to who, and who can agree to oversight committee. Because as of now, in Avengers 2, there is no more security council, there is no SHIELD, obviously. Stark is paying for it, Captain America is running it, and things occur that will make governments begin to question.

Is there room for the Defenders to show up on the big screen?

The Netflix series are leading to a Defenders series, and Devin is asking about including them into the features at some point, because Infinity War is going to be big. There are a lot of people from the movies (chuckles) in Infinity War. A lot of it is about space, and a lot of it is about just what happens between now and then. But all of those things inhabit, however far on the outskirts, the same continuity. So certainly that opportunity exists.

 

Kevin Feige

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