Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige Talks Easter Eggs, Phase Four, And Much More

With the wide release of Thor: Ragnarok on the horizon, it's time for Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to saddle up and make the press rounds once again. /Film's Peter Sciretta will have his own one-on-one interview with Feige here on the site closer to the film's release, but in the meantime, I've collected some of the uber-producer's comments from other interviews in which he talks about the connective tissue of easter eggs, Captain Marvel's whereabouts, Feige's plans for Marvel Studios Phase Four, and much more.

Easter eggs are the "connective tissue" of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Speaking with, Feige talked about how easter eggs serve as the connective tissue of the studio's output, and it sounds like we'll have to keep our eyes especially peeled during Ragnarok:

"We make these movies for people to enjoy once on opening weekend if that's what they want to do, but really, because we're more like the people who watch it over and over again, we make it for them.

We put things in, you can call them easter eggs, you can call them hidden items. There are lots in there. It's not just within each movie, it's connective tissue between all the movies so there are things coming up, there are things in this movie that tie back to ten movies ago that you will only get if you've been tracking them very closely."

The next few films will all feel distinct

One of the most common complaints about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that the movies have the same look, but whether you want to make the case for that argument or not, one thing's for certain: this newest batch of movies seems to prove that Feige has heard those complaints and is looking to destroy them in a four-movie swoop. He teased the variation fans can look forward to:

"All of the next films by design have been built to be very different, to be very unique. RagnarokBlack Panther, certainly as we get into Infinity War and even Ant-Man and the Wasp, which is nearing the end of their production period right now. All four of those movies are distinct and special and I can't wait for people to see."

That's a promising statement, and even though we haven't seen too much from Infinity War or Ant-Man and the Wasp yet, it's clear that Ragnarok and Black Panther couldn't be more different, so that's encouraging for those who prefer a bit of visual differentiation between these movies.

When will we see a trailer for Avengers: Infinity War?

Infinity War is set to be the biggest movie in Marvel history (at least until Avengers 4 comes out), and the studio has done a nice job keeping the lid on spoilers and leaks thus far. We've seen a couple of little featurettes and behind-the-scenes videos from the set, but when will we see the first proper trailer for the new team-up movie? Fandango's Erik Davis got an answer from Feige...kind of:

Brie Larson Captain Marvel

Where has Captain Marvel been?

We know Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson has been cast as Captain Marvel, the most powerful superhero to date in the MCU. And since her solo movie is set in the 1990s, there's an important question looming: where has she been during the events of all of the other Marvel films thus far? In an interview with io9, the site's reporter said, "Having a character that powerful out there might be confusing..." and Feige interrupted, saying "The key is...'out there,'" gesturing with his arms to the sky. So she's been in space then? Is she in an ageless form of cryo-sleep? Traveling through a time-dilated wormhole? Mysteries abound, and Feige naturally wouldn't confirm when exactly we'd learn the answers to those questions, but perhaps we'll get some insight in Avengers: Infinity War.

That nagging timeline question

When Spider-Man: Homecoming came out earlier this year, it nearly broke geek brains the world over by seemingly shaking up the MCU timeline in a major way. (Read all about that right here.) In an interview with CinemaBlend, Feige promised that an official timeline will be published and all of those questions will be answered:

"All of that debate has made us go, 'Okay, at some point, I'm not sure exactly when, we're going to publish a timeline and see what it all is.' It wasn't meant to flummox anybody exactly, and I'm not sure I'd do it again the same way, but it does all connect to where we placed it. Other than very particular instances where there's a newspaper, or verbal reference to years, we never date the films. And I think there's a presumption, 'Well if the movie came out in November 2017, it must take place in November 2017' — which is not the case."

That "presumption" Feige mentions is there for good reason: he himself previously described Captain America: The Winter Soldier's place on the timeline as "the continuity of the release of the film is the continuity of the film as well," so it's only natural that fans assume that mentality has carried forward throughout the rest of the MCU. But apparently not.

Elsewhere in that interview, Feige described Tony Stark's "I am Iron Man" reveal to the public in 2008's Iron Man as the MCU's equivalent to Star Wars' Battle of Yavin – the key point on the timeline around which everything else revolves. No word yet on when we'll see that officially published MCU timeline, though.

Guarded plans for Phase Four

Uproxx asked Feige about what we can expect from Phase Four, which has been a guarded secret. He didn't reveal anything groundbreaking (probably because he may inadvertently spoil the two upcoming Avengers movies), but said his sights are set on Avengers 4 right now:

"We are focusing on bringing, by that point, an unprecedented, 22-movie, continuous shared fictional narrative to a conclusion in a satisfying way. And where we go beyond that? Of course we will go places beyond that. And, of course, we have ideas of where we go beyond that. But, really, it is all good stories. And as the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation said, 'All good things must come to an end.' And part of what makes them special, there is a finite quality to the best of fictional stories through history. And we wanted to do that at the end of our first three phases and 22 movies. How we start anew and wherever we go beyond that is a story for another time. This is really about 10 years on, bringing something to a head in a satisfying and unexpected way."

Sounds like Phase Four is being looked at as a clean starting point and truly a new chapter of the MCU, and from both a business and creative standpoint, I'm curious about the direction they'll choose to take this behemoth of a franchise as they push forward in the coming years. Now I'll throw it out to you: what would you like to see in Marvel's Phase Four?