The face of the MCU and architect of 22 movies Kevin Feige was on Reddit last Friday to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything). There were thousands of questions and he answered a handful of them.
I weeded through all of them and pulled out the good ones.
- When did you become aware of the r/marvelstudios subreddit? What do you feel about the insane hype here?
- Out of all the characters in the MCU, whose story arc is your personal favorite and why?
- I really miss the Marvel One-Shots that were a fun way to explore the world around the MCU through peripheral characters. Can we expect them to return?
- Cap lifting Mjolnir was one of the strongest (crowd-cheering) moments in Endgame. Does he become worthy in that moment or has he been worthy for a while since, say, Avengers: Age of Ultron?
- Did you get a chance to watch a screening of Avengers: Endgame with the moviegoing audience? If so, how did it go?
- Marvel Studios producer Jonathan Schwartz is always lurking around here and tells me about it.
- Tony Stark comes to mind.
- We’re coming up with many new, fun ways to explore the world around the MCU.
- We think he was always worthy and was being polite in Age of Ultron.
- Yes, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
What was the hardest “sell”, to executives at Marvel or Disney, over the last eleven years? What was the one thing that you fought for most, that others tried to shut down?
There are always conversations and discussions before a film is made, and for the most part it’s been an amazing collaboration, but back when we first started, the two that come to mind from 10 years ago are the casting of Robert Downey Jr. and the decision to make Captain America: The First Avenger a period World War 2 film.
Hi Kevin, have you considered reviving the “One Shots”? It was a great way to flesh out the MCU, and provide some insight into the “minor” characters in the universe.
I’m sure if there was one that centered on Luis recapping The Infinity Saga, it would be a hit!
Totally agree. The best thing about the One Shots is that we got to flesh out other characters. It’s tremendously exciting that we now have Disney+ series where we get to do that on a grand scale with many of the characters you know and love.
We did a special shoot of Luis recapping the entire 10-year history of the MCU for SDCC when we announced Michelle Pfeiffer playing Janet van Dyne. I’m sure it’s around somewhere…
How early was the plot of Infinity War/Endgame being planned out? When was it decided to make it two parts where Thanos wins at first and what were some of the earliest plot points decided upon?
We started discussing how to adapt the Infinity Gauntlet comic soon after the release of the first Avengers. It was on one of our creative retreats about 5 years ago that we decided to do it as two films. We started to crack the specifics of the story during production on Civil War with Chris Markus and Stephen McFeely, Joe and Anthony Russo, in a conference room as we went back and forth between takes.
This has been eating at me. How much did Stan Lee know about Endgame before he passed? Was there a version far enough along for him to screen it prior to his death?
I want him to have seen the culmination of what you built with his characters.
Stan loved to wait to see the final movie at the premiere, so unfortunately he did not get to see the finished movie. Stan got a download of the full story the day he came and shot his cameo.
You have been involved in producing Marvel movies since 2000, some of which, Pre-MCU, had missteps. What kind of lessons did you learn from those that helped you create this vision of the MCU that is now not only a worldwide phenomenon, but also has been a hit with critics?
Respect the source material.
Hire passionate filmmakers regardless of how much money their last movie made.
Hire the best cast regardless of their current marquee value.
A while ago, you said you had a meeting with Mark Ruffalo and asked what he wanted out of the Hulk, then included that in Ragnarok, Infinity war and Endgame. Now that all 3 movies are out, can we get more information on what Ruffalo wanted out of the Hulk?
Many years ago, Mark came in for a meeting with us at Marvel Studios to discuss ways in which the Hulk could grow and evolve in upcoming films. He pitched a lot of cool ideas, some of which led to what you saw in Thor: Ragnarok, Infinity War and Endgame, and some of which would still be cool to see someday.
Is there anything in particular you and the creative forces behind Marvel Studios consciously do to try to avoid falling into this so-called “comic book movie fatigue” people are claiming?
Nobody would get fatigued before the creative forces at Marvel Studios who do this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we believe that if we’re still taking risks and making unique choices to keep ourselves excited, the audience will feel the same way.
When did you and your team at marvel realize that they were the ones that should helm the last two avengers films?
Was there a specific moment you remember thinking that they would be best to handle the conclusion to this saga?
We loved the experience working with them on The Winter Soldier. We had an amazing time developing the Civil War script with them, I think it was soon before production began on Civil War that we asked them to direct Infinity War and Endgame.
1. Are there any storylines that you think are “unfilmable”?
2. Has producing these films changed the way that you read and enjoy comics?
3. Who is someone that’s yet to appear in the MCU that you are itching to introduce?
1. Everything is filmable nowadays. It’s about finding the most resonant character stories to bring to the big screen.
2. Not really, I still like to read the comics every week from a fan’s point of view.
3. You’ll know soon enough.
Tons of directors and producers have made cameos in movies. Joe Russo a few times, Taika as Korg, etc. But have you ever considered doing a cameo as a character you like? If so, who would they be?
I don’t like being on camera, but I did cameo in a deleted scene in the first X-Men as a Weapon X technician. I was completely covered in a hood, mask and goggles.
My question (not very original) but I’ve always wanted to ask what your favourite comic book storyline is and why?
There are too many to name, many of them you’ve already seen adapted as stories into the MCU. Jim Starlin’s Infinity Gauntlet being a prime example.
I wanted to ask what made you guys start with Ironman as the first film to start a legacy with? It was an incredibly great idea with the script and actors making it awesome! But why Ironman first?
We thought Tony Stark was a great and unique character for our first film because he was so different from any comic book character that had been brought to the screen before.
Are there any plans to use previously forgotten characters such as Leader, Abomination or Justin Hammer in the mcu?
I’m not sure I’d call them forgotten characters but I love bringing back characters people think they’ve seen the last of. For example, General Ross and Harley.
Do you have a favorite individual scene from any of the MCU movies?
There are too many to list, but I will say my entire MCU career was building up to that “on your left” moment in Endgame.
Martin Starr was both in the Incredible Hulk (very briefly in the computer lab) and in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Peter Parker’s debate coach. Can we assume these are the same people?
How far is the MCU planned in advance?
We usually work with a specific 5 year plan at any given point but often have a general plan that extends much, much further.
How much will the Disney+ shows weave into the films?
Totally and completely.
What’s your favorite DC movie?
Richard Donner’s Superman 1
And this final question has a potential SPOILER after the answer from another Reddit user…
Without going ino to details about developing projects, are there any plans to incorporate the Ten Rings from the first Iron Man, or the “real” Mandarin teased in “All Hail the King” in the future?
…SPOILERS per u/Infinity-Gauntlet…If anyone has read the leaks for Shang-Chi, there have been talks that the Mandarin is going to be the main villain. I would almost say that this confirms it