A Marvel movie must be coming out soon* because Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is talking a lot about the studio and its various projects.
*Obviously, I know that Iron Man 3 comes out tomorrow. In fact I believe we’ve already posted our review.
So what else is new? Well, Feige talked to Entertainment Weekly about casting next summer’s major Marvel opus, Guardians of the Galaxy. The film stars Chris Pratt as the Guardians’ human leader Star Lord, but what made the Parks & Rec star the winning choice for such a key role? “He’s a hilariously frumpy, doofy guy in Parks and Rec, and he’s an incredibly kickass ripped guy in Zero Dark Thirty and that’s pretty awesome,” says Feige. “He’s going to need that in Guardians. That’s a big range right there.”
And finding that range was no easy task, adds Feige. “We did a lot of auditions, a lot of screen tests, just as we did for Thor, just as we did for Cap. [Pratt] was hilarious, he was moving, he was … you bought him in the early versions of the outfit.”
Also not easy, or at least not as easy as it seems, is having chemistry with your co-stars, and that was one of selling points in Guardians‘ next bit of casting when Marvel hired former-WWE champion Dave Bautista to play Drax the Destroyer. “One of the reasons Bautista got the part was because his banter, and ad libs, and screen tests with Pratt were awesome,” says Feige.
In closing, before moving on to other movie news, here’s a new piece of Guardians concept art for you:
In Ant Man news – you heard me – Feige talked about the project’s perpetual state of development hell/suspended animation saying that it was originally intended to be the studio’s follow-up to Iron Man, but now with an expected release date sometime after The Avengers 2, the script will now have to by updated to reflect the expanded state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Frankly, now we have to re-write it to put it a little bit more into the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] because it was written before it existed,” Feige explains. “We’ve talked about various names [to play the lead] over the past eight years but as you can imagine they keep changing as time goes by. But towards the end of this year, we’ll buckle down and start casting and start refining the script, which is great and which is very Edgar [Wright]. He has done a great job being incredibly true to the comics but is putting his own spin on it, so we’ll be drawing on multiple mythologies for this one.”
Meanwhile, the movie rights for a number of other Marvel characters such as Punisher, Ghost Rider, Blade and, of course, Daredevil, have reverted back to Marvel recently, but Feige says don’t expect new Punisher, Ghost Rider, Blade and Daredevil films right away.
“Whenever a character comes back to us, it’s usually because the other studios don’t want to make the movies anymore – and that usually means the [previous] movies may not have been particularly well received,” he says. “They all have potential, but we’re not going to say, ‘We got it back – make it!'”
Finally, in a recent interview with /Film and Iron Man 3 director Shane Black, Feige talked about the nature of trying to keep the details of his projects secret in the era of internet journalism. Here’s the exchange with /Film’s Peter Sciretta:
Peter Sciretta: You’re a very internet-savvy guy and it seems like you’re reading everything… There’s a lot of sites up there reporting leaks or rumors or sometimes even misinformation. I wanted to get your thoughts on “How does Marvel deal with this” in an age when sharing information on the internet is becoming unstoppable.
Kevin Feige: What are you talking about? Latino Review?
Nobody specifically. Really just interested in how Marvel Studios is evolving to handle the internet as a whole…
How would you “punish” them if you were us?
Its an interesting question. I think the only thing you could probably do is exclude them — don’t give them access. Don’t invite them to set visits, to junkets. But I don’t know, info is always going to get out there and someones always going to be posting it.
Here’s what I will say, since X-men one frankly, where a photo was stolen off a wardrobe thing and it was the very first look of Hugh Jackman in costume as him under flourescents… it looked awful. (Laughs) It was just like “Oh, this is the world we are living in. This is the reality.” So we’ve always just accepted it. Spy pictures will leak and we used to try to run ahead and put out a cool picture first. Now if we have a cool picture we will put it out, but if we don’t, that’s okay.
Misinformation… You know, it gets a little annoying when somebody is like “This is what’s happening! This is what Kevin Feige is doing!” It’s annoying when they are right and it’s equally annoying when they are wrong, because everybody passes it. “Planet Hulk is the next thing” and everybody talks about it and you’re just like “Okay, but you’ll be disappointed if you’re expecting it.”
Shane Black: (smirking) It’s like Iron Man flying off to see The Guardians at the end of this one…
You read that everywhere.
Kevin Feige: Exactly, but then again, nobody knew about Redford until we announced it. Nobody knew about what you know now having seen Iron Man 3, so as long as there are secrets that big that are still being kept, I know it’s nobody in the inner circle. Does that make sense?