Let’s discuss the inevitable, people. Basic sciences dictates that your favorite actors, thespians who helped to bring your most adored comic book characters to life can’t play those characters forever. You know it, I know it, your friends know it, and apparently Kevin Feige over at Marvel knows it too. Talk about a problem that you’re lucky to have! Let’s talk shop, shall well? More after the jump!
THR had a sit down with super nerd and President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige yesterday to discuss everything from Ant-Man, MCU Phase 3, Spider-Man, even the Warner Brothers DC franchise. One of the standout comments from Feige was sort of the ‘pink elephant’ in the room regarding the decades long MCU franchise – the possibility of recasting. When asked about recasting, or even retiring characters, Feige responded by saying:
Thankfully, I’m not going to be faced with that decision for many, many years because we have everybody locked up and planned out for as far as any studio has movies planned. But one day, it will be a combination. It will be a combination of choosing which characters to continue on with and explore and which to bring in, as we’re doing with Captain Marvel and Black Panther. And certainly to recast in some way or another – as we’ve already done in certain cases. Certainly many other franchises have reached that milestone before we have and done that with great success.
The short answer is yes, they’ve thought about recasting. Makes total sense given comic books are sort of this ageless paradigm where stories and histories are at times continuous, at other times contiguous, but never linear in the way that its audiences might expect. Feige started this conversation back in 2012 when he responded to Robert Downey Jr.’s hint that he wouldn’t always play Iron Man, saying MCU could always “… James Bond it” eluding to a recast.
It wouldn’t be the first time Marvel recast a super hero, as we saw in the case of The Incredible Hulk where Bruce Banner, originally portrayed by Edward Norton, was recast for The Avengers with Mark Ruffalo. Both actors brought their own strengths to the character and did fine jobs. Hell, they even got a little comparison by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey in a Golden Globes monologue one year (around 6:20). We like it “Ruff-alo” too, Amy.
Retiring characters? Now that’s a completely different discussion. Many spoiler theorists have suggested that the introduction of Captain Marvel and Black Panther leaves room for MCU to retire the solo franchises for characters like Thor, Captain America and Iron Man. While this still leaves them ripe to be portrayed in team-up films (Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Defenders), it gives Marvel an opportunity to paint a more broad tapestry, maybe even bring outliers like Dr. Strange or Spider-Man more into the fold. Hell, maybe even take one of their more successful TV franchises to the big screen (*cough*Daredevil*cough*). Given the team roster after Age of Ultron, there’s definitely room to shake things up and tell different stories with these characters. Unless of course they make them all Time-Lords.
This is one of those conversations you have with your friends over french fries at a diner after the bars have closed. Its intuitive, and makes sense both from a business perspective and a fan perspective. Keep us entertained, but don’t be afraid to mix things up! If we’ve learned anything from those early X-Men films is that you can’t keep playing the same character your entire career…. OR CAN YOU HUGH JACKMAN?
Where do you stand on the notion of recasting characters in the MCU? What about retiring characters? Do you think it’s high time they put Thor in the old folks home and focus more on fresh meat?