It’s a big week for Marvel Studios. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned for its third season last night, and Avengers: Age of Ultron hits store shelves on DVD and Blu-ray this Friday. That means it’s time again for another round of “Kevin Feige talks about Marvel movies.” You can almost call it, the State of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At an event at the Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles last night, the head of Marvel Studios and Avengers producer Jeremy Latchem, talked about the future of the franchise, and other burning questions in regards to Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and that fancy gauntlet that everyone wants the stones for.
Putting aside the obvious questions, like when we might see the other Infinity Stones (“You will see the other two, sometime in phase three for sure,” said Feige), the event, which was covered by /Film, answered a wide expanse of questions concerning numerous facets of the MCU across Phases 1, 2, and 3.
There was some curiosity as to just how much Marvel had planned so far as the build up to Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2, when did they know that they were leading us all to the big battle between the Avengers and Thanos with the fate of the universe itself at stake?
Kevin Feige: It was really sort of Iron Man 2 and building the architecture of the entire Phase One is where that started to come about, and the notion that the Tesseract being not only tying phase one together but also being part of all the other things that tie phase two together. I won’t say its all perfectly planned out in 2009, but that was the genesis of it. It goes back that far.
In other news, why wasn’t Captain Marvel part of new Avengers at then of Age of Ultron?
Kevin Feige: It was in the script at one point, it might have been one draft. Was it… It might have just been Captain Marvel. And we shot a plate and thought we may add her in there but the truth is it just didn’t seem appropriate to have this new person in a new costume come out of nowhere at the end of this story. It would have been a disservice to, what by the time the movie was coming out, a character people already knew was coming anyway.
A lot of people remarked that while the movies seem to have a long reach on Marvel’s various TV series, that has not been reciprocated by TV characters appearing in movies, a lack of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. piloting the Helicarrier they were keeping safe for Nick Fury being a prime example. Will the TV characters play more a role in the movies in the future?
Kevin Feige: I think its inevitable as we’re plotting the movies going forward and they’re plotting the shows. The schedules do not always quite match up to make that possible. Its easier for them, because they are more nimble and faster to produce things, which is one of the reasons you see the repercussions of Winter Soldier or Age of Ultron in the shows. But going forward as there continues to be more shows and casting such great actors as they have, particularly with Daredevil, that may occur. But a lot of it is, by the time we start doing a movie they might be midway through (filming) a season and by the time the movie comes out they’ll be done with their second season and starting a third season. So finding timing on that isn’t always easy.
How will Spider-Man be intigrated into the MCU beyond Captain America: Civil War and his own solo movie?
Kevin Feige: The short answer is: the most important thing is the stand alone movie, relaunching Spider-Man with a stand alone movie with a new storyline that fits into this universe – thats job number one for us. And as is the case, the connectivity is great but it doesn’t drive the train. That being said, if I understand what you’re asking, we had… this has been a dream of ours for a long time, and we always had contingency plans should you know — which we always do anyways. Are we going to be able to make another movie with this actor? If we are then we’ll do this, if not, we’re going to do this. If we get the rights to a certain character that’d be great, then we’d do this, if not, we’d do this. So we always sort of operate with those alternate timelines available and are ready to shift if something happens.
When will we see the Earth-bound Avengers and galactic spanning Guardians of the Galaxy finally meet?
Kevin Feige: Well, its a good question. And certainly Thanos and the Infinity stones are the connection between all those movies and especially Guardians. So I do think they’ll be more crossover into that sector of the Marvel literal universe. When or if those specific characters start switching remains to be seen. And the Guardians 2 team just left for Atlanta on Monday to start that movie, so all the Guardians effort and thought is going to that — which is shaping up very nicely right now.
Is there a future for the Marvel One-Shot short films?
Kevin Feige: We talk about that a lot actually, because when you have tables like that (lots of potential storylines, most unexplored in the finished film), and we go, What are we going to do with Howard? What are we going to do with Cosmo? We should do a one shot with Michael Pena (from Ant-Man). I mean, the universe is big. We’re moving up to three movies a year and I’m not sure how much beyond that we can go so the one shots are great for: oh we have this great idea, wouldn’t it be fun to see… We talk about it a lot. We’re a relatively small team. We’re comfortable doing three movies a year so its just about finding the time and the place. But we have a backlog of ideas.
When will we find out more about Doctor Strange and GOTG Volume 2 casting?
Kevin Feige: I think it will be pretty quickly. There will be a slew of casting announcements over the next few months. Before the end of the year on those two films and some other films.
And finally, any Howard the Duck news?
Kevin Feige: Does Howard The Duck want to come to Earth? I don’t know, It didn’t work out too well last time he came to earth.
Avengers: Age of Ultron will be available on DVD and Blu-ray Friday.