Marvel Kremlinologists got a treasure trove of info in this Wired profile of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige the mastermind of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of the most interesting things, to me, was this tidbit about how the 2006 Hall H presentation of Iron Man may have inspired the whole connected movie thing that has made Marvel/Disney billions of bucks:
Inevitably, a fan stood up and asked whether any of the Marvel characters might cross over into each others’ movies, the way they often do in the comic books. “Who knows?” Feige answered. “This is a big new experiment for Marvel. But it’s no coincidence that we have the rights to Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Cap—” and the crowd started to cheer that soul-tearing cheer. That moment, Feige later recalls, was when he started thinking that he could build a series of interrelated movies, the cinematic equivalent of what comics nerds call “continuity.” He wanted do something that only comic book villains ever think they can get away with: build a universe
So there you go, the power of Hall H may just have been vindicated for all times.
The piece looks at whether DC can replicate Marvel’s success and concludes as so many of us have, that unless there is someone with Feige’s big picture acumen, it might be tough going. Oddly, Guillermo del Toro’s role in imaging the “Dark DCU movieverse” isn’t mentioned. Also unmentioned is the rather remarkable period when Grant Morrison, Marv Wolfman and Geoff Johns sat around in a room for a year and tried to come up with ideas for how to make more DC movies. Nothing really came of that, but they tried.
Feige is a very powerful figure, who keeps very tight reins over who what and how—both Marvel and Disney are known for secrecy, and you can bet that things like Vin Diesel’s recent hints about a Marvel role are all part of a plan and not renegade leaks. The extent of Feige’s involvement is outlined:
Feige is coordinating at least a half-dozen films in various stages of production, making sure their individual arcs serve the overall direction. He can offer writers solutions from the Marvel MacGuffin file. (Cosmic Cube? Howling Commandos? Destroyer armor?) He sees costume and makeup tests. He regularly consults with a few writers working at the comic company, but aside from Brubaker, the Russos never talked to them. That was Feige’s job. “The comics side has input, but it’s filtered through Kevin Feige,” says Anthony Russo.
So yeah, Kevin Feige, Marvel’s indispensable man.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.