Late last week, it was reported that the Disney+ Loki show would somehow lead directly into 2021’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While appearing on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast with Scott Feinberg – an excellent podcast that should be listened to every week, as I do – Marvel’s newly-appointed Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige talked more about the plans to integrate the Disney+ shows into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
He also addressed comments by some guy named Martin Scorsese, claiming that superhero movies, specifically Marvel ones, aren’t “real cinema”; if/when he might get bored of making those movies; as well as briefly teasing his planned foray into the “Star Wars” movies…
After saying that there’s no reason to believe that characters like the X-Men and Deadpool won’t be coexisting with the current MCU, Feige directly addressed the idea of MCU characters going back and forth between Disney+ series and full-blown Marvel Studios movies:
“It’s specifically the plan that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be in theaters and on Disney+. We are certainly doing cinematic art level productions for Disney+. Falcon Winter Soldier is currently shooting, and I just got back from the set of WandaVision, which is shooting. All of those characters will undergo transformative, I hope very exciting experiences in that show, and then go into our movies, so they’ll go back and forth. Some characters we’ve announced like She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight, you will meet for the first time in a Disney+ show and then they will go into the movies. But the MCU will now go back and forth.”
(In case you haven’t heard, the Disney+ streaming service will launch tomorrow, Tuesday, November 12, at 9AM Eastern. As of now, the first Marvel series Falcon and the Winter Soldier won’t launch until this time next year.)
Kevin Feige had a lot to say about Martin Scorsese’s comment about Marvel’s movies, a quote that was taken while on the promotional trailer for his new Netflix film The Irishman. His original quote got blown a little out of proportion with various filmmakers and actors on both sides asking to comment. Scorsese even wrote an op-ed for The New York Timesexplaining his comments. The whole thing has been a little bit silly to get any sort of serious coverage here at The Beat, but Feige addressed Scorsese’s comments quite directly and graciously:
“I think that’s not true. I think it’s unfortunate. I think myself and everybody that works on these movies loves cinema, loves movies, loves going to the movies, loves to watch a communal experience in a movie theater full of people. We’ve been very lucky that our movie theaters are often full of people when our movies play, and that’s a very special thing. I love all types of movies, and always have, which is why we try to blend our films with different genres and take the success we’ve had and do different things, which is why we haven’t made an Iron Man movie since 2013. We did Civil War, and We had our two most popular characters get into a very serious theological and physical altercation. We killed half of our characters at the end of a movie. I think it’s fun to take our success and use it to take risks and go in different places.”
He went on to say,
“Everybody has a different definition of cinema. Everybody has a different definition of art. Everybody has a different definition of risk, I guess. All I know is that I’m surrounded by people 24 hours a day who live and breathe and love cinema. Some people don’t think it’s cinema. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Everyone is entitled to repeat that opinion. Everyone is entitled to write op-eds about that opinion. I look forward to what happens next. In the meantime, we’re going to keep making movies.”
Feige was unsurprisingly schtum on the fairly recent announcement that he would be playing in the “Star Wars” universe with LucasFilm, producing at least one movie. “I love that world, and I love the notion of exploring new people and new places in that universe, but that’s all that can be said for now,” Feige said.
Feinberg asked about avoiding “Star Wars fatigue” and how Feige and Marvel Studios have been able to do that, to which Feige rather diplomatically responded, “They’ve made five movies in about five years, and it’s made over five billion dollars, so I think they’re doing just fine with Star Wars, and The Rise of Skywalker just looks incredible to me.”
In a related question a few minutes later, Feinberg asked Feige about his long-term plans to stay at Marvel Studios, and if he ever sees the world (or even himself) getting bored with superheroes. “Of course, I can imagine that,” he answered honestly. “I’ve imagined that since the day I started at this company 20 years ago, and I’ve wondered every few years if I want to stay or if I want to go. The truth is I’ve always said that I’ll go when I get bored, or hopefully just before I get bored. We’re doing so much right now in so many different ways with so much support of the studio – Disney Plus being a big part of that. If you can see the set of WandaVision, which I just came from. It’s unlike anything we’ve done before and anything this genre has done before. Yes, if your’e turned off of the notion of a human having extra abilities, and that means everything in which that happens is lumped into the same category, then they might not be for you. The truth is that, like all great science fiction stories, these are parables and parables that we get to play with different film genres and now different television genres, which I’m excited about. As long as we’re allowed to continue to take these risks and take characters people haven’t heard of… Chloe Zhao is now on the Canary Islands with ten amazing actors shooting The Eternals, a group of characters that nobody has heard of, outside a very small group of people. It’s a very big movie. It’s a very expensive movie. We’re making it, because we believe in her vision, and we believe in what those characters can do. We believe that we need to continue to grow and evolve and change and push our genre forward. That’s a risk, if ever I’ve heard one.”
(The Beat‘s Matt O’Keefe agrees!)
Check out the rest of the podcast, as it has some great insights into Feige’s days working on the first X-Menmovie, which was pivotal towards everything that came later, as well as how Iron Man turned things around for Marvel once it started getting the rights back to characters that were sold off to other studios in the ‘90s.
Why Disney’s policies are making film piracy inevitable:
Feige: “We killed half of our characters at the end of a movie.”
And used time travel and magic stones to revive them in the next movie. Yes, that’s truly cinema for an adult audience …
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