There are few power players in Hollywood right now riding as high as Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige, who has spent 13 years bringing Marvel Comics characters to the screen ever since he was given an inconspicuous Associate Producer credit on Bryan Singer’s 2000 X-Men.
Since then, he’s been involved in some capacity with every single Marvel movie that’s followed, both good and bad, but the turning point came in 2006 when many of the character rights of Marvel properties that had been auctioned off to save the company in the ‘90s were returned to Marvel. Marvel Studios then became something much bigger, a full-on production company where they could bring the Marvel Comics characters to the big screen without interference from the studio executives and production people who invariably would not understand the characters as well as Marvel proper.
Most SuperHeroHype readers will already know the rest of the story quite intimately as the 2008 release of Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk, led to the 2010 release of Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011 and then last year’s mega-blockbuster Marvel’s The Avengers. Together, those six movies have grossed $1.8 billion domestically and $4.1 billion (!) worldwide. That doesn’t even include the $300 million that Marvel Studios’ latest movie Iron Man 3 made in its first week internationally.
It’s become somewhat of a tradition for SuperHeroHype to get on the phone with Kevin Feige on the release of each movie and he was nice enough to take time out on the North American opening day of Iron Man 3 to talk to us.
Having spoken to Feige a few times over the years—even back to before the success of the original Iron Man--we’ve always found him to be an amazingly straight shooter, so that even if he gave us a vague answer, there’d always be some sort of underlying hint about the future. That was the case the last time we spoke to him just a few days before The Avengers came out (which you can read here), but this time we bounced between the past and future of Marvel Studios and got some great anecdotes about how they’ve arrived at Phase 2.