There's a lot of interesting quotes from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige coming out of Barcelona's CineEurope today as Total Film brings updates on Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and more. Most of it isn't anything that we haven't heard variations of in the past, but Feige does confirm that Doctor Strange will begin production in spring of 2015.
"[W]e think we'll be casting probably in the next month or two," he says, "and announcing an actor, and then we get into production in the spring of next year... Strange is very, very important, not just because it's an amazing character study, and a journey of a man who's gone from this very arrogant surgeon to somebody who is quite zen and literally keeps all of reality together on a daily basis... [T]here's a whole other side of the Marvel comics, which is that supernatural side - the interdimensional side of the Marvel universe, and Doctor Strange is, I believe, our entry point into that other realm, which has dozens of characters and storylines all of its own."
Feige similarly suggest that the intergalactic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe could continue on in Guardians of the Galaxy, although nothing is definitively planned yet on that front.
"That being said," he explains, "there are dozens and dozens of 'Guardians of the Galaxy' storylines. There's a group that came about in the '60s, were revamped again in the '80s and they changed into this incarnation that you see in this movie about eight or nine years ago. So there are a lot of other characters and worlds and stories. So should this film work, should the audience come out for this one, there are definitely places we can take it and we have ideas of where we'd like to go with it."
"We learn a little bit more about him in this movie," Feige adds, "and he - and his band of followers - is the biggest piece of connective tissue that will eventually lead us back into Avengers films in the future."
Although it's hard to say with any certainty, Feige's plural when it comes to "Avengers films" is likely to raise some fan speculation.
Ant-Man, meanwhile, will still come out on July 17, 2015, despite the switch in directors.
"'Ant-Man' is a very important character for us," Feige says. "We like that people don't necessarily know what it is. We like that it sounds sort of strange when you first hear the notion of Ant-Man, or a hero that can shrink, but he's a very key Marvel character. He's a key Avenger. He's an important character we want to bring into our universe and Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and an amazing cast all set to start in August, we believe that we're on the road to the best version of 'Ant-Man' that we could have."
Here, too, the use of the phrase "key Avenger" should trigger some additional (albeit, not necessarily true) theories about Paul Rudd's role in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.