All this week, we’re chatting with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, the MCU’s MVP
Today, even the more casual moviegoer is familiar with Stan Lee and his continued cameos throughout the MCU. Decades from now, it’s quite possible that fans will look at Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige with a similar reverence. After all, in the same way that Lee has become synonymous with Marvel’s origins on the printed page, Kevin Feige is, to a very large degree, responsible for a new era of comic book adaptations and an approach to big screen storytelling that has influenced the way blockbuster movies are realized the world over.
“If I [traveled back in time and] told myself where we were headed, he’d probably spin out and collapse in a heap of anxiety,” Feige laughs. While 2008’s Iron Man marked the debut of the MCU, Feige had been worked his way up the ranks long before that, originally working as an assistant to producer Lauren Shuler Donner and soon serving as associate producer on Bryan Singer‘s original X-Men.
Last month, CS was lucky enough to take a peek inside Marvel Studios offices on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California. Now, we’re chatting with Kevin Feige himself and getting a look at exactly what goes into making the MCU work.
“It varies,” says Feige of his day to day, “but it really is sort of a fun tour through all the different stages of a film. For instance, we had the premiere of this film last night and the junket today. We had a screening of ‘Spider-Man’ a couple of days ago and then a scoring session with Michael Giacchino. We’re in editorial on ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ right now with Taika [Waititi]. ‘Black Panther’ just wrapped and they’ll be back at the end of this week to start cutting that film. We were doing our final meetings with ‘Captain Marvel’ filmmakers, which we just announced, and meeting with Brie [Larson] about the ‘Captain Marvel’ storyline. Peyton Reed is about to move to Atlanta next week to begin official prep on ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’. It really is diving into all aspects of that.”
And that’s just the production side of things! While Marvel has a proven track record for its steak, part of the fun is also selling the sizzle.
“[Marketing] is a big part of it,” Feige continues. “We’re in various stages. We just put out the ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ trailer. We’re working on the ‘Black Panther’ trailer. We’re working on some new things for Spider-Man… It really is a fun-filled non-stop journey through eight films that we’re at different points in the process. Right now, there’s a night shoot in Scotland, so I’m getting texts from the producer on set there. They’re making script changes and line changes. It’s a lot to keep track of.”
With major upcoming projects like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel and Avengers: Infinity War (and those are just the ones we know about!), it’s safe to say that Kevin Feige is keeping busy.
“There’s a lot of work, especially doing three films a year this year and next year,” he says. “We wouldn’t have done it, though, if the studio wasn’t built to handle. There is something about the workload, though, that I find soothing. If we did one movie, I don’t know what I would do.”
With a $146.5 million dollar domestic opening weekend for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Marvel Studios method is paying off big time. It’s hard to even remember a time when the norm for comic book movies was a loose adaptation at best.
“I think that part of the reason we succeeded is because we have been able to stick to our guns and stick to our vision and not Monday morning quarterback based on what other are doing,” Feige explains. “Or based on think pieces about the state of the industry. We started out being very excited that we were finally able to be the people creatively responsible for a Marvel film ourselves and do them in the way that our instincts sort of called for us to do them.”
Check back throughout the week for more from Kevin Feige, including a tease of what’s to come as Marvel Studios approaches its tenth anniversary in 2018![Gallery not found]
(Photo by Vera Anderson / WireImage)