The status quo for the superhero/comic book movie genre is that Marvel Studios and Warner Bros./DC adaptations are different beasts – the former’s output continues to tow the line of light-hearted entertainment, with both its “Phase 2″ films and ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series. Meanwhile, the latter has embraced a more serious approach with the aesthetics/themes of its budding shared universe (see: Man of Steel), following its failed attempt to branch into Marvel’s tongue in cheek territory with 2011’s Green Lantern.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the next Marvel Studios project that will open in theaters, but despite its contemporary political overtones the film offers it share of the company’s trademark humor, as evidenced by the healthy amount of cheeky dialogue and one-liners featured in the Cap sequel’s marketing footage.

Badass Digest‘s Devin Faraci recently got a chance to pick Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige’s brain about the creative side of his company’s business (see: calls for increased diversity in terms of the studios’ films’ headliners). Their conversation included a discussion of the contrasting philosophies for Marvel and DC, with Feige saying that “I like them both” – a PR-friendly sentiment, sure, but one that’s been expressed by many a comic book movie fan, at this point.

Feige went on to discuss how he enjoys being able to defy people’s expectations:

“I like suprising people. I think people were surprised by how, for lack of a better word, funny Iron Man Three was, or how funny Thor: The Dark World was. Going by the trailers people asked me, ‘Are you going gritty now?’ Even this movie – there’s humor, thankfully in [The Winter Soldier].”

Iron Man 3 was marketed as being a more psychologically-complex examination of Tony Stark and modern terrorism, while the cast and crew of Thor: The Dark World talked up the film as being director Alan Taylor’s (a former executive producer on Game of Thrones) more rough and tumble take on the Thor fantasy universe. For better or worse, that’s not really what we got – the former is essentially part Iron Man movie, part PG-13 Rated Shane Black joint, while The Dark World is basically the Thor franchise’s equivalent of a Flash Gordon-esque serial adventure (with greater self-awareness).


The teaser trailer for this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy – Marvel Studios’ first full expedition into the more extravagant cosmic realm of the Marvel Film Universe – differs from marketing for the other “Phase 2″ releases, as it paints the project as being completely aware of (and embracing) its innate goofiness. However, Feige believes that many a moviegoer will be taken back by what James Gunn’s film actually has to offer:

“I think the surprise in Guardians will be that it looks like a weird, zany movie – and it is! – but we’re attempting to do, what James [Gunn] is attempting to do, is make it a somber movie in places and a shockingly emotional movie in places. That’s the idea of the roller coaster ride when you go to the movies.”

This isn’t the first we’ve hear of Guardians‘ purported emotional depth. Previously, Gunn emphasized that his offbeat superheroes-in-space flick has strong familial themes and offers an uncynical perspective on the importance of caring for others as much (if not more) than yourself. Similarly, part of what Vin Diesel claims attracted him to the project – to play the role of anthropomorphic alien tree Groot – was the script’s version of (as he put it) a “different kind of love story,” reminiscent of the relationships that serve as the backbone for Diesel’s Fast and the Furious movies.

No worries, Vin – we’ve been Team Rocket Raccoon/Groot since Day 1.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens in U.S. theaters on April 4th, 2014.

Guardians of the Galaxy reaches U.S. theaters on August 1st, 2014.

Source: Badass Digest