As the first decade of the new millennium comes to an end, we look back at the era that saw our favorite comic book heroes from the house of Stan Lee making the leap from the page to the silver screen.

To bring us a first-hand perspective of the Marvel movie experience, President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige recounted the hard work and big payoffs that catapulted Marvel (and comic book movies on the whole) to the cinematic power horse it is today.

I’ve taken the liberty of cutting down Feige’s quotes to Marvel News down into some smaller snippets that should help spark fond feelings of comic book movie nostalgia:

Trying to Break the “Marvel Curse”

I started at Marvel proper in August 2000; I had been working as an associate producer on “X-Men” in 1998. We worked on that for almost three years. Back in those days there was the “Marvel Curse.”…We just kind of kept of our head down and made the movie. We focused on the characters and kept it true to the comics.

Opening Night of X-Men

We didn’t know what to expect. The trailers were well received, but there were still a lot of doubters when the first photo of Wolverine was leaked onto the Internet. When the crowd started cheering, it just felt like the start of something big.

Spider-Man sets records

The movie brought Marvel and Spidey back into pop culture. Audiences around the country would cheer for the Marvel logo when it appeared on screen for that movie, and that was astounding.

Expanding the Brand

After the first Spider-Man, we had three movies in the works: “Daredevil,” Ang Lee’s “Hulk” and “X-Men 2″…All three of those movies did really well. That was the first year people started to ask me when I thought this fad was going to end, and my answer to that question even to this day is that as long as we keep making these films in fresh and unique ways it’s never going to run out.

Critical Acclaim

In 2004 came “Spider-Man 2.” I think that was one of the best films we’ve ever done…There was even talk of Alfred Molina being up for an Oscar [for his performance as Doctor Octopus].

Too Much of a good thing

This got studios wanting to move forward with a lot of the characters faster. Things got a little out of our hands then. That’s when we started thinking above making the movies internally…”Spider-Man 3″ got to be too much of a good thing…we learned that bigger is not always better.

Keeping Everything In House

“Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk” wound up being the first films we produced at Marvel Studios by ourselves. It was great to get those titles back in our own hands. When you know the characters as well as we do, it’s great to look at their cinematic potential.

marvel movies 2 Kevin Feige Talks 10 Years of Marvel Movies

Building a Marvel Movie Universe

We had a lot of names on the list when it came to casting Tony Stark, but Robert Downey Jr.’s quickly rose to the top. Then, getting Samuel L. Jackson to make a cameo as Nick Fury was also huge. After that, Robert was nice enough to stop by the “Incredible Hulk” set. This set up that Marvel Studio films are really going to bring the Marvel Universe to the big screen-the films are no longer their own separate island, and you never know what to expect.

A Bright Future

To be honest the thing that I’m most excited about right now though, is the screen test we just finished for “Thor.” We’ve done some costume tests and watching the Asgardians walk onto the sound stage takes me back to that first time I saw the X-Men on the set all together in Toronto. Only it was unlike anything we’ve ever put on film before! It’s great to be starting the next decade in such an exciting way just as we did last decade. We’re really redefining the comic book genre and what a Marvel movie can be. It’s going to be great.

There is so much more to this interview with Feige – if you want to read it all, go HERE.

As you head into the year 2010 (pronounced “twenty-ten,” BTW) be sure to stop and take a look back at the decade that made your fondest fanboy wishes into realities and consider what to look forward to from Marvel Studios and all comic book movies in the next decade.

Got to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going. Happy New Years, all.

Source: Marvel News