Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige praises Wonder Woman and puts to rest any ideas that there is a rivalry between Marvel and DC. Fans tend to draw lines in the sand and debate which is better: DC Comics or Marvel. When it comes to the live action versions there is no doubt that Marvel is ahead in box office and critical response (though the Marvel Cinematic Universe is much farther along than the DC Extended Universe) but there is still some room for fan rivalry.
One place where you don’t see that rivalry is between the actual casts and crews of Marvel and DC films. With Wonder Woman the most recent critical and box office darling, Marvel directors and actors took to Twitter to praise the film.
“There’s not really a rivalry. The rivalry is much more amongst the press, I think. Geoff Johns is a very good friend of mine. We grew up together in the business and recently celebrated Richard Donner, who we both used to work for. So, I applaud all the success he’s had. I really just look at it as a fan. When the movies perform well and are well received, it’s good for us – which is why I’m always rooting for them.”
Where Feige comes from a purely film background, Geoff Johns made his way from film to writing comics, which included several Marvel titles. Johns has come full circle back to film but he has no reason to dislike Marvel, having recently said he loves the Black Panther trailer.
One of the often repeated criticisms of the superhero genre is that the market will be oversaturated by them. The studios defend it by saying that as long as good stories are told, then there is no reason they can’t tell them indefinitely. In that way, it really is in Marvel’s best interest that DC does very well. Feige also went on to talk about Wonder Woman:
“The success of Wonder Woman is wonderful. It makes us incredibly happy. Finally, we can put to rest the falsehood that audiences don’t want to see female characters. We never believed that was true. There were a run of movies that just weren’t very good 10-15 years ago that caused that reputation. I’m glad that Wonder Woman has blown that away.”
Wonder Woman is a great litmus test for Captain Marvel, which is due to premiere in March 2019. While Wonder Woman is probably the most recognized heroine in comic book history, Captain Marvel is far less known and can’t rely as much on brand recognition. However, Marvel Studios has a history of taking a little known property and creating box office smash hits.
Marvel will celebrate 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year, but in that time the studio has yet to make a female-led superhero film. In some ways, Marvel is lagging behind DC when it comes to diversity but with Black Panther and Captain Marvel due to come out next year and the year after, respectively, they’ll definitely be catching up quickly.