If it isn't obvious by now, Marvel President Kevin Feige is very good at his job. See: billions in revenue, curating/wrangling an immensely talented and high-profile pool of talent, successful television endeavors, etc. Another area in which Feige excels, much to our disappointment, is in artful dodging of questions from the media. Case in point, our recent interview with the Avengers: Age of Ultron executive producer in which he carefully avoid giving us any spoilers outright.
Feige did however offer plenty of hints of things to come that us thinking about a wide range of possibilities. Insightful commentary on topics like: the hypothetical state of Downey Jr.-less Civil War, what might be next for Bruce Banner and how Ant-Man bridges the gap between Ultron and Civil War.
What was your reaction to seeing the first pass at the script from Joss?
The first thing we saw was an outline he had done that was full of amazing ideas and I would say if there were ten ideas on that document, eight of them are in the movie now which is very rare, in the development process. You've heard the term "development hell," Joss is very very unique in that way and very very special, the Hulk-buster moments and all the other moments I won't give away here have all survived from that moment to the final release of the movie. It was also interesting because we had talked a lot about not feeling the need to top the action from the first movie. We don't need to top the action, we don't need the spectacle, we want to delve into the characters. When I read the outline I said, "Joss, you understand you're doing both here, you're trying to top both" and I think he's pulled it off. There are some of the best character interactions of any of our films in this movie and at the same time very very clearly the biggest action we've ever had.
What's next for the Hulk?
What's next for the Hulk? I don't know.
Ha, you know, you just can't say!
I don't know, where is he?
Yeah, where is he? Did he go down into the sea? Is he up in space? On earth?
We will have to see. We will have to see.
Next up for many of the Avengers characters is Civil War, what would that have been like if Tony and Mr. Downey Jr. had not come back?
Well it would have been different. We had a version of the story that we believe would have told the 'Captain America: Civil War' story we wanted to tell, but without question the heart of that conflict is between the two of them but thankfully, we never have to really play that "what if?" game because he's going to be on set in I think three weeks.
Early reviews and reactions to Daredevil are insanely positive. Does that add incentive to bring the Defenders into the Marvel movies?
Into the movies? Well right now what Jeff Loeb and the TV guys are focusing on is those shows and certainly with 'Daredevil' coming out last night and being so well received, the next one is already in production, the one after that has been announced, so I think they're doing quite well for themselves in that medium. We certainly have had discussions and thoughts of where down the line who could show up where but I think they're being very smart in saying, "Let us establish this here, first" and they're off to a very very good start.
I didn't want to say the word but you've assembled a pretty great group of people running these things.
With Ant-Man closing out Phase Two, does it bridge the gap between Ultron and Civil War?
'Ant-Man' does a little bit. What it mainly does is introduce another aspect to the cinematic universe, Hank Pym and his Pym particles and the shrinking technology, his lineage within the Marvel Universe in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, which we explore a little bit and certainly with getting to know Scott Lang and seeing how he could become the most unlikely Avenger. So it really is pretty much about that story but you'll see very clearly where that story lays in between those two films.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be in theaters May 1, 2015; Ant-Man on July 17, 2015; Captain America: Civil War - May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange - November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot - July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok - November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 - May 4, 2018; Black Panther - July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel - November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 - May 3, 2019; Inhumans - July 12, 2019.