On behalf of IESB, Christina Radish interviewed Feige and got some more details out of him. One of the questions asked was about Zak Penn and the status of his Avengers script, to which Kevin replied:
“It's great. We're learning as we go. It's a new thing. Jon clearly is enthusiastic about it. Ken Branagh is enthusiastic about it. Joe Johnston is just getting into the mix now, on Captain America. The screenwriters have conference calls amongst themselves, in terms of what we're doing. Sometimes we'll change something. We're not going to lock ourselves into something. No, if it doesn't work for the movie we're making, we shuffle it. I call them and go, ‘Remember that thing I told you about? We're not doing it.’”
Next, Feige was asked about setting up elements of the Avengers movie in the solo films that come first, starting with the first Iron Man (where we met Nick Fury and were introduced to S.H.I.E.L.D.) He replied that they are in constant communication and that what they’re doing isn’t new (it’s done in the books all the time) but that it’s on a drastically different scale.
Will we see other supporting characters featured in the Avengers movie from the Marvel mythos? Kevin says “Probably a few, yeah.”
IESB’s interview also touched on the importance of signing Sam L to a long-term multi-picture contract to maintain the continuity of the films, as he does in his important role in the Ultimate Marvel comics universe. Similarly, Scarlett has a contract with options for follow-up movies, and her appearance in the Avengers movie will depend on what the fans want come time for that.
As for Captain America, they already have artists working up some concept images and prep is set to begin this October. We can expect casting decisions in the next few months.
So, with all these hints from the discussions scattered everywhere in different interviews, who will be on the roster for the Avengers?
Well, in an interview with io9, Feige was asked this and he responded:
“I think we know. I think it's going to be Iron Man and Thor, Captain America and Nick Fury. I think it's safe to assume that there will be some members of the Hulk universe in the film as well. In terms of the additional I think Black Widow, sure. The SHIELD organization for sure. What's exciting, for me, about The Avengers movie is seeing those four characters interact with each other. I think anywhere from the first issues of The Avengers to Civil War the dynamic between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark is just awesome, it's fascinating. It brings out sides in others that won't be brought out in the other franchises. Going forward with the mix is a whole other thing, I think it will be cool. So to pile on another 15 or 10, frankly more than four would be too many.”
Fury’s involvement is necessary but I hope the field battle is left to the core team of superheroes. For that reason, I think Hulk’s involvement is very important, but again this seems to be the unclear and worrisome topic from all of these interviews.
The following question from io9 touched on this by directly asking the producer if Hulk would be in the Avengers. In response, Feige only said “Zak Penn is outlining it as we speak, so we'll see.”
I think they did a fantastic job of storytelling with last summer's Hulk film and they made it fit into the universe perfectly. Despite the reports and rumors of Ed Norton having disputes with Marvel over that movie's production, he did a great job as Bruce Banner and I’d love to see him interact with Tony Stark and Steve Rogers and Nick Fury among others. That would also hopefully kickstart a solo sequel for the big green man.
Of the slate of Marvel films coming up, Iron Man 2 of course hits theaters first on May 7, 2010. The following summer, Thor opens May 20, 2011 and The First Avenger: Captain America opens July 22, 2011. Last but not least, we have the Avengers kicking off the following summer, May 4, 2012.
Header image edited from Steve Epting's beautiful cover art of Avengers Disassembled: Iron Man, Thor & Captain America.
Who do you want in the Avengers film and what do you think of Hulk’s future?