Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige gets candid on the risk they take when introducing new character movies into the franchise, and the need to take these risks in order to keep the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward. Over the years, the MCU has exponentially grown, and as of 2017, has moved up towards having three films per year in production. After a decade since the Hollywood-changing franchise launched with 2008’s Iron Man, the film series has has assembled and helped identify and cultivate talent under their banner, playing characters that audiences love – virtually all of whom are geared up to make a return appearing in this summer’s Avengers: Infinity War, the first part of the culmination and conclusion of the entire MCU.
Introducing characters in a budding franchise over the safe bet of just making surefire sequels is already risky, but taking a chance on a new property when you have an unblemished track record is more terrifying. Despite this, Marvel Studios has been undeterred to introduce all sorts of comic book characters in the franchise regardless of how uncertain they of fans’ reaction. Safe to say, Feige is never one to not gamble, after all, he built the MCU on the back of a B-lister superhero like Iron Man.
In an interview with EW, the company chief opened up on the risks that come with launching a brand new IP within the MCU. Looking back at all the characters that Marvel Studios brought in the MCU, admittedly, some of them are could’ve become the franchise’s first flop. Thankfully, Feige has been on a roll, not yet stumbling on a character that they can’t successfully bring to the big screen.
Every time you do a film that doesn’t have a part two behind it or wasn’t a sequel. After Iron Man, and certainly after Captain America and Thor, and certainly after The Avengers, Marvel Studios could have made, theoretically, a nice game plan only making sequels to those movies. A lot of studios would love to have four franchises that they can keep doing sequels to. We specifically didn’t want to do that, because we wanted to keep bringing new characters to the forefront, because there’s an embarrassment of riches in the comic books.
The producer continued by citing some of their most recent introductions. More obscure heroes that have relatively more complicated origins compared to MCU’s Phase 1 characters. And while there was no immediate need to venture out of the franchise’s core heroes, Feige explains that they want to populate their franchise with more key players like in the comics.
You look at Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man … You look at Black Panther or Captain Marvel, that we have just started filming. One could consider those risks, whenever you’re doing something new and it’s not proven. Doing a third version of Spider-Man. Those are all things that have a certain amount of risk associated with them, but early on we decided we didn’t want to be just the Iron Man studio or just the Avengers studio. We want to be the Marvel Studio.
If anything, Marvel did it right when they decided to first establish Iron Man, Thor and Captain America which have become the cornerstones of the franchise, the three are also the easiest sells with regard to origin stories and characterizations. Creating a good image and building a fan base through the trio helped Marvel Studios become bolder with their choices as they move along knowing that they have the public’s trust that they know what they’re doing. The result is several dozens of compelling characters, with various origins and different skills that fans are emotionally invested in. The MCU’s biggest draw has always been their characters, and them nailing every single introduction in the franchise’s 10 years, we expect nothing less down the road, especially with a plethora of new ones coming to their sandbox.
At this point in time, nearly all of the characters Kevin Feige listed as hopeful risks he’s been able to make. Going back a decade ago, and he referenced Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Heroes for Hire – all of these characters have now begun their stories through Marvel Studios or Marvel TV projects. When asked about what’s next on his “wishlist”, Feige wouldn’t reveal anything as to not spoil reveals of what’s to come after Avengers 4.
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