Marvel Co-President Talks 'First Ten Years' of The MCU

The Marvel Cinematic Universe's tenth anniversary has arrived, and to celebrate, the blockbuster-maker is releasing a hardcover collection of Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years from Titan Books.

Featuring behind the scenes photographs, making-of details, movie Easter Eggs, and interviews with some of the talented people who shaped the Marvel movie universe both in front of and behind the camera, the book seems a must-read for devoted fans of the universe Iron Man and The Avengers built. We're pleased to give fans a short excerpt of the book's interview with Marvel Studios Co-President Louis D'Esposito, looking back at the path that was all leading to Avengers: Infinity War.

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There was no way to know what the heads of Marvel's movie division had in mind when Nick Fury first welcomed Tony Stark to the "Avengers Initiative" after the credits rolled for the first Iron Man. But as the Marvel Cinematic Universe grew, so did the budgets, the spectacle, the star power, and now with Infinity War marking the milestone, the stakes have never been higher, either. Find our preview of Louis D'Esposito's interview transcribed below, with official images of the collectors edition coming on November 18th.

How many visual effects shots are there on Iron Man compared to Avengers: Infinity War?

We started with 487 on Iron Man and we finished with 823. For Avengers: Infinity War it’s over 3,100. That’s almost every shot.

The culmination of this ten-year story has been a long time coming. Is it good to finally pay things off?

Yes. We’ve been teasing Thanos as being the ultimate villain since The Avengers back in 2012. Marvel Comics readers will understand why he deserves such a build-up. He is very imposing and formidable. He’s basically an eco-terrorist. He wants to eliminate 50 percent of the universe, arbitrarily, to save the other 50 percent. On his home planet of Titan he noticed the overpopulation and starvation starting to happen and he proposed this as a solution. Titan did self-destruct, so now he’s trying to save the universe. So what Thanos decides to do is to get the six Infinity Stones so he can snap his fingers and arbitrarily get rid of 50 percent of the universe. It is quite a moving moment because we’ve never seen the Marvel heroes really lose. It’s quite emotional to see that happen.

Is it important to make audiences relate to this?

I think it’s a relatable situation because there is overpopulation. I don’t think anyone on Earth is proposing the same fix as Thanos. But how do you handle that? Human beings will overcome that problem – we will figure out a way. What makes Thanos so great is that his conviction and his belief is that this is the only way. There is no other solution. He’s seen it firsthand on his planet, and he’s doing what needs to be done for the greater good. So with that kind of conviction and that kind of belief it really makes him a powerful villain. The Avengers are trying to save everyone. They don’t want to lose one life. So they are at polar opposites with their enemy. There are some people like Drax who are out for revenge. Gamora is out for revenge against her father. Drax’s wife and daughter were murdered. So you have a mixture of revenge and the Avengers wanting to protect not only Earth, but the rest of the universe from this tyrant. I think what also makes Thanos relatable is that he’s played by Josh Brolin, who brings a sense of reality to the character.

His relationship with Gamora is truly a father/ daughter relationship. And even though no one has ever met anyone like Thanos, the audience can relate to a father talking to his daughter and they can relate to a politician or a president wanting to offer a solution to some impending doom. His determination is very relatable.

Do you think the cast elevate each other?

Our sets are like sporting events! It’s like when you have the Lakers playing the Celtics and both teams raise their game. Every game is like a playoff game. It’s the same thing with our actors on set. They elevate each other. We have some of the best actors in the world today working together. But a lot of times there’s conflict between the characters.

Conflict is what moves the story. Seeing that interaction between the characters and that conflict between them is truly amazing. We take it for granted when we’re back in the office. We’re looking at dailies, but when we get on set and witness it firsthand, you see the actors at their best. It’s really amazing. It’s like when Joe DiMaggio would catch a baseball and run with it with such fluidity and ease. That’s the way they perform. It’s at the highest level.

Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years can be pre-ordered from Amazon now, with its collectors edition arriving on November 18, 2018. Along with our glimpse into one interview the book has to offer, get a full description of what's in store via the collectors edition's official details below:

Titan Publishing is excited to announce Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years – a fantastic behind-the-scenes collectors edition celebrating the first 10 years of Marvel Studios movies from Iron Man to Ant-Man and the Wasp.

In 2008, Tony Stark made his first Iron Man suit. Shortly after, Nick Fury told Stark that he had “become part of a bigger universe...” In the years since then, amazing new places – like Wakanda – have been discovered, the Avengers have assembled, the Guardians of the Galaxy have formed, and old friends have fought a Civil War.

During this time, the hunt for all six Infinity Stones has continued. Now, all the worlds, all the characters, and all the Stones have finally come together, culminating 10 years of groundbreaking storytelling.

Featuring stunning photography and in-depth sections on each film, including a guide to each movie's Easter Eggs and end-credits scenes, Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years looks back over the rich history behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Titan’s new Marvel Studios The First Ten Years includes interviews with stars Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Pratt (Star-Lord) and more, plus Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Co-President Louis D’Esposito.

Marvel Studios The First Ten Years is available in hardback from November 13 and magazine edition from October 30. Other Marvel collector editions available from Titan: Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp.

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