After the epic and long-awaited debut of the first official Thor trailer Friday evening, Marvel Studios President of Production, Kevin Feige, participated in a live chat on the LA Times Hero Complex blog to answer fan questions. As you can imagine, Feige touched on what we can expect from The Avengers and what other Marvel projects are in the pipelines.
Some of the important highlights include Ant-Man moving forward and emphasis that Punisher, Iron Fist and Black Panther projects are heading in the right direction.
You can see the entire chat log at Hero Complex but here are the highlights broken down by film:
- Why Joss Whedon was chosen to direct Marvel's biggest movie ever: "He doesn't lose sight of the characters no matter how big and crazy the spectacle gets."
- On new Iron Man armor(s) for The Avengers: "You know what, the best part about making an Iron Man movie is deciding which of his many armors to debut. Joss would kill me if I gave anything away, but I will say that the evolution you saw his armor take in IM2 will continue in The Avengers."
- How to maintain continuity across many different films: "Our primary job is doing justice to the title characters, but we do have someone who's got a large chart that spans across his office wall tracking the continuity. It's pretty cool. Maybe we'll publish it one day."
- On potential appearances of Spider Woman, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Wonderman, etc. The Avengers or other currently-in-development projects? "Did you see how many characters were standing on stage at Comic Con? Not sure there's room for many more!"
- On surprise cameos in The Avengers? "Maybe..."
- On Evans vs. Robert Downey Jr.: "Evans owns the screen as Cap and is going to hold his own and then some."
- Will upcoming Marvel Studios movies include more after-credit sequences? "Some of them will..."
- Also, according to Gwyneth Paltrow, Pepper Potts will not be in The Avengers.
- Ant-Man to go into production sometime after The Avengers.
- Current status of Ant-Man: "Edgar was here a few days ago. He's already working on the next draft."
Captain America: The First Avenger:
- Describes film as "an epic, period adventure."
- Nick Fury in WWII? "We're keeping Nick Fury as portrayed by the great Sam Jackson just in the modern era for now."
- On choosing Chris Evans after he already starred in a Marvel franchise: "We figured if Harrison Ford could be Indiana Jones and Han Solo, Chris Evans could play Torch and Cap."
- Captain America trailer date? "Working on the Cap trailer now. You should be seeing one in the new year."
- On Captain America's winged helmet: "Cap's got his famous wing tips"
- New pics for Captain America, notably Hugo Weaving's Red Skull, coming in new year as well. Says Red Skull "looks amazing."
- On Bucky Barnes: "Bucky plays an important part in the film. Sebastian Stan's done a tremendous job playing him."
- On an appearance of the Invaders? "While there's no Invaders, there's lots of Howling Commandos!"
- Thor trailer will play in front of most screenings of TRON: Legacy.
- Idris Elba & Kat Dennings steal the show.
- Was Jessica Biel originally in line to play Jane Foster? "Natalie was always our first and only choice for Jane."
- Was using Donald Blake ever considered for the film? "People looking for a reference to Don Blake in the Thor film will find one."
- Why Old English dialect being abandoned for the movie? "As much as I love Stan the man's Shakespearean dialect, we felt it would be over-bearing. However, our director Kenneth Branagh has a great ear for the English language and I think you'll find that the Asgardian speak is appropriately regal."
- On the chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman: "Natalie and Chris have amazing chemistry in the film. After an early cut, Bendis told me it was the best romantic chemistry in a Marvel movie."
- On the epic scene in the Thor trailer where Thor hammers the ground with Mjolnir: "That's not even the biggest shot in the movie."
Black Panther, Deadpool, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Moonknight, Power Pack & Punisher
- Marvel is always planning movies for five years out.
- On Black Panther: "Things are in the works."
- Power Pack movie? "Love Power Pack, Maybe someday!"
- Which characters are in serious contention for feature film debuts? "I have not been shy about my love for Dr. Strange, Black Panther, and Luke Cage."
- Now that Marvel owns the rights to Punisher again, what's the plan for him? "Punisher's back in house, and various plans are in the works."
- Status of Iron Fist movie: "A very talented writer is currently working on a draft."
- Iron Fist movie inspired by Ed Brubaker- MattFraction run.
- On potential of R-Rated Marvel movies: "We're definitely open to it. Blade was a great franchise for us."
- What about Moonknight? "Moonknight's a challenging, but extremely interesting character. We've been discussing various versions of it for years."
- On creating new heroes for the Marvel movies: "With over 8000 characters from the comics, I don't think we need to."
- Where is Twentieth Century Fox with Deadpool? "As far as I know Fox is working hard on it as we speak."
Thor opens May 5, 2011; The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.
Header image edited from art by artchell.