Kevin Feige Talks About Not Having SPIDER-MAN, X-MEN And The FANTASTIC FOUR And What That Means For The MCU

Kevin Feige Talks About Not Having SPIDER-MAN, X-MEN And The FANTASTIC FOUR And What That Means For The MCU

Marvel Studios' President of Production Kevin Feige discusses how not having a few Marvel heavy-hitters impacts the MCU and the cosmic cube easter egg in Iron Man II.

Speaking to Wired, Kevin Feige, the man sitting in the driver's seat of the MCU discussed a number of topics including the character the studio currently doesn't have the rights to and easter eggs.

On not having some key Marvel characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four---

Feige: Well, look, clearly we would prefer everything be at home, so to speak. But all the contracts are different. Some of them have very firm reversion dates, and some of them we don’t expect to get back any time soon, let’s put it that way. We’re fine with that. We have a great relationship with Sony and Fox. Would we like to have them all back? Sure. But we are more than comfortable with the way things stand now, because it worked out pretty well, right? The Avengers is a gargantuan part of the Marvel Universe, as big a part or bigger part than X-Men, bigger than Fantastic Four. There’s no doubt that Spider-Man is the most well-known, but in terms of families of characters, Avengers is bigger. Yes, the book has been around so long that almost every single character has popped in and out at some point. But there was a little bit of planning and a lot of luck that we ended up with Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Widow, Fury, SHIELD, all within our rights. Because that obviously led up to The Avengers.

At San Diego Comic-Con in 2006 we were in one of the smaller halls, 2,000 people or so. I had been going for many, many years with other studios for the Marvel films but this was our first Marvel Studios panel. Jon Favreau was on the panel talking about Iron Man, and Louis Leterrier was talking about The Incredible Hulk, and Edgar Wright was talking about Ant Man. And somebody asked, “Could the characters cross over? Is this person ever going to meet this person?” I was asked, “Are we ever going to see the Avengers on screen?” And I said, “Who knows. This is a big new experiment for Marvel. But it’s no coincidence that we have the rights to Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Cap –” and the whole audience started cheering. That was one of the moments where I went, boy, if only, if only we could actually sort of pull this all together.

On whether there's a writer's bible that keeps everything lined up and maps out the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe---

Feige: People come in expecting the bible to be a hell of a lot bigger than it actually is. The secret, the not-so-secret secret, is each individual film is actually more important than the whole of the connected films. Because if any one film doesn’t work the house of cards comes down. So the most important thing is each individual movie. Loki is the main antagonist, interesting, layered, tragic figure in Thor. So of course he’s going to be the bad guy in Thor, it makes all the sense in the world. Loki is the reason the Avengers were brought together in Avengers No. 1, so it made sense.

Could it be someone else if we’d never made a Thor movie before that? Probably. But was it sort of laid out there perfectly for us to take advantage of? Yes. The Cosmic Cube is, you know, one of the primary McGuffins in the Captain America stories, in the Red Skull stories. So, tying it into the mythology of Asgard was helpful from a storytelling device, because in the comics I don’t even want to spend 45 minutes explaining to you what its backstory is.

On easter eggs, reveals that the cosmic cube was actually first hinted at in Iron Man II----

Feige: In Iron Man II there’s a scene where Tony is flipping through his father’s old notebook. I told Jon that we thought the young version of Howard Stark was going to be a character in Captain America, because we need a gadget guy, sort of a Q for SHIELD. I said, “What if the prop guy just draws a little cube on this page of this notebook? You never have to mention it, never even talk about it, it’s just there.” Jon said, “Sure, whatever.” The trick is, the Easter eggs have to enhance the experience for those who know what they are, but not detract from the experience for those who don’t.

It appears that Feige definitely wants all the characters back in house and doesn't say that Marvel will never get some of those intellectual properties back but says it's a matter of when. Will it take 10 years, 20, or god forbid longer?

The Avengers is an upcoming American superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is the sixth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast, which includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson. In The Avengers, Nick Fury, director of the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America to save the world from destruction.

Development of The Avengers began when Marvel Studios received a grant from Merrill Lynch in April 2005. After the success of the film Iron Man in May 2008, Marvel announced that The Avengers would be released in July 2011. With the signing of Scarlett Johansson in March 2009, the film was pushed back for a 2012 release. Whedon was brought on board in April 2010 and rewrote the screenplay that was originally written by Zak Penn. Production began in April 2011 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before moving to Cleveland, Ohio in August 2011 and New York City in September 2011. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.

The Avengers is scheduled for release on May 4, 2012 in the United States in 2D and 3D.

Running Time: 2 hrs 22 minutes
Release Date: May 4 2012 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG 13 for for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, and language
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Cobie Smulders, Jeremy Renner, Clark Gregg, Stellan Skarsgård, Mark Ruffalo, Amanda Righetti, Scarlett Johansson and Lou Ferrigno The Incredible Hulk (voice) .
Directed by: Joss Whedon
Written by: Zak Penn (initial screenplay), Joss Whedon (revised screenplay)

Posted By:
Mark Julian
Member Since 6/8/2011
Filed Under "Avengers" 5/2/2012 Source: Wired
DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
1 2 3
ThatHawkguy - 5/2/2012, 6:58 AM
10 or 20 what? Days, hopefully. ;)
ThanToast - 5/2/2012, 6:59 AM
Fiege is too nice- those Disney lawyers are all hunched over a table somewhere, trying to figure out how to screw over Fox and Sony. And you know what I say to them? GODSPEED. Get our characters back!
SpideyMark - 5/2/2012, 7:00 AM
I think they should make a Sony/Paramount Spider-Man just for the Avengers.A Spider-Man that doesn't have any connection to The Amazing Spider-Man Movie Series.I wouldn't mind.New Spider-Man Only For The Avengers that would be great.Tony and Spidey's humor Teaming-up on one movie would be so cool!!I hope they make it true!See this Marvel!!!!!!!!!!!It's needed for an Avengers Movie.Ant-Man,Wasp and Spider-Man would be cool for the sequel!
PsyGuy - 5/2/2012, 7:01 AM
I would love for them to get the X-Men back!
Gmoney84 - 5/2/2012, 7:05 AM
Gmoney84 - 5/2/2012, 7:05 AM
Iron Man 2 was a good film. Not as good as IM 1 but good nonetheless.
RaleighAntrobus - 5/2/2012, 7:06 AM
It's getting to the point where it's difficult for me to care about Marvel characters whose movies are put out by other studios because it doesn't feel authentic.

I don't think I can give Fox another dime for their less than half-asses superhero films... Same for Spider-Man.

Say what you want about D.C./WB but at least all their characters are in-house and they can have a much tighter control of its universe and image going forward.
thunderforce - 5/2/2012, 7:09 AM
I want them to get back the FF so we can have an Annihilators movie .
MassExecutions - 5/2/2012, 7:09 AM
Look at this guy. A movie and money making professional. I wish Disney would hurry up and announce who they are giving that top job, so we can find out if he's going to need a successor.
marvelstudios - 5/2/2012, 7:09 AM
wow ant-man has been in development for ages. i want all the rights back to marvel
Rodimus9 - 5/2/2012, 7:10 AM
If they were to get the rights back they could do duo movies. Like Captain America and Spiderman vs Green Goblin or something along those lines. A MCU civil war could span over a trilogy. Hulk vs Wolverine would be a blockbuster IMO.
Asterisk - 5/2/2012, 7:11 AM
Yeah, they need to get those characters back ASAP.
Dedpool - 5/2/2012, 7:12 AM
I remember seeing the Cube in the notebook!
And as much as I want Marvel to take Spiderman back, I'm excited about Amazing!
steppinwarrior - 5/2/2012, 7:14 AM
Just get Spidey back and I'm a happy man/ as a clam!
Fabs - 5/2/2012, 7:15 AM

"Say what you want about D.C./WB but at least all their characters are in-house and they can have a much tighter control of its universe and image going forward."
and yet...
elessarundomiel2382 - 5/2/2012, 7:15 AM
How about have Marvel own all creative rights but let Fox and Sony make the movies and have a 70/30 profit margin
R888 - 5/2/2012, 7:17 AM
Just get back spiderman and Im happy
Rodimus9 - 5/2/2012, 7:17 AM
I wanna see-
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Rodimus9 - 5/2/2012, 7:22 AM
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
marvelstudios - 5/2/2012, 7:31 AM
i wish marvel would dominate cbm and release 3-4 movies a year
Bomblu - 5/2/2012, 7:33 AM
I'm all for fox keeping xmen - after First Class i have faith that Matthew Vaughn can do that series right. As for Spidey and FF, though they'd work BEST if they were at Marvel, I think it's a blessing that they dont have the rights back.

Immagine having all those films under one studio, we'll probably have to wait for many years between one thor and another. I think it's best if Marvel focuses on the properties they have. Then, when RDJ decides to retire, they can "kill him off" (metaphorically) and get the rights back for, say, spiderman. Then Parker could replace the loss.
Ha1frican - 5/2/2012, 7:37 AM
^^ How? First Class was a disaster.
EarOne - 5/2/2012, 7:37 AM
among spidey, ff and x-men...i'd pick the X-Men to come home to marvel studios first.

first, they got common main characters in Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, then Wolverine and Beast, if you wanna depict their membership in the Avengers.

just imagine if we'd finally get to see a hulk-wolverine LIVE ACTION fight on screen..well, the hulk won't exactly be live action, since it's gonna be cg, BUT...y'know what i mean.

then F.F., i think fox is just clueless about the characters. sides..i think having this original marvel UBER team being DONE by marvel studios is just the way it was MEANT to be and how it SHOULD be.
peppy - 5/2/2012, 7:40 AM
Marvel studios - x-men .... ok now think about it ..... nuff said.
BIGBMH - 5/2/2012, 7:40 AM
@Nomis, yeah. I liked Michael Turner's style from what I saw. I read his Superman/Batman and some others. Pretty distinctive.
Ha1frican - 5/2/2012, 7:46 AM
And yeah if anything get back x-Men then make a REAL Weapon X film followed by an origin of the X-Men (Without Logan) then in the sequel introduce him.
BJD - 5/2/2012, 7:49 AM
I don't know exactly what control Rupert Murdoch has over 20th Century Fox but I do know that it is a subsidiary of his News Corporation. Who knows? With all the legal trouble that Mr. Murdoch has been embroiled with the past few months, Fox might be more than happy to soon sell those intellectual properties back to Marvel Entertainment.
thalidomide - 5/2/2012, 7:53 AM
Yep I wanna see an X-Men film from Marvel Studios as well, I bet they can do that :)
breakUbatman - 5/2/2012, 7:53 AM
"The trick is, the Easter eggs have to enhance the experience for those who know what they are, but not detract from the experience for those who don’t."

Kind of like the Captain America shield that appears in two Iron Man movies for no reason
jimoakley666 - 5/2/2012, 7:57 AM
"It appears that Feige definitely wants all the characters back in house" -

He didn't say that at all. He actually stated that he is "more than comfortable with the way things stand now, because it worked out pretty well".

Hack journalism, that.

If Marvel were to get any of them back I'd rather see the FF done by Marvel. They could make it work. Fox try to make it too dark. It's not like the X-Men. Which I personally feel they do very well.
jimoakley666 - 5/2/2012, 8:00 AM
@Ha1frican - What strong arse shit are you smoking to think First Class was a disaster? That's a wacky, bold and very wrong statement, bud.
BJD - 5/2/2012, 8:00 AM
@jimoakley666: did you just read the same article I did, because here is the first line on the one I read

"Well, look, clearly we would prefer everything be at home, so to speak."
MarkJulian - 5/2/2012, 8:06 AM
@jimoakley666 Hack reading comprehension skills :P
RadicalDuck - 5/2/2012, 8:08 AM
@CrimsonComedian - yes! Get them back! Personally, I hope that if the Spidey rights revert back to Marvel they stick with Garfield...i would pay so much money to see his quipping Spidey meeting RDJ's Iron Man.
hoodedjester - 5/2/2012, 8:12 AM
Marvel just needs to take some of the money they are making on their movies and buy back the rights. Sony and Fox have done okay jobs with the properties but give it back to the guys who know these characters best
DRDOOM4EVER - 5/2/2012, 8:14 AM
Frankly, Feige knows the dates...I hope F4 is one of the ones he said has "specific reversion dates"...c'mon how could Marvel Studios NOT want the F4 back...especially to get back Marvel's ultimate villain DR. DOOM...imagine Doom and Latveria, 1000s of Doombots invading the United States, etc...Doom trying to gain ultimate power....I think I would die....
SuperSomething616 - 5/2/2012, 8:16 AM
I think the contract with Sony for Spiderman defo has a rights return date in it!!!

Xmen probably not or it would have returned by now as the first xmen film was released like 10 years ago...

Fantastic Four also probably doesnt have a return date...

JohnTom88 - 5/2/2012, 8:17 AM
Dr Strange
Guardians of the Galaxy
Black Panther
Moon Knight
The Punisher
Iron Fist
Luke Cage
Ms Marvel
The Inhumans

Nope.. Marvel doesn't need to get back Spidey, X-Men, and FF. Looks like they are set for the next 2 decades.
DukeAcureds - 5/2/2012, 8:17 AM
The one thing I wonder is if the relations between Marvel and the studios are good enough for a cross-company pollination of characters such as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver being owned by both Disney and Fox and perhaps something along the lines of Marvel loaning Nick Fury for an appearance in Sony's Amazing Spider-Man. They could even do the Ultimate Spider-Man thing of Fury saying that when Peter comes of age he will have a place with the Avengers. Of course, him coming of age may never happen in Sony's franchise. But also, if the rights ever do revert back to Marvel they could just call that legal reversion in our world his coming of age in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This would also save them the trouble of having to re-introiduce Spidey to cinema audiences yet again, when they fibally do get the rights back.
mrHJK - 5/2/2012, 8:32 AM
Not dying for X-Men back. Fox has done a pretty good job. I'd only want Spidey right now if this new series could be incorporated. Otherwise, we'll get them back way down the line when people are sick of CBMs and these two will help reguvinate the MCU.

But I would love for Fantastic Four to join the MCU soon. (Surfer too)
1 2 3

Please log in to post comments.

Don't have an account?
Please Register.