Continuing from an earlier interview with Wired, where Marvel's movie architect discussed not having the likes of Spider-Man, Wolverine and the X-Men and the Fantastic Four available to the MCU, Feige goes on to discuss their genre rival DC and the successful year that was 2008.
On competition with DC and whether he roots against or for the competition to succeed----
Feige: But the truth is I root for every single one, whether it’s our movies or not, because while you and I know the difference between who publishes what, I’ve been in supermarket checkout lines where one of our characters is on the cover of a magazine, somebody says, “Is Green Lantern in The Avengers? Is Aquaman in that one too?” People don’t know. So I want them all to be great.
Chris Nolan’s Batman is the greatest thing that happened because it bolstered everything. Imagine the one-two punch in 2008 of Iron Man and Dark Knight? It was great. Six years earlier I was having conversations with studio execs where they’d say, “Why don’t you come work for us? These comic book movies can’t last forever. It’s probably towards the tail end.” And I, being with big bright-eyed naiveté would go, “I don’t know, I think we can do more. I think there’s more fun to be had.”
That's a noble sentiment and an attitude that I think people can admire. A bad comic book movie does the whole industry a disservice, not just Warner Bros./DC or Marvel/Paramount [Disney]. The greater the number of successful ventures the greater the number of films and the more likely studio brass will be willing to experiment and provide non-formulaic adaptions like Sin City and Scott Pilgrim. Feige goes on to touch on another interesting reveal about changes to the Thor script. It was rumored that Stellan Skarsgård‘s character was supposed to name drop Hank Pym [Ant-Man] but that easter egg was later removed. Well it appears that character was supposed to mention a few more mystery people.
On not being afraid to dial it back and make changes to cater to the general audience, not just the fan boys---
Feige: We usually do that in the script stage. But there have been cases, one in particular in Thor. Selvig, Stellan Skarsgård‘s character, has a couple of lines of dialogue to Jane, and he ended up name-checking three Marvel characters or something. We said, “No, it’s too much. That starts getting distracting.” But usually it’s in the scripts. And by the way, often times — not often, but occasionally — you will need a device to propel the story forward anyway. You have a military organization or a science organization? Well, let’s call it SHIELD. Bad guys? Let’s call it AIM. Stuff like that. Do they have to have the beekeeper helmets? No, no, no, no.
On creating costumes and whether to take inspiration from Jack Kirby or more modern incarnations----
Feige: That was one of the big ones [ Adi Granov‘s modern Iron Man design]. We have fans, like myself, who spend a lot of money on three-dimensional statues. Now, look at the state Iron Man was in[before the move came out]. It may as well have been gold tights, right? But then we lucked out on all of them, right? All of the characters had modern incarnations that proved to be helpful jumping-off points. Adi’s version was that for Iron Man.
Yeah, exactly [*In response to the notion that Joe Straczynski did the same for Thor, and Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary did the same for Captain America.] So we weren’t starting from scratch, from the Jack Kirby designs — which by the way, there would be worse things to start from.
Hmm. I wonder who the 3 characters that Dr. Selvig was supposed to name drop were. We've had previous confirmation that one was definitely Hank Pym but I'm at a loss as to who the other two characters could be.
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)