Recently, Marvel Studios invited a number of different media sites to tour its new facilities on the Disney Burbank lot before a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. The tour culminated with some face time with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who was happy to comment on some of the recent developments, deals and departures within the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. You can read the highlights below and for an in-depth breakdown, check out The Hollywood Reporter:
Does Marvel feel betrayed that Joss Whedon has signed up to direct Warner Bros.' Batgirl movie?
"[Joss] called. A couple months ago, which he didn't have to do and was super cool of him and super nice of him. And we couldn't be more supportive. We want to see a Joss Whedon Batgirl film be awesome."
What does the future hold for Tom Holland's Spider-Man in the MCU?
"After [Spider-Man] Homecoming, Infinity War, Avengers 4 and the Homecoming sequel, nothing is confirmed. That’s as far as it goes for now. We had a very particular plan about Spidey himself," said Feige in regard to whether Marvel is involved with the Silver Sable, Venom spinoff films.
Kevin Feige implied that Gunn will assume a role in shaping the MCU beyond Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
"I think James in particular has an amazing connection with these characters and with this cosmic world. So he- I think, could easily oversee additional stories beyond Vol. 3. And I think has them and just continues to come up with them, which is cool. All of our core writers and filmmakers know what we are doing in other places and help give input on the various projects."
On Josh Brolin playing Thanos and Cable in Fox's Deadpool 2.
"We don't have anything written into our contracts about other roles that people can do. Indiana Jones and Han Solo are the same person … it hasn't been a problem. And I think Thanos and Cable are two very different characters."
Though he's said as much before, Feige reiterated that Marvel has no plans for R-rated superhero films.
“My takeaway from both [Logan and Deadpool] is not the R rating, it’s the risk they took, the chances they took, the creative boundaries that they pushed. That should be the takeaway for everyone.” Feige followed up that statement with the assertion that humor will always be the focal point of Marvel films although there's no exact formula for writing a Marvel film. "We don’t sit there and say 'We need 15 jokes in the first 45 pages', but it just is something that we are naturally entertained by. Certainly in the Guardians films as James would point out, in the Ant-Man films, it might rise to the surface more. It’s been a long time that we haven’t done a screening of a film that humor and action aren’t the top two things that are listed in those movies."
On Marvel Test Screenings.
In regards to those test screenings, Feige admitted that they're "horribly, horribly painful" to watch as there are no VFX in them. For instance, you'd be seeing Sean Gunn in a green suit instead of Rocket Raccoon. "Imagine watching a Guardians movie without Rocket, without Groot, without any of the ships." However, it's the audience's laughter in those incomplete cuts that lets the studio know they're on the right track. "That’s the only sign you get when you're in the dark theater that they are with you."
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 first reactions just trickled out from the first critic's screening to nearly unanimous praise. Director James Gunn also just announced that he's returning to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Up next for the studio in 2017 is Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok while 2018 sees Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man & The Wasp released in theaters.