Marvel Studios mastermind Kevin Feige recently took part in a Q&A session during the CineEurope convention in Barcelona, Spain, where he laid out new details for upcoming movies such as potential Guardians of the Galaxy sequels, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange. He also hinted at Thanos' role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how upcoming TV shows such as Marvel's Agent Carter, and the four Netflix series' will be loosely tied into overall plan.
Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel's next Phase Two adventure, hitting theaters nationwide on August 1, and while a sequel hasn't been officially announced yet, Kevin Feige teased that there is a wealth of material from the comics that could be used for potential follow-ups.
"Every time we make a movie, we focus on the single movie, the importance of doing the best version we can to introduce a new audience to the characters. So we don't have, necessarily, two or three or four movies planned because if we have a good idea - a fun idea for a scene or a cool character - we put it in this movie because we know if the first movie doesn't work, there won't be any movies after that. That being said, there are dozens and dozens of Guardians of the Galaxy storylines - there's a group that came about in the '60s, they were revamped again in the '80s and they changed into this incarnation that you see in this movie about eight or nine years ago - so there are a lot of other characters and worlds and stories. So should this film work, should the audience come out for this one, there are definitely places we can take it and we have ideas of where we'd like to go with it, but really all the energy goes into the first movie first."
It has long been confirmed that Thanos will make his presence known in Guardians of the Galaxy, with Marvel announcing last month that Josh Brolin will portray the Mad Titan, who first showed up during the post-credits scene in 2012's Marvel's The Avengers. Kevin Feige teased that fans will get to know a bit more about Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy, which sets up future appearances down the line.
"If you remember we had a tag scene in Thor: The Dark World where Benicio Del Toro showed up for the first time as The Collector, so that was our way of saying the Guardians and the other Marvel characters inhabit the same reality and the same universe. In particular, there's a villain in this film, that comic fans know as Thanos, that moviegoers will begin to learn more and more about in the coming years. He appeared at the very end of the first Avengers film, when he turned into camera and smirked, and we realized he was the person behind the alien army that Loki teamed up with to terrorize New York City, and that the Avengers had to fight. We see him again in this movie [Guardians], we learn a little bit more about him in this movie, and he - and his band of followers - is the biggest piece of connective tissue that will eventually lead us back into Avengers films in the future."
The producer/executive also teased that upcoming TV shows like ABC's Marvel's Agent Carter and Netflix's Marvel's Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones will have a "loose connection" to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, much like Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
"I think the television division first and foremost need to make great TV shows that stand on their own. But because it is Marvel, we do think they will all fall under the umbrella of the Cinematic Universe, the way Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does now, the way the Agent Carter series will, so I do think that Daredevil and Jessica Jones and the other ones [Iron Fist and Luke Cage] will have a loose connection to the overall storyline. But, just like the most important thing for us with each film is that each film works independently and stands alone as a great movie, and then the fun part is it connecting to the other world; I think the TV group is doing the exact same thing with each series."
The studio's first Phase Three adventure, Ant-Man, recently hit a minor snag with the departure of director Edgar Wright. Marvel quickly found a replacement with Peyton Reed signing on to direct and Adam McKay coming aboard to work on the script. Kevin Feige clarified that production will still begin in August, as originally scheduled, and that Adam McKay is only reworking certain parts of the script, and not performing a complete rewrite.
"Ant-Man is still going to come out on July 17 , we start filming this August. Edgar Wright, who I've known for many years, who wrote the draft with Joe Cornish - much of the movie will still be based very much on that draft and the DNA of what Edgar has created up to this point, but Peyton Reed has stepped in [to direct]. Adam McKay, a very good writer is reworking parts of the script - not the entirety of the script, but some of it - and it's going to, we believe, come to life in the best version of Ant-Man that we could possibly make. Again Ant-Man is a very important character for us. We like that people don't necessarily know what it is, we like that it sounds sort of strange when you first hear the notion of Ant-Man, or a hero that can shrink, but he's a very key Marvel character: he's a key Avenger. He's an important character we want to bring into our universe and Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and an amazing cast all set to start in August, we believe that we're on the road to the best version of Ant-Man that we could have."
The studio is also moving forward with another beloved property, Doctor Strange, with Scott Derrickson signing on to direct just a few weeks ago. Kevin Feige revealed that Doctor Strange is a very important property to the studio, which shows off a completely different side to the Marvel comics that fans of the movies have not seen before, while confirming that production will begin next spring.
"Scott Derrickson has been announced as the director. Doctor Strange is a character that I've been interested in for many, many years and that I've talked about in interviews for probably 14 years, because I believe it's very, very important for us to explore every nook and cranny of the comic-book universe and we've done the street-level heroes, and we've done the billionaire superheroes [on Earth]. We've now done the cosmic side with Thor and Avengers and most obviously with Guardians, but there's a whole other side of the Marvel comics, which is that supernatural side - the interdimensional side of the Marvel universe, and Doctor Strange is, I believe, our entry point into that other realm, which has dozens of characters and storylines all of its own. So Strange is very, very important, not just because it's an amazing character study, and a journey of a man who's gone from this very arrogant surgeon to somebody who is quite zen and literally keeps all of reality together on a daily basis, but it also is going to open up a whole other side of storytelling for our movies. So we're about to hire a writer to redo a draft, and we think we'll be casting probably in the next month or two, and announcing an actor, and then we get into production in the spring of next year."
Kevin Feige has previously teased that he, "would never say never" about the possibility of Sony's Spider-Man and 20th Century Fox's X-Men teaming up with The Avengers. He reiterated that while it would be great to see this crossover, it likely won't happen for many years.
"It would be great, I think, to be able to have all of the Marvel characters interact one day, in a single movie with Marvel Studios, [but] I don't think that'll happen anytime soon. Fox is doing very well - Days of Future Past just came out, was a big hit, was a very, very good movie. As long as they keep doing that they'll be able to keep those rights. Sony - same thing - has very long term plans for Spidey, and I think as long as they keep doing that and as long as they keep succeeding, Sony will have Spidey for a long time. So I wouldn't say anything's impossible, I've been at Marvel for almost 14 years now, and it's a very different company today than when it was a near bankrupt company just trying to get a foothold in movies when I started. So I always say nothing is impossible but I'm not sure that's going to happen any time soon."