Kevin Feige on Spider-Man, Marvel’s Contingency Plans for Using Characters They Don’t Own (Yet)

     September 30, 2015


Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is a very busy guy. He’s juggling a massively successful series of franchises that are not only popular in and of themselves, but also have to connect to a larger universe as a whole. Feige is, essentially, the gatekeeper of the entire MCU, spearheading and overseeing the creative process that maintains the cohesiveness of the universe. So it’s doubly impressive that he’s able to keep such a cool head about the sheer enormity of the numerous things he’s juggling at any given moment.

Steve recently attended a Q&A with Feige and fellow Marvel exec Jeremy Latcham to tout the impending release of Avengers: Age of Ultron on Blu-ray, and the two Marvel bosses spilled some tantalizing details about what’s to come in the MCU. First and foremost, if you missed our previous coverage, catch up with the links below:


Image via Marvel Comics

But in addition to this information, a few other interesting tidbits were shared. In speaking about finally bringing Spider-Man into the MCU, Feige discussed how he’s happy to have Peter Parker “where he belongs”:

“Making that agreement with Amy [Pascal] and Mike [De Luca] and Tom Rothman at Sony was great and really amazing. On a personal level making these movies it means a lot because you can do great things with Spider-Man and he can serve a great purpose in our universe, and that’s where he belongs. That’s what was unique about him in the comics, not that he was the only superhero in the world, it was that he was a totally different kind of superhero when compared against the other ones in the Marvel universe. … It means a lot and now we better not screw it up.”

But while Spidey joining the MCU is certainly exciting, Feige stressed the importance of making a solid stand alone film over figuring out how to weave Spidey into the universe:

“The most important thing is the stand alone movie, re-launching Spider-Man with a stand alone movie with a new storyline that fits into this universe. That’s job number one for us. And as is the case, the connectivity is great but it doesn’t drive the train…This has been a dream of ours for a long time, and we always had contingency plans should you know—which we always do anyways. Are we going to be able to make another movie with this actor? If we are then we’ll do this, if not, we’re going to do this. If we get the rights to a certain character that’d be great, then we’d do this, if not, we’d do this. So we always sort of operate with those alternate timelines available and are ready to shift if something happens.”


Image via Marvel

So while this isn’t exactly groundbreaking stuff re: Spider-Man, it is fascinating insight into how Marvel Studios works. Not only do they draw up contingency plans for multiple scenarios regarding what story ideas they may want to tackle or actor availability, but they also have ideas for how to use characters that they may not have the rights to just yet. If for some reason, somewhere down the line, Fantastic Four or X-Men moves from Fox to Marvel Studios, it sounds like they already have ideas for how they’d like to use those characters. That doesn’t seem entirely likely in the near future given the robust success of the X-Men franchise, but then again few thought a deal could ever be reached between Marvel and Sony for Spider-Man.

Feige was also asked about bringing back the Marvel One-Shot short films, which he recently told us is definitely something that’s still in the offing:

“We talk about that a lot actually, because when you have tables like that—lots of potential storylines, most unexplored in the finished film—and we go, What are we going to do with Howard? What are we going to do with Cosmo? We should do a one shot with Michael Pena. I mean, the universe is big. We’re moving up to three movies a year and I’m not sure how much beyond that we can go so the one shots are great for: oh we have this great idea, wouldn’t it be fun to see… We talk about it a lot. We’re a relatively small team. We’re comfortable doing three movies a year so its just about finding the time and the place. But we have a backlog of ideas.”


Image via Marvel

Speaking of Howard, Feige was asked when Howard the Duck would be returning to Earth after his Guardians of the Galaxy cameo:

“Does Howard The Duck want to come to Earth? I don’t know, it didn’t work out too well last time he came to earth.”

But in terms of things that are actually important to the MCU, Feige was asked when they first decided that the Infinity Stones would be introduced to this universe:

“It was really sort of Iron Man 2 and building the architecture of the entire Phase One is where that started to come about, and the notion that the Tesseract not only tying Phase One together but also being part of all the other things that tie Phase Two together. I won’t say it’s all perfectly planned out in 2009, but that was the genesis of it. It goes back that far.”


Image via Marvel

Latcham went on to say they took great care in laying the foundational work for the Tesseract visually in Iron Man 2:

“I remember we were on set and we had the prop designer drawing the book that Tony Stark’s flipping through when he’s going through all of his father’s stuff and I remember trying to explain to the prop designer that ‘no no, this cube you’re drawing is very important, so it needs to be a certain way because that’s going to matter later.”

So far we’ve seen all but two Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When will we see the outstanding ones? Feige promises soon:

“You will see the other two, sometime in phase three for sure. There’s a gauntlet that needs to be filled.”

Indeed, though the fact remains that Thanos currently has zero Infinity Stones in his possession—just a stone-less glove. Poor Thanos.


Image via Marvel

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