Avengers Assemble Producer Interview

Marvel Producer Kevin Feige has been a huge part of many of the best big screen superhero adventures and he met fans in London for a Q&A while promoting newest comicbook movie Avengers Assemble. Here’s what he said, including some very interesting news about future movies.

Why is the time right now for Avengers?

When we became marvel studios seven years ago we wanted to make a great Iron Man film, we wanted to make a great Hulk film. Then when we went into production on the first Iron Man film it occurred to us that we had all our other characters at our disposal and that wasn’t always the case at other studios. That’s where the idea for the Sam Jackson cameo came from at the end of Iron Man. Then after the success of Iron Man people were asking “What else do you have?” So that’s when we decided we were going to have Thor, Iron Man 2 & Captain America all building up to Avengers. It’s been about seven years just because it’s taken that long to finish the other films.

How do you condense all the history of The Avengers comics into one film?

You hire Joss Whedon to write the script! That’s what we did and he did a magnificent job of it. Obviously we had some ideas for what we wanted the characters to go through based on where we left them at the end of the other films, but it was Joss who came up with the amazing script for assembling the team.

What did you want Joss Whedon to bring to this?

I wanted him to bring the characters; I wanted them to be at the forefront of the story. Of course we knew there were also going to be lots of explosions; you can see that just from the trailer. There are more visual effects shots in the Avengers than any movie we’ve done before. But we wanted these amazing actors to shine through above all that. Whether it’s with Buffy, Angel or Firefly that’s what Joss Whedon has always managed to do.

Joss is the master; he really does believe humour is the way into characters for an audience. We find ourselves getting bored if an action scene just goes on and on. There are so many moments in this film where Joss hits you with something hilarious right in the middle of the action.

Tom Hiddleston is amazing as Loki, what makes him such a great villain?

Loki doesn’t think he’s a bad guy. We want a villain who has other levels and complexities, even if those maybe aren’t always apparent as he goes off the deep end in Avengers.  But Loki really believes he deserves everything that’s coming to him and Tom does a great job of capturing that.

What was your  first personal experience of the Avengers?

I think it was the reprints of the original first issues. I think I came to it via the X-Men books. I was originally reading them and someone said to me “You know there’s another superhero team….”
I also came to it through the individual characters, which is why it was so important for me that we made the solo movies first. That’s what’s cool about the Avengers, it a team made up of all these individuals who have their own storylines.

Is there any update on Ant Man?

Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish have written a very good draft of a script. They’ve been working on it for three or four years. I met them at comic con right after Shaun of the Dead came out. They’ve made some other great films since then and I do think this summer we’ll see some forward momentum on that.

Will we be seeing a new standalone Hulk movie?

In-between all the red carpet interviews over the past few days Mark Ruffalo and I have been starting to talk about how to take all of this good will and forward momentum from the Avengers and turn it into a solo Hulk movie. When that would actually be… who knows. But the conversations have definitely started!”

Will we also be seeing movies for Black Panther and Luke Cage?

We’ve had a draft script for Luke Cage that we’ve had for a number of years and a draft on Black Panther more recently. I’d love to bring the both to the big screen but I just don’t know when yet.

Is it fair to assume Avengers 3 is going to be based on the Civil War comic book storyline?

Avengers 3… we need to take one step at a time. Civil War is a great storyline that pits hero against hero because of the superhero registration act. The government is going to force them to reveal their identities. Iron Man thought it was a good idea, but of course Captain America disagrees with him. Thus it’s superhero civil war. I think it’s an amazing story it certainly wouldn’t happen before Avengers 3 but that might be a good film for it. We need to get Joss Whedon in a room and talk about that too.

What do Marvel have planned for the future?

Iron Man 3 is being made for next year as well as Thor 2, Captain America 2 is in line for the year after that. Discussions are beginning; obviously the film hasn’t come out yet, so let’s just see how it does. But certainly the idea is to follow the model of the comicbooks and have the individual films continuing with a big crossover event like civil war every few years. I’d love to replicate that every 3 or 4 years in movie theatres as well.

Will you be bringing in more characters to the Avengers franchise?

This is definitely the foundation but I do think part of the fun of the continuing Avengers series would be to introduce more characters.

Any news on AKA Jessica Jones?

AKA Jessica Jones is being developed as a television series. No update but yet but it is in active development.

Will Hulk cameo in Iron Man 3?

There won’t be any cameo form Hulk or the other Avengers in Iron Man 3. Iron Man 3 is definitely a solo Tony centric film.

Now that Disney and Marvel are teamed up is there any chance of an animated collaboration?

Well you may notice that nothing’s been announced yet, but certainly logic would dictate that when you have our characters and their amazing animation team together, certainly there’s been discussion about that. I don’t know when but it would be amazing if that could happen someday.

Is the any chance Marvel will try to get back the rights to characters like Spiderman X- Men, Fantastic 4?

The ones that could come back to us have. The contracts are very specific and we’re talking years and decades in terms of those contracts. The good news is the Amazing Spiderman that Sony is working on is an excellent movie and I really liked X-Men First Class that Fox did. So if things continue like that I think we’re in good hands.

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