Yesterday, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige visited Reddit to answer some questions from fans. His responses give us a closer look at the creative process of the films and where the superhero blockbusters might go from here. These are the biggest things we learned during that Q&A.
Captain America was always worthy
Remember the scene in “Age of Ultron” when everyone’s trying to lift Thor’s hammer? Steve Rogers manages to make it budge. Feige says he believes Cap was worthy then, but just being polite by not lifting Mjolnir at the time.
Hulk isn’t done evolving
Hulk has been a notoriously problematic character for Marvel. After two actors, it seems they may have cracked the code with Mark Ruffalo. “Many years ago, Mark came in for a meeting with us at Marvel Studios to discuss ways in which the Hulk could grow and evolve in upcoming films. He pitched a lot of cool ideas, some of which led to what you saw in Thor: Ragnarok, Infinity War and Endgame, and some of which would still be cool to see someday.”
Hulk saved more lives than we saw in ‘Endgame’
Many fans calculated that the orignal Thanos snap probably killed far more people than those who got dusted. Imagine the supplemental deaths caused by the disappearance of air traffic controllers, pilots, drivers, and other people responsible for keeping us alive. When Hulk put on the gauntlet and re-snapped people into existence, did those people reappear at random? No, Feige says. “We refer to the version of Hulk in Endgame as Smart Hulk,” Feige wrote. Feige explains that Smart Hulk would take care to ensure that everyone affected by his snap would end up in a safe place. Good Hulk.
Stan Lee never saw ‘Endgame’
Boy, this hurts. The Marvel legend never got to see “Endgame” before he died. Feige explains, “Stan loved to wait to see the final movie at the premiere, so, unfortunately, he did not get to see the finished movie.” Feige did say that Marvel leadership did tell Stan the entire story on the day he showed up to film his cameo. We like to think he smiled when hearing that Captain America would finally tell the Avengers to assemble.
The Marvel films are planned way in advance
“We usually work with a specific 5 year plan at any given point but often have a general plan that extends much, much further.”
Planning for the Infinity Gauntlet series began after filming of the first Avengers film
“We started discussing how to adapt the Infinity Gauntlet comic soon after the release of the first Avengers. It was on one of our creative retreats about 5 years ago that we decided to do it as two films. We started to crack the specifics of the story during production on Civil War with Chris Markus and Stephen McFeely, Joe and Anthony Russo, in a conference room as we went back and forth between takes.”
The Disney+ shows will work with the MCU
When a franchise begins spinning off into books and comics and digital series and video games, things can get pretty messy. You know this if you read any of the Star Wars books produced between the original trilogy and the prequels. Fans argued about whether those books were canon. Starting with “Episode I” in 1999, many of the books became invalid. By the time “The Force Awakens” debuted, it made virtually all of those books irrelevant to the larger storyline.
Feige reports that the upcoming Disney+ Marvel shows will work “totally and completely” with the MCU.
How did ‘Iron Man’ come together?
It’s easy to forget, but “Iron Man” was not a slam dunk success. Had that film failed, the entire MCU may not exist. There were two unconventional choices that ended up paying off in a big way: Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. So why did they give Favreau the director’s chair? Feige wrote, “Jon Favreau is one of the best storytellers on the planet, and Elf is a stone cold classic.”
As for Tony Stark himself, Feige confirmed that Robert Downey Jr was his biggest casting fight with Disney. It seems crazy now, but you have to remember that at the time, RDJ was seen as radioactive after a string of drug-related legal problems. Had Feige not won that fight, the MCU would have been radically different.
What is Feige’s favorite DC film?
Interestingly, Feige didn’t choose one of the most recent DC films to answer this question. He says his favorite is the 1978 “Superman” with Christopher Reeve. Although the special effects are quite dated, the film features some excellent performances and moments that make the Man of Steel very human. It’s worth a watch if you’ve never seen it!