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Kevin Feige, Russo Brothers Talk Future of Marvel Cinematic Universe: New Heroes, Fox/Disney Deal, More

May 4, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
The Avengers Team Marvel Cinematic Universe

Kevin Feige and Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo spoke with IGN about the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You can see some highlights below from the interview, which was conductedx before Infinity War’s release:

Kevin Feige on whether the MCU will continue to adapt storylines from the comics: “Well, I think we’ll continue to draw from them, for sure. I think it’s fun, now, having a continuity, 19 films in with Infinity War, that we can start to be inspired and take cues from MCU continuity. But in terms of characters, in terms of broad storylines, or at the very least, in terms of, you know, the conceits for big storylines, like Civil War, like the Infinity Gauntlet – the comics are an amazing resource. An amazing resource. So, there are certainly comics that we’ve loved in my 18 years at Marvel that we pulled aside years ago to say, ‘We can do something interesting with this that we haven’t done anything with yet’. And I hope that the comics continue – and I know, I’m sure they will – coming up with new ideas and new conceits that we’ll go, like we did with Civil War, 10, 12 years ago, ‘Holy moly, wouldn’t it be cool to do this someday?’ And as we bring more characters to the screen and the MCU gets bigger and bigger, the opportunities for those kind of movies – we couldn’t have done this film any sooner, because there weren’t enough characters. And, go back and look at the Infinity Gauntlet, there are way more characters in that than there are in this. But we felt this was sort of the minimum level of characters you could have to even attempt to do a version of this story.”

Feige on whether there will be more team-up movies like Thor: Ragnarok in the next phase: “I think it’ll […] have the same variety that the first three phases have had. I think Ragnarok is a great example of a team-up, not just Hulk and Thor, but Loki and Korg, and … Hela, of course, but Valkyrie. There are a lot of great characters we wanna bring to the screen, not all of them will have their own movies. Not all of them can have sequels, for one reason or another, Hulk being most apparent. So putting them in other movies was sort of an experiment for us with Ragnarok. And Strange showing up briefly in Ragnarok.”

Anthony Russo on whether the MCU will have an original hero not from the comics: “That’s a great question for the next phase of Marvel. I mean – look, we do take a lot of inspiration from the books. The story is never based directly on something that happened entirely in the books. These stories we’re telling take a huge departure from what the narrative was in the books. That’s a very interesting question have a completely original lead in a Marvel movie.”

Joe Russo on an original hero in the films: “I think Marvel has built up enough trust that they can just about introduce anybody at this point. I do think that part of what the ethos behind Marvel – the main tenet is interpreting the characters from the books. I feel like they have a limitless amount of IP to interpret, but without question, that’s an interesting idea. I don’t know if anybody’s ever talked about that before.”

Feige on the idea ofd original heroes: “Maybe someday. I mean, there’d have to be a particular reason to do that. I think, more likely you can say, we wanna do this kind of a genre and this kind of a character. And then look through the books and go, this person kind of fits that bill and use that as a seed to build a new idea around. But again, maybe.”

Joe Russo on the FOX/Disney deal: “If the FOX deal goes through at Disney, that’s a whole other array of characters that become available and combinations with characters that we would salivate over. I’m sure other fans would. I think that’s probably mission two is like. Black Panther was an amazing success. They have new characters coming in through FOX, if the deal closes. They have new characters that are just exploding in popularity around the world. So I think they have a direction to head in for the next phase.”

Feige on when the impact of that deal will be felt: “I don’t know. We’re presuming – right now we’re not thinking about it. It’s not a done deal. If it becomes a done deal, we’ll start thinking about it, but only if and when it becomes a done deal. So, as you say, I don’t know, is that a year from now? I’m not sure. People who understand production schedules can start to do math at that point, but we won’t be doing anything until we get a phone call from people far above us saying, go! But that’s not the case right now.”

Joe Russo on which FOX-owned character he wants to work with: “One of my prized possessions is Incredible Hulk #181. It’s the introduction of Wolverine. I think he’d be an amazing character to introduce into this world. The X-Men, the Byrne run from the 90s was a big book for me. I’d love to see Fantastic Four done in a way that I would understand as a comic book fan.”

Feige on an openly gay character coming in the MCU: “Definitively. Yes. With one hundred percent certainty. It is Panther and Captain Marvel – and, you know, a lot of the characters, as you said, people who had been supporting characters in the past. […] I mean, that, both in front of and behind the camera, that […] is the start of the new world. It’s the world around us, it’s the real world, it’s the world we want to be reflected on the screen. And in some cases, the world of the comics has done that, and has been doing that, and was very progressive in doing that in certain years and slower to act in other years. But it is … the joy that audiences get from seeing themselves reflected back on that screen. We want everybody to feel that.”