– . – Producer – Kevin Feige
Producer – Kevin Feige
A Movie Marvel
Following the tumultuous unveiling of Captain America, Thor and The Avengers at this year’s Comic-Con, Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige lets us in on the secrets behind his superhero success.
There have been many memorable film moments during 2010, such as: Kathryn Bigelow’s Best Director Oscar for The Hurt Locker, Chloe Moretz’s scene-stealing turn as Hit Girl in Kick-Ass; and the discovery of international gems like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, A Prophet and The Secret In Their Eyes. But for those who attended this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, one of the standouts must have been when the entire cast of Marvel’s hotly anticipated Avengers adaptation took to the stage. This line-up—which includes Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Mark Ruffalo replacing Ed Norton as The Hulk—marks the pinnacle in a genre that’s become big business, with Marvel Studios being the undisputed frontrunners.
Their success lies not just in the fact they have a mammoth back catalogue on which to draw from—including the likes of Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Punisher, Deadpool and Ant-Man—but that they have created an intertwining universe in which individual characters appear in each others’ films as well as headlining their own adventures and where sidekicks and minor characters are given their own spin-offs. It makes for endless possibilities but, as Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige explains, creating such an expansive mythology between films is “extremely difficult. It’s never been done before for a reason. Often the rights aren’t clear, and often you have to deal with real-world scenarios. These aren’t just drawings, they are people, and every one has to be assembled properly.
“I was [at Comic-Con] three or four years ago, and we talked about the line-up, the number of characters that we had; the whole banner of Marvel Studios,” Feige continues of the ambition that Marvel has to fully utilise its potential under his leadership. “I could sense in the crowd that there was excitement that this was possible, but scepticism that any of it would ever happen.” Since then, the studio has aggressively re-secured the rights to many of Marvel Comics’ properties, from the likes of Sony (Thor), New Line Cinema (Iron Man) and Lionsgate (Black Widow), and embraced filmmaking technology such as 3D and motion capture to secure a massive global audience for their products. But while the crossover of characters in what is termed the Marvel Cinematic Universe leaves fanboys clamouring for more, Feige knows that his films must appeal to as wide an audience as possible.