With all this talk about Avengers Age of Ultron (which comes out on Friday), we can’t forget that there would be no movie if it wasn’t for Marvel Studios. And there would be no Marvel Studios without its president Kevin Feige, who also happened to produce this sequel. Want to know what he had to say about the movie?
Avengers: Age of Ultron – Kevin Feige Interview
Q: Why is there no end-credit scene? What’s the story behind that?
FEIGE: Well, there’s a mid-credit scene, as we call it, and it’s not a fast and hard rule that there must be something after the credits. Joss was a firm believer that we shouldn’t do something that seemed like we were aping the “Schwarma scene” at the end of it. His version of the story really culminates where it does at the end of the film and with the mid-credits. We were thinking it just felt like an add-on that wasn’t worth doing. But that’s one of the reasons why he wanted to get it out there so people didn’t sit there for seven minutes and go, “What?!”
Q : How many people are on the team that keeps everything straight?
FEIGE: There’s a solid brain trust of seven or eight of us at the studio that oversee each of the films. And then beyond that, of course, dozens and then hundreds, and then thousands, eventually, on each production.
Kevin Feige on Timing & Content
Q : In the movie, the team is very cohesive. How many years have passed in-between films?
FEIGE: I’m not sure we ever directly say it, but we always sort of thought it. It’s probably a good year after the events of [Captain America] The Winter Soldier. S.H.I.E.LD. has been brought down at the end of The Winter Soldier after revealing that Hydra had been growing within it and that there’s a lot of fallout. Some of that is on the television series and some of that we see at the very beginning of this movie.
Q : Are we going to see Spiderman make an appearance in the [Captain America] Civil War?
FEIGE: Well, you’ve heard the announcements that we’ve teamed up with Sony to bring Spidey into our universe and doing a new Spidey film in 2017. But I think we’re being less than specific about where we’ll see him first.
Kevin Feige on the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Q : In general, sometimes people dread spinoffs and sequels, but how does it feel to actually have a fan base that can’t wait for the next release from your studio?
FEIGE: It feels great, obviously, and I do think spinoffs and things like that, when you’re dealing with certain properties, can somehow get a bad connotation of meaning, “Oh, there’s something that had a little story potential that was interesting, so now they’re gonna try to build the whole big story about it.” Well, at Marvel, their big story is about everyone that go back fifty years and through hundreds of comic issues. So for us it’s all exciting.
What’s really exciting is that the comic fan base was one thing, it’s the solid foundation of everything we do, but now it’s increased dramatically with the film base and with the film fans. It gives us a certain amount of pressure and sleepless nights to deliver on expectations each time but it’s also knowing that people are so excited for what’s next.
We often have to go, “Never mind what’s coming up next, take a look at this.” Age of Ultron is our eleventh Marvel Cinematic Universe film and we want each of them to stand alone whether you’ve seen the other ten films or not. We believe each film works as a beginning, middle, and end into and unto itself. We worked very hard to do that. All we’re interested in is making one singular great movie at a time.
Q : Do you have somebody in the Marvel Universe that you really want to bring in the stories that you haven’t yet?
FEIGE: Well, I used to say Guardians of the Galaxy to that question. I used to say Vision to that question. I used to say Falcon. I used to say Doctor Strange a lot and obviously we’re deep into that with Benedict Cumberbatch now. We start filming in November. So it’s really been amazing. Now it really does come down to very individual and specific characters but, if I say too many of them, it’ll give away exactly what we’re doing with Guardians 2 or with the future ones. It is a testament to the Marvel comics and how deep its bench is that there’s still hundreds of great characters that we haven’t even touched yet.
Q : What was it like to bring in Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch into this movie?
FEIGE: It was great. They’re key Avengers characters in the books, they have a great backstory that we really wanted to explore, and they have a great relationship, the two of them, that we really wanted to explore together. It was one of Joss’s very first notions, probably second notion after Ultron, to bring them in, to bring people in that have a very different viewpoint of the Avengers and who come into the team from a very different angle than any of the other characters.
The other characters were sort of assembled together by Nick Fury in the first movie and Thor obviously came into the mix because of the presence of Loki. And now having characters come in from a totally different side, which is also a very Marvel thing to do. There are a lot of Marvel characters who start on the other side of a disagreement, or the other side of an argument, or the other side of the law that, through a great Marvel redemptive arc, become heroes. And we wanted to do that in an Avengers movie.
Kevin Feige on How It All Started
Q : Were you big in the Marvel comics as a kid, and did you have, like, a favorite character when you were little?
FEIGE: I was more into movies as a kid. I had a lot of favorite movies. I remember a story in particular when I was in the backyard with a bunch of friends of mine when we were eight or ten years old and we were playing super heroes. Somebody had chosen Batman, somebody had chosen Superman, and somebody had chosen Spiderman. I remember going, “Well, I’ll be Iron Man,” because I’d seen him in the reruns of the old ’60s cartoon.
Some kids didn’t even know who he was. I was like, “He’s cool. He’s Iron Man. Trust me.” It was fun bringing him to life after some kids didn’t hear of him when I chose him in the backyard 32 years ago.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON will be in theaters May 1st, 2015!
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I was invited on an all-expense paid media trip as a guest of Disney and Marvel in honor of the Avengers Age of Ultron movie. All opinions are my own.