Talk about a FanGirl moment when you get to sit down with the Producer of Avengers: Age of Ultron and President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige for an interview, and you get to sit next to said producer and president Kevin Feige.
You also have to love it when the President of Marvel Studios himself, Kevin Feige, says he likes your “I Love Marvel T-shirt.”
On the fact that there is no end-credit scene
KF: Well, why is there no end-credit scene? Well, there’s a mid-credit scene, as we call it, and we’ve always really said it’s not a fast and hard rule that there must be something after the credits, and Joss was a firm believer that we shouldn’t do something that seemed like we were aping the Shawarma scene at the end of it, and that his version of the story really culminates where it does at the end of the film and with the mid-credits. And everything we were thinking of just felt like an add-on that wasn’t worth doing. But that’s one of the reasons why we wanted to get it out there, so people didn’t sit there for 7 minutes and go, “What??”
With all the movies and S.H.I.E.L.D. and everything, how many people are on the team that keeps everything straight?
KF: There’s television division; there’s a studio division, and 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.
On the timeline between the movies
KF: I’m not sure we ever directly say it, but we always sorta thought it. It’s between 6 months to a year, probably a good year after the events of The Winter Soldier. The S.H.I.E.L.D. 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. That scepter—Loki’s scepter—which if you look at the end of the first Avengers movie, the last time you see it, Black Widow is holding it in the shadow of all the Avengers as they’re finally taking down Loki.
In our back stories, clearly that went into S.H.I.E.L.D.-secure vault somewhere, but of course, S.H.I.E.L.D. was not secure, and it ended up in the hands of Strucker at the beginning of this film.
Are we going see Spiderman make an appearance in the Captain America: Civil War?
KF: Well you’ve heard the announcements. 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, about where we’ll see him first.
On having a fan base that can’t wait for the next release from Marvel Studios
KF: It feels great, obviously. I do think that spinoffs and things like that are can somehow get a bad connotation. 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 goes back 50 years and through hundreds of comic issues.
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, and 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. And we often have to go, “Never mind what’s next—take a look at this. Take a look at this.” Because we do want each of the films—and Age of Ultron’s our 11th Marvel Cinematic Universe film—to stand alone, whether you’ve seen the other 10 films or not. We believe each film works as a beginning, middle, end into and unto itself. And we worked very hard to do that. All we’re interested in is making one singular great movie at a time.
Do you have somebody in the Marvel Universe that you really want to bring into the stories that you haven’t yet?
KF: 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; and I used to say Doctor Strange, and obviously we’re deep into that with Benedict Cumberbatch now. We start filming in November. So it’s really been amazing. Now, it 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.
But it is a testament to the Marvel comics and how deep it’s bench is that there’s still hundreds of great characters that we haven’t even touched yet.
What was it like to bring in Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch into this movie?
KF: It was great. They’re key Avengers characters in the books. They have a great backstory that we really wanted to explore; 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, who have a very different viewpoint of the Avengers who 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.
On Marvel Comics and His Favorite Superhero as a Kid
KF: 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, I don’t know, say 8 years old or 10 years old. And we were playing superheroes, and somebody had chosen Batman, somebody had chosen Superman, and somebody had chosen Spiderman and I remember going, well, “I’ll be Iron Man.” I’ll play Iron Man because I’d seen him in the reruns of the old ’60s cartoon.
And some kids didn’t even know who he was. I was like, “He’s cool. He’s Iron Man. Trust me.” So it was fun bringing him to life after some kids didn’t hear of him when I chose him in the backyard 30, 32 years ago. Yeah, yeah, cool. That was fast.
He couldn’t believe how quickly our 8 minutes went by.
Avengers: Age of Ultron—New Trailer
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON opens in theatres everywhere on May 1st!
I’ve been invited to LA courtesy of Disney for a media event. All opinions are my own.
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