President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige answers fans’ burning questions
Super fans from r/marvelstudios had a field day when Kevin Feige himself popped into the discussion forum for a Ask Me (Almost) Anything session. Here are some of the most burning questions, asked by superfans and members of the group:
How much did Stan Lee know about Endgame before he passed?
Stan loved to wait to see the final movie at the premiere, so, unfortunately, he did not get to see the finished movie. Stan got a download of the full story the day he came and shot his cameo.
You have been involved in producing Marvel movies since 2000, some of which, Pre-MCU, had missteps. What kind of lessons did you learn from those that helped you create this vision of the MCU?
*Respect the source material.
*Hire passionate filmmakers regardless of how much money their last movie made.
*Hire the best cast regardless of their current marquee value.
What was the hardest “sell”, to executives at Marvel or Disney, over the last eleven years? What was the one thing that you fought for most, that others tried to shut down?
There are always conversations and discussions before a film is made, and for the most part it's been an amazing collaboration, but back when we first started, the two that come to mind from 10 years ago are the casting of Robert Downey Jr. and the decision to make Captain America: The First Avenger a period World War 2 film.
Are there any storylines that you think are “unfilmable”?
Everything is filmable nowadays. It's about finding the most resonant character stories to bring to the big screen.
Do you have any creative regrets with the MCU?
I made a joke once about regretting dying Chris Hemsworth eyebrows blonde for the first Thor, but the truth is it's everything in those films and all the little details: the perfect ones and not so perfect ones, that carried us through to the experience of Endgame. Therefore, I wouldn't change a thing.
How early was the plot of Infinity War/Endgame being planned out?
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.
A while ago, you said you had a meeting with Mark Ruffalo and asked what he wanted out of the Hulk. Can we get more information on what Ruffalo wanted?
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.
Have you considered reviving the "One Shots"?
The best thing about the One Shots is that we got to flesh out other characters. It's tremendously exciting that we now have Disney+ series where we get to do that on a grand scale with many of the characters you know and love.
Have you ever considered doing a cameo as a character you like? If so, who would they be?
I don't like being on camera, but I did cameo in a deleted scene in the first X-Men as a Weapon X technician. I was completely covered in a hood, mask and goggles.
Why was Jon Favreau chosen to direct Iron Man?
Jon Favreau is one of the best storytellers on the planet, and Elf is a stone cold classic.
How far is the MCU planned 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.
Cap lifting Mjolnir was one of the strongest (crowd-cheering) moments in Endgame. Does he become worthy in that moment or has he been worthy for a while since, say, Avengers: Age of Ultron?
We think he was always worthy and was being polite in Age of Ultron.
Are there any plans to incorporate the Ten Rings from the first Iron Man, or the "real" Mandarin teased in "All Hail the King" in the future?
Is there anything, in particular, you and the creative forces behind Marvel Studios consciously do to try to avoid falling into this so-called "comic book movie fatigue"?
Nobody would get fatigued before the creative forces at Marvel Studios who do this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we believe that if we're still taking risks and making unique choices to keep ourselves excited, the audience will feel the same way.
What's your favourite DC movie?
Richard Donner's Superman 1
On a more whimsical note, what is your own personal favourite MCU meme?