Kevin Feige Excitedly Talks Future Projects and The Avengers
Yes, it's true that the long awaited mega superhero flick The Avengers is set to be released in May of 2012. While two years may seem like an eternity to wait for what promises to be one of the most epic comic book adaptations of all time, it's a pitifully small increment in Hollywood time, and it's never too early to start looking toward the future. Cue Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige who sat down with SFX Magazine (via Superhero Hype) and talked about laying the foundation for The Avengers by way of both Iron Man movies, Thor, Captain America and, yes, The Incredible Hulk who, Feige confirmed, will be in Avengers.
This is the first official word from anyone in the Marvel camp that Hulk would indeed be appearing in The Avengers. Feige says the five film set-up leading into The Avengers is important but he doesn't want to lose sight of the individual characters:
"My only concern is that when we launch a franchise--whichever character's franchise that may be--it should stand on its own two feet… So by the time 'The Avengers' comes in 2012, it's not just a team superhero movie with a bunch of characters with powers. It's three people- four including the Hulk; five including Nick Fury- who you've seen before in other movies, coming together for the first time."
Of course all this planning has quickly become extremely fun, and although they're introducing characters (especially in Iron Man 2) who will take up valuable screentime, Feige says they're wise to not let it get too convoluted ad reinforces their respect of each franchises' individual boundaries:
"It's fun now, and we're introducing some new characters in ['Iron Man 2']. But it's not about just cramming in lots of new people; that's sort of the cardinal sin of the sequel - adding in too many characters. This is totally Tony Stark's story. And that's gonna weave into Thor's story, and Steve Rogers' story, and it's already ingrained with Nick Fury's story and and organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D."
Feige went even further to talk about bridging the gap between a seemingly ancient, low-tech hero like Thor, and the modern, tech-savvy hotshot that is Tony Stark's Iron Man:
"…we're doing the Jack Kirby/StanLee/Walt Simonson/J. Michael Straczynski 'Thor.' We're not doing the blow-the-dust-off-the-old-Norse-book-in-your-library 'Thor.' And in the 'Thor' of the Marvel Universe, there's a race called the Asgardians. And we're linked through this Tree of Life that we're unaware of. It's real science, but we don't know about it yet. The 'Thor' movie is about teaching people that."
I don't entirely grasp what all that Tree of Life business is about (anyone speak Na'vi around here?), but I like where his head is at. I also like that even though all this meticulous planning of tentpole comic book flicks is leading to one massive tentpole, not only in fanboys' pants, but in theaters, too. But like I said, it's never too early to start thinking about the future, and Feige is already looking beyond The Avengers. Not only does he mention the possibility of another Hulk, but expanding further into the Marvel Universe:
"I'd love to break into the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe even more- it's kind of there in 'Thor.' J.J. Abrams' 'Star Trek' got me jonesing to do that. It's what I grew up on - 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars.' I want to do a big space epic. And we've got them in Marvel."
It sounds like DC Comics will beat them in the comic book space race with Martin Campbell's talk of Green Lantern definitely spending a significant amount of time in space, but I'm crazy about all of these plans that Feige mentioned. I just love the idea of weaving the intricacies of the established Marvel Universe right into their world's that we see realized on the big screen. Seeing a translation of superheroes to screen on this scale is something I never thought would be possible, and I'm just glad to be right in the thick of it, foaming at the mouth for more. For now we've got Iron Man 2, due out on May 7th. Are you guys just as excited?