Ever wondered what it would be like to meet the man behind all things Marvel? Well, I got that chance, and it was exhilarating. During the Thor: Ragnarok Event earlier this month, we had a surprise addition to our interview line-up – Marvel President and Producer, Kevin Feige.
We found out about the interview an hour before it happened, so I didn’t get the chance to be nervous, just excited as he walked through the door and sat down in front of us. He answered questions about Thor, Avengers Infinity War, upcoming Marvel films, and even a question about the “bloggers aren’t real journalists” slight from Iron Man in this summer’s Spiderman: Homecoming.
On Thor: Ragnarok
One of my favorite parts of the interview was getting the chance to see how excited Kevin was about Thor: Ragnarok. You could tell by his smile and tone that he thinks the movie is fantastic and is proud to be a part of it. I absolutely love what he said when someone asked how he felt about having Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor both come out this year.
“It’s pretty awesome, and I love that little Peter Parker in high school is in the middle of all that. It’s pretty cool, and it indicates the, uh, what I’ve always wanted people to understand that just because something’s based on a comic doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Doesn’t mean they all inhabit the same exact, um, tone. You know, tonal world.”
I think that’s what works so well about Marvel films – they’re all part of this massive universe and all based on comic books, but they all have their own thing going on. Iron-Man movies feel very Iron-Man, Captain America movies feel very Captain America, and the first two Thor movies felt very similar to one another and totally different than Iron-Man or Captain America.
On that note, when asked about whether the decision to go with a different look and feel this time around for Thor: Ragnarok was Marvel Studios or director Taika Waititi’s doing, Kevin replied,
“That was our idea perfected and improved by Taika. We wanted to, as we always do in our movies, go to a new place. Go to an unexpected place. Look at what we did with Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, the third Captain America film with Civil War. We always look at a third film…as an opportunity to, to take what the fans like, that they’re willing to go with us and take them to a totally unexpected fun place.”
Pretty sure the words “totally unexpected fun place,” came straight from my Thor: Ragnarok movie review!
Kevin went on to add a few more details about adding some friends from work to this newest installment of Thor.
“Mr. Hemsworth…used to say, hey mate, Captain America has got Iron Man in his movie, has got Black Widow in his movie, who am I getting? I’d go ha. I’d go, oh, I know, ha, and I’d go, I think he’s right. I think he’s right. …Thinking about who else we could bring in from the, from the universe and very quickly we, we realized that Hulk would be that, would be that guy. Seeing Thor and Hulk battle it out together is great. Seeing Banner and Thor being fish out of water is even better.
So, suddenly, you have this great dynamic between them, so we decided well, I guess Hulk, uh, when we last saw him [in Avengers: Age of Ultron] on a Quinjet heading up into the atmosphere, he kept going. And he got caught in a worm hole and he ended up on Sakaar.”
I mentioned this in my Thor: Ragnarok movie review but in my opinion, the best part of the entire movie is that dynamic between the two. Seeing Thor + Hulk together on-screen is almost as fun as seeing the two playing around together off-screen.
Another blogger asked about how Planet Hulk and Sakaar from the comic books played into Thor: Ragnarok. I love Kevin’s response on this one.
“That image of Hulk with these big battle weapons and that big helmet, we loved. We never really thought we would be able to do it, um, in large part because Banner is not a part of those comics. He’s Hulk the whole time, and we love Mark Ruffalo. And we wouldn’t want to do a movie without Mark Ruffalo in it, so, so I always sort of thought there wouldn’t really be that opportunity. As we were putting Thor: Ragnarok together, we realized, oh, we could, this is where we could do it. This is how we could, you know, do a taste of it. This is not the Planet Hulk story, but it’s certainly the inspiration of, of getting to see that.”
We all had to laugh at Kevin’s comment about loving Mark Ruffalo less than 24 hours after Mark accidentally live streamed the audio of the first 10 minutes of Thor: Ragnarok during the Thor: Ragnarok red carpet premiere. Looks like they laughed that mistake off and Hulk/Mark Ruffalo won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Good thing because I’m a huge Mark Ruffalo fan too!
On Avengers Infinity War & the Untitled Avengers Movie (possible small spoilers…)
One of the best parts of the interview was that without giving us any real spoilers, Kevin was able to give us a little more insight into the storyline and what’s going to happen in Avengers: Infinity War.
When asked about the possibility of Guardians of the Galaxy meeting Thor in the Marvel universe Kevin’s response was quick.
“Yes, and it comes out in May of next year. Infinity War is a pretty major, uh major meeting of those, of those minds, um, and Thor in particular with the Guardians. We’ve already shot some very fun scenes, uh between them. The cosmic adventurers spend a lot of time together in that, in that movie.”
Anyone else excited about a Star Lord + Thor meeting and collaboration? Two of my favorite Chris’ working together for the good of the galaxy! I for one can’t wait to see what they do with the cosmic characters!
Kevin also referenced Hulk and a fun insight into Hulk’s character in Infinity War. In Thor: Ragnarok there’s kind of fight between Hulk and Bruce Banner for control and that apparently continues in Avengers: Infinity War.
“An enhanced push and pull between Hulk and Bruce Banner sort of for their, for their body continues in the next Avengers film, in, in, I think unexpected ways.”
When speaking about the different look and feel of Thor: Ragnarok in comparison to the first two films, he also mentioned,
“We always look at a third film, Infinity War, in the case of the Avengers, as an opportunity to, to take what the fans like, that they’re willing to go with us and take them to a totally unexpected fun place.”
Unfortunately Kevin wasn’t able to give us a spoiler as to when the Infinity War trailer will drop, but did mention that Infinity War has finished filming and Avengers Untitled began filming in January of this year and will continue through January 2018. For other 2018 Marvel Studios films, Black Panther has finished filming, and Ant Man and the Wasp started filming this summer and has about four weeks of filming left. I’m sure hoping that the Infinity War trailer is one of the previews when Thor: Ragnarok comes out November 3rd!
On Future Marvel Films
During the interview, Kevin was asked a number of questions about possibilities for upcoming Marvel Studios films. When asked about the possibility of a stand-alone Hulk film, introducing other Hulk characters such as She-Hulk or Red Hulk, or getting the chance to see more of the Hulk Sakaar storyline, Kevin told us,
“We think it would be fun to, fun to bring them to the screen, and how we do that, I’m not sure. There are various contracts with studios that have to be worked out [talking about a stand-alone Hulk movie]. I’m just so happy that we have the ability to include Hulk in these ensembles and what we, what we already have planned, the arc that we’ve started with Ragnarok, that you saw.”
He also mentioned that seeing more of the Sakaar storyline would be pretty cool and that you wouldn’t have to twist his arm to see more of Jeff Goldblum as the grand master. I totally agree with you on that one Kevin. You can read my full Thor: Ragnarok movie review for more of my thoughts on Jeff Goldblum’s performance!
When we asked about the possibility of an A-force, all female film, Kevin’s response and tone were a little more optimistic.
“I think we certainly have enough powerful characters to do that. Uh, when and how, I don’t know, but I recently found myself in an undisclosed location. Somebody taps on my shoulder, and I turned around and there was Scarlett Johansson, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, um, Tessa Thompson, Pom Klementief, uh, all saying, hey, when are we going to do a movie? So that was pretty, that was pretty overwhelming. Zoe Saldana was also standing there.”
With such a powerful cast of female characters, I’m sure hoping they’re powerful enough to convince Marvel Studios an all-female movie needs to happen. Talk about amazing.
Kevin let us in on his secret to being able to balance so many projects at once,
“You hire Taika Waititi, you hire, you hire James Gunn, you hire John Anthony Russo, and we have, I’ve got an incredible team at Marvel Studios who, who each film has a single executive producer on it who sees it. Brad Winterbaum on this movie [Thor: Ragnarok], executive producer on that poster over there that has lived with Taika for the past two and a half years. Uh, uh, moved his family to Australia for months and months. They’re on it the whole time, so I’m always a text or a phone call away of knowing exactly what’s happening anywhere at any given team.”
He also sang the praises of the other members of his team at Marvel Studios.
“It’s a great privilege to have this team in place. Most of, most of us have been together for almost the entire ten years at the studios, which is very unusual in, in Hollywood, It’s great.”
Marvel Studios is celebrating 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2018, and it’s going to be one heck of a year with Black Panther, Avengers Infinity War, Ant Man and the Wasp, and who knows what else they have planned.
If you’re not a blogger, you very well may not have even noticed the blogger outrage this summer when Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man casually made a comment in one of the final scenes of Spider-Man: Homecoming that there were journalists waiting for Peter Parker, real journalists, not bloggers. With the President of Marvel Studios in the room, we had to ask about the comment. Kevin’s response was refreshing and hopefully will clear the air for the bloggers who were offended by said comments.
“That was a ad lib, a comedic, comedic ad lib from Mr. Downey. Uh, that he just, one of the many things he just says. Moments before that, he says something about a human dog hybrid and puppies and who knows what he’s talking about. It’s just funny, and I, and when we shot it, it just sort of went past me, and we cut it together and only in the early screenings I went, oh. I’m gonna hear about this. And it was just him being funny.”
While I wish they’d caught it when Mr. Downey first said it and removed it from the script, I wasn’t personally offended by the remark. I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it if the blogging community hadn’t gone crazy about it. It seemed like a very Iron Man thing to say to me, and it’s not the first negative remark or jab made at bloggers on-screen.
I personally feel lucky every single day that without an actual background or degree in journalism, I get the opportunity to do what I do. I mean I was sitting in a room with the President of Marvel Studios getting the chance to ask him questions in an exclusive interview, something very few people in the world will get to do. I work my butt off on my blog, but would I ever write on a resume that I’m a journalist, not a chance. Would I write that I’m a professional photographer? A social media manager? A professional writer? No, even though I do all of those things. What I am is a business owner, an influencer, and someone who is happy to have the chance to share my thoughts and ideas from my little corner of the internet. I’m doing what I love, getting the chance to do amazing things, making a full-time income, and doing it while raising my son from home. It’s an amazing opportunity and one little comment in a Spider-Man movie isn’t going to make me feel any worse about that.
The best part of Kevin’s response for me was that when he said, “I’m gonna hear about this.” That to me says volumes about how important bloggers are to Marvel Studios and says much more to me than Iron Man’s remark in the movie. He recognized the remark, he realized that bloggers are a part of his advertising network, and he understood why the remark might seem controversial. At the end of the day, it was just an ad lib joke that at some point, I hope we can all just laugh about. Kind of like the hundreds of lawyer jokes my husband has heard since graduating from law school.
THOR: RAGNAROK Synopsis
In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk! “Thor: Ragnarok” thunders into U.S. theaters on November 3, 2017. Watch the latest trailer below then read my spoiler-free full review of Thor: Ragnarok here.
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THOR: RAGNAROK opens in theaters everywhere November 3rd!