Marvel Studios has a plan, and Kevin Feige is the man crafting it. In a new feature from Wired, Feige is described as the “architect” behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it’s definitely an apt description.
He is the man who first came up with the idea to make an interwoven Marvel movie universe that started with “Iron Man,” and he’s the man who saw that dream through to completion. After “The Avengers” became one of the biggest movies of all time, it’s easy to see how the studio is eager to move forward with new, bigger ideas. The first installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2, “Iron Man 3,” was already released, and the rest of the Phase 2 lineup — “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” — will come to a head in another massive ensemble superhero flick, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
But that’s not all Feige has up his sleeve. The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues into Phase 3 with the 2015 release of “Ant-Man,” and there are three Marvel mystery movies in the works after that: one being released May 6, 2016, one July 8, 2016 and one May 5, 2017. Feige says his vision for the MCU continues even longer than that.
“I could arguably say what we’re planning for the year 2021,” Feige tells Wired. “Will that happen? I don’t know. But what we planned for 2015 in 2006 is happening.”
Those discussions include talk of bringing characters like Doctor Strange to life, though not as much crossing over with other Marvel characters like Wolverine and the Fantastic Four whose rights are currently owned by other studios. It will be important going forward for Marvel to introduce new Avengers into the mix instead of just reusing their already established superheroes and pumping out sequels to “Iron Man,” “Thor” and “Captain America.”
“Five years ago, looking at our plan, we knew that if ‘Avengers’ was going to work, the movies had to stand alone,” Feige says. “Now we have to prove to the studio that we’re more than just these five characters, these five franchises.”
DC and Warner Bros. are trying to emulate Feige’s winning Marvel formula with the DC universe, but thus far it hasn’t been successful. That might all change with the upcoming “Superman vs. Batman” movie that Zack Snyder announced at San Diego Comic-Con, but DC has yet to reveal if it has an architect similar to Feige hidden up its sleeve. If the studio doesn’t, many involved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are skeptical of DC’s chances of success.
“This has all come together on the shoulders of Kevin Feige. I don’t know if others can do it,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” co-director Anthony Russo admits.