Entertainment Weekly‘s inaugural CapeTown Film Fest kicked off Tuesday night at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre with a special early screening of Iron Man 3, the first film in Phase Two of Marvel’s cinematic universe. Attendees were treated to a special Q&A between EW writer/CapeTown chieftain Geoff Boucher and Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, the lead architect of the whole Avengers multi-movie saga. Feige (above left, with Boucher) revealed some choice bits about the series’ past and future — read on for choice excerpts!
The Mandarin was almost the villain in Iron Man 1 and 2. Feige laughed remembering how, at Comic-Con 2006, Favreau announced officially that the villain of the first Iron Man film would be The Mandarin. “We didn’t know how to do it,” Feige said. “With the help of Shane Black, we came up with a nifty version.”
Ant-Man has been in the works for a long, long time. Feige recalled attending that same Comic-Con the directors of three upcoming Marvel Studios films: Jon Favreau, Louis Leterrier, and Edgar Wright. “Jon talked about Iron Man, Louis’ film was The Incredible Hulk, and Edgar’s was this movie we were going to do right away called Ant-Man. It’s been a little delayed,” he deadpanned, “But it’s actually happening!” (The film is currently slated for November 2015.)
He is very conscious of Threequel Syndrome. While discussing Iron Man 3‘s Christmas setting, Feige noted the studio’s intention to shake up for formula in Tony Stark’s third solo adventure. “This is Marvel Studios’ first Part Three. It’s my first Part Three as a solo producer. But I’ve been a part of other Part Threes that I don’t think people [consider] tremendous successes.” (Specifically, X-Men: The Last Stand and the perhaps-not-so-bad Spider-Man 3.) “There, I witnessed what I thought were pitfalls we should avoid. And one of them was not taking a risk to do something different, to take a chance with the formula. Hiring Shane Black was a big part of that.”
Phase Two is progressing at a steady pace. “Thor has finished filming, and we’re in the cutting room now,” he said. “I was in editorial for most of the day on that movie. Right downstairs, below editorial, are stages in Manhattan Beach where Captain America: The Winter Soldier is filming right now. This is the middle of our fifth week of production on Cap.” With regards to Phase 2 wild card Guardians of the Galaxy, Feige is excited by the prospect of quickening the pace established by the Avengers mega-franchise. ”Avengers was a nice slow burn, introducing characters and leading up to a movie with all of them in it. I really liked the idea of going to the other side of the universe and building a team in a single movie.”
On the possibility of a Marvel film focused on a female character. “We have a number of candidates from the comics and from the movies we’ve already made. It’s just a matter of finding the right storyline, the right filmmaker, the right time.” Someone in the audience yelled “She-Hulk!” Feige responded, “She-Hulk would be pretty great.”
Don’t expect a Daredevil reboot anytime soon. Screen rights for the blind superhero returned to Marvel Studios recently, but Feige didn’t indicate any movement on a new adventure for Daredevil anytime soon. “There comes a time in contracts where, if a studio is done making the movies, [the characters] come home,” he explained. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to make another movie. But it means they’re back in the fold, which is where we want them to be.” Phase four, maybe?
And don’t expect too many Avenger crossovers in the solo films. “Phase One was about convincing moviegoing audiences that this universe is connected,” he explained. “Phase Two, especially at the beginning with Iron Man 3, is to show that they’re just as cool by themselves.”
Stay tuned for more updates throughout the week from EW’s first-ever CapeTown Film Fest. You can learn more about the fest by clicking here. If you’re in the LA area, you can still buy tickets for movies like Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, The Goonies, Twelve Monkeys, and The Thing, with special guests like Edgar Wright, Richard Donner, Terry Gilliam, and John Carpenter.
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