A unique insight into Avengers: Age of Ultron from Kevin Feige – Producer & President of Marvel Studios
Interviewing Kevin Feige, producer of Avengers: Age of Ultron and President of Marvel Studios, was such an honor. The movies Kevin has produced have a combined worldwide box office gross of $8.2 BILLION!! Saying that this is an extremely talented individual is putting things mildly. I was excited to hear his insights into the latest Marvel movie and any other fun bits of information he would share with us.
Kevin’s first question was about the end-credit scene, or shall I say lack thereof. We all know them; Marvel movies are known for them. The Marvel movies are the ONLY movies I sit through the credits for, like all of the credits, but I want to confirm that you do NOT need to do that in Avengers: Age of Ultron, there is no end-credit scene. Kevin referred to the ‘credit scene’ that in Age of Ultron as the mid-credit scene. Kevin went on to say that Joss is a firm believer that they shouldn’t do something just for the sake of doing it.
“His (Joss’) version of the story really culminates where it does at the end of the film and with the mid-credits. And everything we were thinking of just felt like an add-on that wasn’t worth doing. But that’s one of the reasons why he wanted to get it out there so people didn’t sit there for seven minutes and go, WHAT?”
Asked how many people are on the team that keeps everything straight between the Marvel movies and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Kevin stated that there is a television division, a studio division and a solid brain trust of seven or eight at the Studio that oversee each of the films. Of course there is also; “Dozens and then hundreds, and then thousands, eventually, on each production.”
When asked how much time, theoretically, lapses between movies, for example in movie time, between The Winter Soldier and the Avengers reassembling in Age of Ultron. Kevin stated that he isn’t sure that it has even been directly said, but they always thought it is probably six months to a year. In this instance, it was a good year after The Winter Soldier before the Avengers come back together to fight Ultron.
There’s been talk of it, so we asked Kevin if Spiderman will be making an appearance in Civil War.
“Well, you’ve heard the announcements – we’ve teamed up with Sony to bring Spidey into our universe and, doing a new Spidey film in 2017, but I think we’re being less than specific about, about where we’ll see him first.”
Talking more to the Age of Ultron and how some people dread spin-offs and sequels, Kevin was asked how he felt about having a fan base that can’t wait for the next release from Marvel Studios?
Of course, Kevin said, it feels great. While some spin-offs and sequels might seem forced, at Marvel their story is different. It goes back fifty years and through hundreds of comic issues, so it’s all very exciting.
“And what’s really exciting is that you know, the comic fan base was one thing- it’s the solid foundation of everything we do, but now it’s increased dramatically with the film base and with the film fans, and it gives us a certain amount of pressure and sleepless nights to, to deliver on expectations, each time, but it’s also knowing that people are so excited for what’s next. And we often have to go, never mind what’s next- take a look at this. Take a look at this because we do want each of the films and, Age of Ultron’s our eleventh, Marvel Cinematic Universe film.”
For Kevin it is very important that each movie stands alone, whether you saw the previous ten or not. As producer, he believes that each movie works as its own beginning, middle and end, by itself. “All we’re interested in is making one singular great movie at a time.”
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are new characters in the Age of Ultron, and we asked Kevin what it was like to bring them in. Not unlike Joss’ enthusiasm regarding Aaron and Elizabeth, Kevin said it was great bringing them in as they are key Avengers characters in the books, with a great back story that they really wanted to explore. Their back story and the relationship between the two of them were key aspects that they really wanted to explore, together. Kevin continued that;
“It was one of Joss’ very first notions, uh probably second notion after Ultron, to bring them in, who have a very different viewpoint of the Avengers and who come into the team from a very different angle than any of the other characters.”
While the other characters were assembled by Nick Fury in the first Avengers movie. Thor joined due to the presence of Loki. However, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch came from a totally different side. Kevin explained how this is a very ‘Marvel’ thing to do. A lot of Marvel characters start on the other side of an argument, or disagreement and even the other side of the law, then, through a Marvel redemptive arc they become heroes. This is what they wanted to do in an Avengers movie, and they definitely achieved that by introducing Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch as they did in this film.
When asked if there was somebody else, in the Marvel Universe, that he would want to bring into the story we were met with a bit of a chuckle from Kevin. He went on to explain;
“Well I used to say Guardians of the Galaxy to that question. I used to say Vision to that question; I used to say Falcon; I used to say Doctor Strange a lot and, obviously we’re deep into that with Benedict Cumberbatch now. We start filming in November. Um, so it’s really been amazing. Now, it, it does come down to very individual and specific characters, but if I say too many of them, it’ll give away exactly what we’re doing with Guardians 2 or with the future ones.”
The extent of the characters available to Marvel Studios is a testament to the Marvel comics and; “How deep its bench is that there’s still hundreds of great characters we haven’t even touched yet.”
As a closing question, Kevin was asked if he was big into the Marvel comics as a kid, and did he have a favorite character? On this both Kevin and I agree, he said that he was a lot more into movies as a kid, I too prefer movies 🙂 . Kevin recalled a childhood memory, he was eight or ten years old. He and his friends were playing super heroes, somebody had chosen Batman, Superman and Spiderman so Kevin chose to be Iron Man, he’d seen him in the reruns of the 1960’s cartoons – one problem – some of the kids didn’t know who he was. Kevin remembers reassuring them that he was cool – He’s Iron Man!
I wonder if any of those kids realized back then that they were playing super heroes with someone who would one day be leading Marvel Studios and creating some of the largest grossing movies of all time. I am sure those ‘kids’ will be heading to see the movie this weekend, who isn’t?! As Kevin Feige said – they make these movies to stand alone, so whether you’ve seen the 10 before, or none of them, head out and watch Age of Ultron – you will NOT be disappointed.
The wait is almost over – Avengers: Age of Ultron will be in theaters TOMORROW!!!!! Yes it is finally May 1st, and I highly encourage you to head to the theater, no RUN, I am confident that you will love this movie, more than the first. I cannot wait to hear what you all thought of it.
Avengers: Age of Ultron in theaters May 1st
DON’T Miss it!!!
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Disclosure: Disney provided me with an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles including travel, accommodations and activities. All thoughts and opinions are my own.