Sometimes interviewing Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige can feel like an interrogation. "Tell us which sequels you're working on!" "Just admit that Dr. Strange is your next movie!" In all fairness, though, Feige is always a total sport about the geek-heavy grilling sessions, and is more than happy to talk about how Marvel Studios has completely reinvented the moviemaking game over the past few years, to the point that all the major studios are now chasing its fresh, inspired ideas.
Superhero sequels are quickly becoming the most successful kind of sequel (if they aren't already), surpassing animated sequels, comedy sequels and horror sequels as a surefire way to strike box office gold, assuming you get it right. For Marvel Studios, it just keeps getting it right, and its latest sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, continues its streak of wildly entertaining superhero movies.
We recently spoke to Feige about all things Marvel and Captain America, and here's a quick, nerdy taste of our lengthy conversation.
The best thing about these Captain America movies...
"Finding different genres to graph our stories on to has been very important to us, and I think the best examples have been the Captain America movies. Very early on we knew that if the first [Captain America] was going to be a World War II movie, we wanted the second one to be like a '70s conspiracy thriller."
Is Captain America: The Winter Soldier more violent than previous Marvel movies?
"I think there's an intensity to the movie, and a relentlessness to some of the action that makes it feel very intense. But in terms of graphic violence, it's no more or less -- and in most cases less -- than some of our other movies. But because it's car chases on the street and it's not iron suits flying in the upper atmosphere, it feels much more real, which was the idea. The idea was to take a supersoldier and place him in this conspiracy thriller, which is why you have the car chases, gunfights and hand-to-hand combat."
The Captain America scene he's been dreaming about ever since he was a young kid
"Cap walking through the Smithsonian is something I've been dreaming about for years and years. I used to go to the Smithsonian as a kid. I grew up in New Jersey, and we'd go down to Washington D.C. and walk through the Air and Space Museum my entire childhood. I always used to think to myself, gosh, what would it be like if you were an astronaut walking through this museum and seeing the capsule that you were in. So it's always been a dream of mine to put a character in a movie in that kind of scenario, and Steve Rogers was the perfect opportunity for that."
What's the latest with Captain America 3 and Thor 3?
"Both are in the very early stages of development; getting scripts going, getting stories going. And it's really not until we're comfortable that we got something, that we're on to something, before we set a date and announce it. But I would see [both movies arriving in the same phase] as a possibility for sure, in the way both Dark World and The Winter Soldier were in the same phase."
Will Marvel have to recast its most popular heroes at any point in the near future?
"Well, I'd argue that Iron Man has passed his part four, and starts shooting his part five in two weeks with The Avengers: Age of Ultron. It is definitely ongoing. The contracts are set, and the general idea of what movies are going to go where is fairly set for the next five to seven years. So I hope I don't have to worry about that anytime soon."
How close is Marvel to announcing a director and star for Dr. Strange?
"Not as close as the rumors would have you believe, but we are absolutely actively taking meetings and honing in on our choice, and I hope we have it soon."
Will Marvel Studios ever create brand new superheroes for its movies?
"Not necessarily when we have thousands and thousands of characters that we haven't brought to the screen yet. There are so many great characters that I don't think we'll need to invent any for the movies. I'd rather the comics invent new characters and develop great stories for them and give us things to adapt in the decades to come."
How different Ant-Man is from The Avengers: Age of Ultron
"I wouldn't describe Ant-Man as a quieter movie by any means, but I would describe it as very, very different [than Avengers: Age of Ultron], just in the way Guardians of the Galaxy in a few months is going to be very, very different than The Winter Soldier. Or how different Dark World was from Iron Man 3. That's very important to us. We like what we're coming into now. How The Winter Soldier is a new story in an existing franchise and Guardians of the Galaxy is wholly new. Next year Age of Ultron is the next chapter in an existing franchise saga, and then Ant-Man is wholly new. I hope we continue that into 2016 and 2017 because I like that as a balance, and as a way of keeping our movies fresh."
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