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Interview: Kevin Feige On 'Thor: The Dark World,' Firing Carter Burwell & Reclaiming 'X-Men' & 'Spider-Man'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist October 30, 2013 at 4:11PM

Kevin Feige has made a pretty good case for being the most successful Hollywood producer of recent years. The 40-year-old President of Production at Marvel Studios started barely a decade ago, graduating from being Lauren Shuler Donner's assistant to associate producer on the first "X-Men" movie — the film that launched the 21st century wave of comic book film — and since then, has had some kind of role or credit on every Marvel-derived project.
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Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.

"Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D" has done very well so far, and part of the reason is the way it's weaved references to the movies into the episodes. How soon are we likely to see references to "Thor: The Dark World" on the show?
Well, Jeph Loeb, who runs the TV division for Marvel, is in charge of that show, and is doing a great job of overseeing that show, and the studio's involvement in that is limited to them going "Hey, we're thinking of doing something like this, is that ok?" and we'll go yay or nay. But I'll say that it's a smart question, and it'll probably happen sooner than you realize. I think that's part of the fun they're having with that show is that it inhabits the same universe, so if there's a big event, there'll be ripples.

One of the fun things about the Phase Two movies so far is that they're playing with different genres. "Iron Man 3" was very much a Shane Black action movie, "Thor 2" is more hard fantasy, the Russo Brothers have talked about 'Winter Soldier' as a sort-of 70s conspiracy thriller. Has that been a conscious move from Marvel, and is it likely to continue?
It's absolutely conscious.  Number one, I think there are different genres within the comic books. For some reason, novels can be different things and people can accept that, but with comic books, it's as if it's its own genre, when it's not. I just binge-watched "The Walking Dead," which is a great show, based on a comic, which has as much in common with "Iron Man" as "A Christmas Carol" does. Totally different things, both originating from comics. You haven't asked this question, and I'm getting it less and less, which is a good thing, but for many, many, many years, going back to the first time anyone cared what the hell I had to say, ten years ago, people would say, "How much longer is this comic book fad going to last?" And my answer always was as long as they're different, as long as we keep surprising people, as long as they don't become redundant, it could last for a long time. And the key for them not feeling redundant is taking chances, exploring the diversity among the characters, which is why the Phase Two movies are as you've laid out.

Edgar Wright Ant-Man

People are assuming that "Ant-Man" will be more of a comedy, with Edgar Wright directing.
I'll say this only because I think Edgar has said this before in the press: I don't think it's fair to say that "Ant-Man" will be any more or less comedic than our other movies. One of the great compliments we've gotten from the screening last night is how funny 'Dark World' is. But "Ant-Man" is a heist movie, we haven't done that before. And to Edgar's credit, that's what he started doing eight years ago. So it's not like, "Oh, we need a new genre, because that's what we're doing now," that's what it's always been planned to be.

You started your career on the "X-Men" movies. What do you think the chances are of Marvel ever reclaiming those characters, or "Spider-Man" or "Fantastic Four?"
Well, I've gotten into the habit of saying never say never, because when I was starting with Lauren [Shuler Donner, producer] on the first "X-Men" movie, if you'd said "You'll do "The Avengers" someday,' I would not have believed you. But the contracts are such that as long as they keep making those movies, they can keep making those movies. So I don't see that changing any time soon.

Do you think Disney could make them an offer they couldn't refuse at some stage?
Anything's possible, but as long as they keep making the movies, and the movies keep doing well, I don't know what offer they could accept. 

"Thor The Dark World" opens overseas on October 30th, and in the U.S. on November 8th.

This article is related to: Kevin Feige, Interviews, Interviews, Interview, Marvel, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier , Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man


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