By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 4, 2013 at 5:30PM
While Warner Bros. flounders around trying to figure out what to do with "Justice League," Kevin Feige is showing them -- and the rest of Hollywood -- how it's done. With "The Avengers" capping off Phase One of the Marvel cycle by making a billion dollars or so, Feige has led the studio to unprecedented success in a genre that was once considered a risky niche. But for Phase Two he's raising the bar, and getting more ambitious, and that can easily be seen by the decision to make "Guardians Of The Galaxy."
Outside of the diehards, the comic characters aren't part of the pop culture sphere at large, and featuring characters that include an anthropomorphic raccoon and a tree named Groot alongside more traditional looking heroes, it's going to be quite a feat to connect it to the mainstream. But Feige is up to the challenge, but he may have one more hurdle: the upcoming movie apparently mostly takes place mostly in space. Asked by SFX about how "cosmic" the Phase Two films will be, Feige provided a detailed and thoughtful answer.
“['Thor: The Dark World'] and the 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' film certainly are cosmic. 'Guardians' and 'Thor' will take the brunt of the cosmic side of the universe, particularly 'Guardians,' which is 95% in space," he explained. "I think 'Iron Man 3' shows the other side of Phase 2, which is delving deeper into the characters. Throwing them on a much more personal journey."
But perhaps even more intriguing is what may be in store for "Captain American: The Winter Soldier," which could find Marvel tweaking the superhero formula in an intersting way. "Shane Black’s described 'Iron Man 3' as a Tom Clancy sort of political thriller, which I like a lot. We hired our directors on Cap because they loved our explanation that we really want to make a ’70s political thriller masquerading as a big superhero movie," Feige enthused. "Just like with the first film – we got Joe Johnston because we said, ‘We want to do a ’40s World War Two movie masquerading as a big superhero movie.’ I love that we’re doing a sequel to a film that’s a completely different genre than the first film. I think that’s fun. And the comics do it all the time.”
That's certainly exciting stuff, and while many have wondered how 'Guardians' will tie into the inevitable "The Avengers 2," Feige cautions fans. "It’s much more of a standalone film. It takes place in the same universe. And when we’ve been on the other side of that universe in other movies, you might see those characteristics in 'Guardians,' but the Avengers are not involved with what’s happening out there at this time,” he explained.
So not exactly Earth shaking, but interesting nonetheless, and it's certainly intriguing that Marvel are experimenting by tossing genre elements at their superhero characters and worlds. "Guardians Of The Galaxy" opens on August 1, 2014.