I received an all expense paid trip from Disney to attend the #ThorRagnarokEvent. The opinions expressed here are my own. Some interview questions and responses have been edited to improve readability.
We had an opportunity to interview Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president, at the #ThorRagnarokEvent press junket. He’s basically like the Walt Disney of the Marvel Universe. He has been involved with Marvel since 2000, where he was an associate producer on the X-Men film. Not going to lie, it was pretty awesome sitting across from the man behind so many of my favorite films. Sitting in a room full of bloggers, I’m sure Feige was prepared to talk about the controversial line about bloggers in SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. In the film, Robert Downey Jr.’s character said, “Behind this door lies a room full of reporters – real ones – not bloggers”. We asked Feige about that line and you can read his response below. Keep reading to get the scoop on AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and if we’ll see a stand alone Hulk film in the future.
Q : Will Guardians of the Galaxy meet Thor in the future?
A: Yes, and it comes out in May of next year.
Q : Is it going to be a major set up or a cameo?
A: No, Infinity War is a pretty major meeting of those minds and we already shot some very fun scenes between them. The cosmic adventurers spend a lot of time together in that movie.
Q: Is that filming in Atlanta?
A: Yes, and we have finished Avengers: Infinity War. They are currently filming Untitled Avengers. We started filming in January of this year and we go through January of next year. Nonstop. Black Panther has started and finished. Ant-Man and The Wasp have started and almost finished.
Q: When is Infinity Wars trailer dropping?
A: Someday. Someday.
Q: Why does this Thor has such a different look and feel?
A: That was our idea perfected and improved by Taika. We wanted to, as we always do in our movies, go to a new place. Go to an unexpected place. Look at what we did with Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, the third Captain American film and with Civil War. We always look at a third film, Infinity War in the case of Avengers coming up, as an opportunity to take what the fans like and take them to a totally unexpected fun place.
Also, Mr. Hemsworth used to say, “Hey mate, Captain America has got Iron Man in his movie, has got Black Widow in his movie, who am I getting? I think he’s right and the fun thing about Thor is that he’s got amazing characters in his own comics – Hela and Valkyrie. Thinking about who else we could bring in from the universe and very quickly we realized Hulk would be that guy. Seeing Thor and Hulk battle it out together is great. Seeing Banner and Thor being fish out of water is even better. Suddenly, you have this great dynamic between them.
Q: What was behind putting the Planet Hulk storyline into this movie?
A: Planet Hulk, in which Hulk finds himself forced into these gladiatorial games, was always a great comic. That image of Hulk with these big battle weapons and that big helmet, we loved. We never really thought we would be able to do it, in large part because Banner is not a part of those comics. He’s Hulk the whole time and we love Mark Ruffalo and wouldn’t want to do a movie without Mark Ruffalo in it. I always sort of thought there wouldn’t really be that opportunity. As we were putting THOR: RAGNAROK together, we realized this is where we could do it. This is how we could do a taste of it. This is not the Planet Hulk story, but it’s certainly the inspiration of getting to see that and even characters like Korg and Miek.
Q: Are there plans for any other stand alone Hulk movies?
A: We love them all. We think it would be fun to bring them to the screen and how we do that, I’m not sure. In terms of stand-alone Hulk movies, there are various contracts with studios that have to be worked out. I’m just so happy that we have the ability to include Hulk in these ensembles and what we already have planned, the arc that started with Raganrak. An enhanced push and pull between Hulk and Bruce Banner continues in the next Avengers film.
Q: Are you looking towards an all female movie?
A: I think we certainly have enough powerful characters to do that. I recently found myself in an undisclosed location and somebody tapped on my shoulder and I turned around and there was Scarlet Johansson, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Tessa Thompson, Pom Klementieff, all asking when are we going to do a movie. So that was pretty overwhelming. Zoe Saldana was also standing there.
Q: Can you comment on the “bloggers aren’t real journalists” line in Spider-Man: Homecoming?
A: That was a ad lib. A comedic ad lib from Mr. Downey. One of the many things he just says. Moments before that, he said something about a human dog hybrid and puppies and who knows what he’s talking about? It’s just funny and when we shot it, it just sort of went past me and we cut it together and only in the early screenings I went – I’m gonna hear about this. And it was just him being funny.
Q: Who is your favorite Avenger?
A: I really don’t have a favorite and I love that we’ve been so lucky that with each release, another one rises to the top. I read comments that now Thor is going to become people’s favorite Avenger after this movie. So the truth is, no, I don’t have a favorite. As we approach our ten year anniversary, it’s impossible not to look back on Iron Man 1 and what Favreau did and what Downey did and continues to do that really is the foundation for everything we’ve done. That experience of Iron Man 1 was our first, so in many ways is the one I look back at quite fondly, but I don’t have favorites.
Q: How do you balance all the films you have coming out?
A: You hire Taika Waititi, you hire James Gunn, you hire John Anthony Russo. I’ve got a incredible team at Marvel Studios [and] each film has a single embedded Executive Producer on it. Brad Winderbaum, THOR: RAGNAROK executive producer, has lived with Taika for the past two and a half years. He moved his family to Australia for months and months. They’re on it the whole time, so I’m always a text or a phone call away of knowing exactly what’s happening anywhere at any given time. It’s a great privilege to have this team in place. Most of us have been together for almost the entire ten years at the studio, which is very unusual in Hollywood. It’s great.
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