Kevin Feige Gives Updates on Phase Three of Marvel Films
Yesterday, Marvel Studios head honcho gave us more updates on the future of Hulk and Doctor Strange solo films, both of which are in some phase development, with Strange likely to hit in the scheduled Phase Three of films. More from that EW interview has surfaced and we have more information on a few properties that could make a showing in upcoming films and possibly their own standalone movie. There’s a lot of stuff to cover here, so stick with me. You ready?
Iron Man 4
One of the biggest questions coming from the Marvel Studios camp right now is whether or not Robert Downey Jr. will be returning to reprise the role of Tony Stark; a part that seems to be ripped from the pages of our beloved comic books. It’s hard for fans to imagine anyone else taking on the role of Iron Man, but it’s a possibility we may have to face. As it stands now, RDJ’s contract with Marvel Studios is complete and the high-profile actor has made it no secret that he’d like to take on new characters in smaller films. Not to mention, he is getting up there in years in regards to action films (yes, I know there are actors who are older and are still tearing it up on the big screen, but RDJ isn’t an action star at his core). Recently, RDJ said “I’d go start another one tomorrow, but it’s not tomorrow,” Downey tells EW. “ And there are a lot of other considerations. But I also don’t like the idea of leaving people hanging or leaving people in the lurch.” He goes on to say that he’d like to start a new franchise, independent of anything he is doing right now, including his work on Sherlock Holmes.
Feige confirms that Marvel is talking with RDJ in regards to a new contract to return as Iron Man, but he also says that the character is one of those like James Bond and Batman, one that can on and on, no matter who is suiting up. So, after all that, we don’t really know where we stand. I think we can expect to see RDJ one more time in the upcoming Avengers sequel, but after that, who knows.
Daredevil, Punisher, Ghost Rider & Blade
Some good news for hardcore Marvelites in recent weeks, as we learned that character rights for Daredevil, Punisher, Ghost Rider and Blade had officially returned home so to speak. All four of the characters can now be included in future Marvel Studios films, which opens the door to numerous possibilities, including a Marvel Knights film or series of films. But before you get too excited, Kevin Feige has a bit of depressing news.
“So Punisher, Ghost Rider, … Blade, all those characters are back,” Feige told EW. “They all have potential, but I think we need to find the right time.”
It’s good to know that these characters are back where they belong, but it looks as though we’ll none of them are a priority for Phase Three. We haven’t seen Daredevil in about 10 years, when Ben Affleck donned the red leather. Fox nearly had a film get into production as late as last year when Joe Carnahan pitched a gritty, 1970’s-esque style reboot, but the studio ultimately passed and the rights reverted back. Two Ghost Rider films were made, starring Nicolas Cage, both of which failed to capture audience attention and box office success. As for Blade and Punisher, Wesley Snipes found himself in jail and no one else has made an effort to touch the project and Punisher, despite having three films over a near 30 year time-span, couldn’t quite get it right.
Before Guardians of the Galaxy was announced, many fans were hoping that Marvel would be announcing that the Inhumans would be included in the Phase Two set of films. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but stay optimistic, as a film based on the super beings may still have some traction. Back in 2011, Feige told EW that a film centered on the Inhumans, a group of highly intelligent beings that stem from the result of testing, was in the works and he was quite enthusiastic about the idea.
“Inhumans is cool, they’re really great characters,” he said in a recent interview, getting more animated about this title than almost any other he discussed. “The most powerful guy is the king who doesn’t say a word and if he does — lookout. That’s awesome. And the notion of the Terrigen Mists, this notion that you go through and don’t know what you’re going to be on the other side, is incredibly compelling dramatically.”
The idea of this group is a bit out there, but with Guardians in the pipeline, the idea of some of the more “cosmic” concepts from the comics may not seem so out there. After all, if folks can take to an impressively armed, trash-talking racoon and a warrior tree, a group of super-smart aliens shouldn’t be too hard to place on the big screen. Feige goes on to say that a lot of the “craziness that comes with Inhumans, we’ve done in the other movies already,” but the Inhumans would add a new aspect of social drama that we haven’t seen yet in a Marvel film, but Fox’s X-Men has been touching on for a while now.
Back in 2011, a film based on this group of super-powered teens nearly made it into production, with directors and actors being looked at. Series creator, Brian K. Vaughn, had put together a script that was later re-worked by Iron Man 3 scribe Drew Pearce, which caused the project to delay for some time. The characters had a hard time fitting into the planned Phase One group of films, which as we know all lead up to Avengers, and the project was put on indefinite hold, where it has stayed ever since.
“It’s a matter of where it fits,” Feige says. “The way the business is working now, you either have really inexpensive, sort of surprise movies that can come out and be hits, but don’t cost much. Or you have the big giant summer blockbusters that really swing for the fences. Right now, we’re just swinging for the fences every time. Runaways sort of falls in between those, in a way. We just haven’t found where or how to do it… right now.”
There was no issues with the script at all, which Feige and numerous other Marvel folks are still quite fond of. The group was som impressed by it, they hired Pearce to co-write the script for Iron Man 3. There is still hope for this film as Marvel film over-seer Joss Whedon is a big fan of the series and even did an arc for the series a few years back. Anyone know what Whedon has planned after Phase Two and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Feige closed this portion by simply shrugging his shoulders and saying “I’d love to do it someday.”
Not sure if you’ve noticed, but Zombies are kind of a big deal right now. We have Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead on television right now and is extremely popular, an adaption of Max Brooks’ World War Z headed to theaters in a few months and numerous other takes on the the flesh eaters. While it’s a very long shot, EW asked about the possibility of ever seeing the Marvel Zombies run ever adapted for the big screen. Not surprisingly, Feige shot it down fairly quickly.
“I know… Zombies is such a funny thing because its such a cool comic and it’s such a cool idea, but the bigger profile becomes what starts to happen [with fans]”
More specifically, why spend years putting together one of the biggest franchises in history only to bring it to a close with what is essentially a joke. The Zombies run, which Robert Kirkman wrote, is a fun take on the characters, but there are so many other issues you run into, the first being character rights. More importantly though, is the wide array of audience that Marvel’s films have covered, from older fans to younger kids and to all of a sudden place these characters in a zombie apocalypse would alienate many of those fans. As Feige put it: “Are you going to draw figures in chalk with your 3-year-old with Hulk eating someone? Or Captain America with his brains coming out of the top of his head? Probably not.”
That being said, I think if Marvel were to tackle this series with their animation team, they may have something. Not only are the character rights issues pushed aside, you are free to do a lot more in regards to style. I’d like to say get Pixar involved, but something tells me they wouldn’t go for that. One can dream though, right?
Phew! There are your most up-to-date Phase Three plans from Marvel! Are there any of these projects that you’d like to see happen more that the others? This just proves how large of an arsenal that Marvel has to work with and it’s quite encouraging to see them getting into some of the characters and teams that I never thought would ever make it to the big screen. While some of them may never get that far, it pleases me that they are even discussing them.
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Source : EW