Kevin Feige On How ‘Guardians’ Impacted ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ And The MCU

Kevin FeigeMarvel Studios President Kevin Feige has opened up on how the success of Guardians of the Galaxy has paved the way for the studio to take risks at the box office, a rarity in the landscape of today’s entertainment industry.

The trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, the third film in Marvel Studios’ franchise about the Norse god, was released to rave reviews recently, evoking many popular traits of its cosmic cousin, the Guardians of the Galaxy (of which the sequel hits theaters in two weeks) – set to a classic rock song, eye-popping visuals, and a quirky sense of humor.

In an interview with Heroic Hollywood founder and editor-in-chief Umberto Gonzalez, the Marvel Studios maestro elaborated on what the success of James Gunn’s space opera allowed the MCU to do that it couldn’t have done otherwise. Namely, allowing them to take more chances on Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, and next year’s Avengers: Infinity War:

“Well, I think I would say it’s, and as people see more of Ragnarok, it’s a Taika tone more than a Guardians tone. He’s really adding a very unique point of view to it, but certainly the success of Guardians just boosted our confidence to continue to go in new, fun, weird directions, and I think that led to Doctor Strange and certainly, ultimately, leads to the things we’re doing in Infinity War. You know we did the comic books as you well know do all sorts of fun, mind-bending, trippy storylines that you really hadn’t seen in any movies until we started scratching that surface with Thor and a little bit more in Avengers. A little bit in the quantum realm of Ant-Man. It was really Guardians and then Strange and now Guardians 2 which is saying, “Okay, the audience is gonna stay with us on this.” Why even attempt to make a movie out of the infinity gauntlet if you can’t really do a lot of the crazy things that happen in that Jim Starlin imagination.”

Feige broke down how the success of the Guardians of the Galaxyboosted [their] confidence . . . to continue to expand and do really unique and really different tonal things, and also that – which was always something we really believed but it was certainly firm proof – that the popularity of a character in publishing in no way indicates the future success of movies. You don’t need to have … And I think Iron Man proved that and Thor proved that. The character doesn’t need to have been one of the most popular characters ever in our comics as long as they’re just a cool idea. You could make a great movie.

Amen to that, Mr. Feige. He also clarified that Marvel’s presentations at Comic-Con and Disney’s own convention D23 would be different, though he was tight-lipped about what:

“There will be. There will be a difference. But I want to save it for that day, so we’ll focus on different things.”

Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters November 3. As always, Marvel has a ton of plates spinning. Spider-Man: Homecoming arrives July 7. Black Panther just wrapped filming this week for release next February while Avengers: Infinity War is shooting all year, back-to-back, with Avengers 4. Also this week, the studio hired Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden to co-direct Captain Marvel, with filming due to begin also next February. Ant-Man and the Wasp is in pre-production for a summer shoot. A Homecoming sequel and Guardians, Vol. 3 are also planned.

10 Highlights From The ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Teaser Trailer

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Thor Ragnarok 12The first official teaser trailer for Marvel’s upcoming Thor: Ragnarok hit the web, and boy does it look incredible. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn recently proclaimed that the trailer was the best Marvel trailer ever made, and after seeing this new footage it’s hard to disagree. It also helps that this trailer takes some advice from the Guardians playbook thanks to perfect usage of Led Zepplin’s “Immigrant Song”.

This incredible new teaser showcases that filmmaker Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows and Hunt for the Wilderpeople) is going to bring quite possibly the most unique film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The kinetic visual style and the infectious energy seems to surpass both Thor and Thor: The Dark World combined.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at 10 of the most exciting highlights from the newest teaser for Thor: Ragnarok. 

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Sam Flynn

Sam Flynn

Sam is a writer and journalist whose passion for pop culture burns with the fire of a thousand suns and at least three LED lamps.

  • The original Guardians film was a wonderful, pleasant surprise. But copying that style in vol. 2 and now Thor Ragnarok is actually NOT risk-taking given the extraordinary popularity of GotG. Don’t get me wrong–I love me some GotG. And I’m eagerly looking forward to vol. 2 (and 3) and Thor Ragnarok. But only the original GotG can really be said to have been a risk.

    • Ruben C Barron

      What a lot of people don’t understand is that Thor: Ragnarok isn’t copying the style of Guardians. It’s embracing the style of Jack Kirby who is responsible for some of the most exciting, albeit strange/weird, concepts and characters from both Marvel and DC. Guardians showed that people would accept more of what Jack Kirby is known for and support it with their wallets. So now you can get more of those weird space stories. The tone is associated with Guardians because it was the first to do it, but it’s actually the tone of Marvel’s cosmic universe that is 100% Jack Kirby’s style.

      • Yeah, we have to see the film, obviously! Right now the associations seem to be strongly with GotG for understandable reasons (e.g., literally brightly colorful, humorous, set in space, etc.) But yeah, once we actually see the film the Kirby influences may well be much more clear as the chief inspiration. Great point!