Kevin Feige has been the driving force of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since its inception. The man got his start in Hollywood as Lauren Shuler Donner’s assistant prior to being named an associate producer on Fox’s first X-Men film. Why was he given the title? For being a comic book geek and nothing more. Since then, Feige took what he learned on Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films and any and all adaptations made under 20th Century Fox and applied it to Marvel’s first independently produced project, Iron Man.
You know the rest. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is now 13 films strong with no less than nine more in the pipeline, not to mention the various TV series on ABC and Netflix. During a recent Academy screening of Captain America: Civil War, Feige took a moment to reminisce about the journey of the MCU and his thoughts on how far it’s come. From Collider:
“Kevin Feige stated the Marvel films he’s most proud of are all the Phase One films. Before Phase One, Iron Man, Captain America , and Thor were secondary characters that nobody knew of and the press discounted – so the fact Marvel was able to re-introduce and popularize these characters was an achievement unto itself.”
He also expressed his enthusiasm for the very film screened and why he feels Civil War works.
“If the audience leaves arguing over who was right [Captain America or Iron Man], then we’ve been successful.” When Feige and the Russo Brothers finally tested the movie and got a split reaction from the audience, they knew the cut was really working.”
The comic book storyline from which the film takes its inspiration took a more one-sided approach to the conflict at hand, a registration of superhero secret identities as opposed to government supervision, and most readers came out on Captain America’s side. For the film, Marvel targeted a more personal conflict and Feige is obviously proud of the results.
Still, despite all he’s accomplished, it feels there is one Phase One film in particular that rubs Feige the wrong way, The Incredible Hulk.
“When pressed on his biggest disappointment during his tenure at Marvel, Feige diplomatically sidestepped the question but did offer that, “Mark Ruffalo’ s Hulk portrayal set a lot of things right in a way that made us all very happy.”
Edward Norton played the role of Bruce Banner in the 2008 Louis Leterrier directed film which was distributed by Universal Studios rather than Paramount as Disney had yet to acquire Marvel Studios. Mark Ruffalo’s attainment of the role wasn’t the first recast for Marvel as they had already refilled the role of James Rhodes/War Machine with Don Cheadle following the departure of Terrence Howard. While Norton’s performance was by no means poorly received, Ruffalo’s portrayal seems to have stuck with fans in a way Norton’s simply did not.
In addition, the screening at hand garnered much talk regarding visual effects and sound so expect to see Captain America: Civil War at the ceremony come February. The film is now available on DVD/Blu-ray. Marvel’s next film, Doctor Strange, hits theaters on November 4.