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Kevin Feige shares the secrets of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Kevin 2 (1)If you want to know the secrets of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is the man to ask. Kevin Feige is a film producer and president of Marvel Studios. He’s the man capable of breaking the internet with a single mention of Benedict Cumberbatch. That totally happened when he dropped some info on Doctor Strange during our interview. Of course we also talked Avengers: Age of Ultron…

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Why was there no end-credit scene in Age of Ultron?

Well, there’s a mid­-credit scene, as we call it, and we’ve always really said…it’s not a fast and hard rule that there must be something after the credits, and Joss was a firm believer that we shouldn’t do something that seemed like we were aping the shawarma scene at the end of it, and that his version of the story really culminates where it does at the end of the film and with the mid­-credits. And everything we were thinking of just felt like a­ just felt like an add­on that wasn’t worth doing. But that’s one of the reasons why he wanted to get it out there so people didn’t sit there for seven minutes and go, “What?”

How many people are working to keep all of the movies and television series cohesive in the MCU?

Well there’s a there’s a television division; there’s a studio division and there’s a solid brain trust of seven or eight of us at the studio that oversee each of the films. And then beyond that, of course, dozens and then hundreds, and then thousands, eventually, on each production.

Avengers2553ee03b93d6cWhat was the cinematic timeline between the other movies and Age of Ultron?

I’m not sure we ever directly say it, but we always sorta thought it. It’s between six months to a year after­-probably a good year after the events of The Winter Soldier. The S.H.I.E.L.D. has been brought down at the end of The Winter Soldier, after revealing that Hydra had been growing within it, and that there’s a lot of fallout. Some of that is on the television series and some of that we see at the very beginning of this movie-that that cepter­ Loki’s, which if you look at the end of the first Avengers movie, the last time you see it, Black Widow is holding it in the shadow of all the Avengers as they’re finally taking down Loki. Our backstory is clearly that went into a secure S.H.I.E.L.D. vault somewhere, but, of course, S.H.I.E.L.D. was not secure, and it ended up in the hands of Strucker at the beginning of this film.

Do we get to see Spiderman make an appearance in Civil War?

You’ve heard the announcements­ we’ve teamed up with Sony to bring Spidey into our universe and [we’re] doing a new Spidey film in 2017, but I think we’re being less than specific about where we’ll see him first.

How does it feel to have a fanbase who can’t wait for the next movie to be released?

It feels great, obviously, and I do think…that spinoffs and things like that are, when you’re dealing with certain properties…can somehow get a bad connotation of meaning. “Oh, there’s something that had a little story potential that was interesting, so now they’re gonna try to build the whole big story about it.'” Well, at Marvel, their big story is about everyone that goes back, fifty years, and through hundreds of comic issues. So for us, it’s all just-it’s exciting that people… And what’s really exciting is that-the comic fan base was one thing­, it’s the solid foundation of everything we do-but now it’s increased dramatically with the film base and with the film fans, and it gives us a certain amount of pressure and sleepless nights to deliver on expectations each time, but it’s also knowing that people are so excited for what’s next. And we often have to go, “Never mind what’s next,­ take a look at this!” because we do want each of the films and, Age of Ultron’s our eleventh Marvel Cinematic Universe film, and we want each of them to stand alone whether you’ve seen the other ten films or not. We believe each film works as a beginning, middle, end into and unto itself. And we worked very hard to do that. All we’re interested in is making one singular great movie at a time.

Who does he really want to bring into the MCU?

Well…I used to say Guardians of the Galaxy to that question. I used to say Vision to that question.  I used to say Falcon. I used to say Doctor Strange a lot and, obviously we’re deep into that with Benedict Cumberbatch now. We start filming in November. So it’s really been amazing. Now, it does come down to very individual and specific characters, but if I say too many of them, it’ll give away exactly what we’re doing with Guardians 2 or with the future ones. But it’s­ a testament to the Marvel comics and how deep its bench is that there’s still hundreds of great characters that we haven’t even touched yet.

Avengers2553ee0727b9b0What about bringing Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch into Age of Ultron?

It was, it was great. I mean, they’re key Avengers characters in the books. They have a great backstory that we really wanted to explore, and they have a great relationship, the two of them that we really wanted to explore together. And it was one of Joss’s very first notions-probably second notion after Ultron-to bring them in. [They] have a very different viewpoint of the Avengers, [they] come into the team from a very different angle than any of the other characters. The other characters were sort of assembled together by Nick Fury in the first movie, and Thor obviously came into the mix because of the presence of Loki, and now [we’re] having characters come in from a totally different side-which is also a very Marvel thing to do. There are a lot of Marvel characters who start on the other side of a disagreement, or the other side of an argument or the other side of the law that, through a great Marvel redemptive arc, become heroes. And we wanted to do that in an Avengers movie.

Avengers2553ee03e60f65Who was his favorite character growing up?

I was more into movies as a kid. I had a lot of favorite movies… I remember a story in particular when I was in the backyard with a bunch of friends of mine when we were, I don’t know, say eight years old­, ten years old. And we were playing super heroes, and somebody had chosen Batman, somebody had chosen Superman, and somebody had chosen Spiderman and I remember going, “Well, I’ll be Iron Man.” I’ll play Iron Man because I’d seen him in the reruns of the old ’60s cartoon. And some kids didn’t even know who he was. I was like, “He’s cool. He’s Iron Man. Trust me.” So…it was fun bringing him to life after some kids didn’t hear of him when I chose him in the backyard ­ 32 years ago. Yeah, cool.

Kevin Feige

Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters on May 1, 2015!

Photo Credits: Disney and Jana Seitzer of Merlot Mommy

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