Disclosure: Disney provided me an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles to help promote Muppets Most Wanted, Captain America and other projects. All experiences and opinions are my own. Yours may differ.
It’s not everyday you get to sit down at The Beverly Hilton and interview the producer of a big action comic book movie – let alone the PRESIDENT of Marvel! But that was one of my days while in California. It was fun to hear from Kevin. I could tell from the conversation that he is a true comic book lover. He loves the Marvel films based on comic books and wants to do his best to please the fans and do the story justice. We mostly chatted with him about the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier (in theaters THIS Friday – April 4) as well as a couple other projects. Some of the questions and answer would be movie spoilers so I’m going to leave those questions out so as to not ruin the movie for anyone!
Q : Can you tell us what comes next?
Uh well I mean I can tell you what, uh, you know, what is actively, we’re actually on. Now we’re, um, spending a lot of, uh, a lot of time now in the cutting room on “Guardians of the Galaxy” which comes out August 1st. We just released the Teaser for it recently. [CLEARS THROAT] And in, uh, about 2 weeks, we start filming “Avengers Age of Ultron”, um, so that’s coming up very fast and that will be the next Movie up in May of 2015. And then in about 10 weeks, we start filming “Ant-Man” with Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd, uh, and that comes out in July of 2015.
We haven’t announced what comes after that in 2016/2017 but we’re actively working on, uh, you know, any number of things, uh, and are beginning to hone in on sort of exactly what the movies will be in — in ’16 and ’17 but it’s slightly too early to talk about.
Q: Marvel is best known for its continuity; it’s all one Universe and you clearly put that in the movies which hasn’t been done before. What problems did you have on the Big Screen vs. the Comics?
Well it, uh, that was one of the reasons to do it, is that those are two of the reasons to do it. It has never been done before which is, you don’t get a chance very often to do something in — in this business that’s never been done before, 100 years of Cinema. Um, and now somebody will point out somewhere they’re done it before but your point is taken. And uh, and um, that is what the Comics have been it was a shared Universe from its inception essentially in the Comics. And when it was sort of Character by Characters, Studio by Studio, that — that was impossible but when we became our own Studio and had, got the financing to do that, it was, uh, the first idea was make a great Ironman movie, um, and the second idea was wait a minute, we can begin to tie these together. Um, and you know, the biggest challenge is making it, making that continuity and that interconnectivity broaden the, uh, the Universe, broaden the — the Audience as opposed to make it feel like a Club, making it fold in on itself and say “Oh you need to know everything that’s going to — to see any of these movies.” We work very hard to make each of the movies feel like a stand-alone movie, um, but at the same time connect in to — to everything else. And that’s, uh, I wouldn’t say that’s the biggest challenge but that’s — that’s been our sort of, uh, our Mission Statement and that’s what we try to stick to.
Q: It seems like villains are being spawned from the superheroes past. Is it intentional that you always incorporate older Superheroes?
Well I think — I think that’s, uh, indicative of our development process. We just believe that’s the best way to bring the Villains into it. It’s more personal in this Movie than in any other Movie because of who the Winter Soldier is but, you know, Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s Father, right? I mean, that’s — that’s Spoiler, Shoot, Sorry. So Sorry. But it’s, uh, that is — that is often times from the Comics, from — from, uh, Mythology. Loki’s been, you know, a foe of Thor’s for thousands of years. Um, uh, but that’s — but that is just, is a wonderful way to link a Hero to Villain. And that’s what we’ve done.
Q: In The Winer Soldier there is a different tone. What made you go with more action, more violence?
Well it was 2 things. I mean one — one was, uh, we always want our Movies to feel differently. We have 2 Movies a year coming out. If they start to feel redundant, they start to feel like Cookie Cutter, um, you know, off the same Assembly line, people are gonna lose interest. And we will lose interest. I don’t want, I’m not interested in making the same Movie over and over again. Um, so it’s very important to us that we mix them up and that they feel very unique, each of the — each of the Films. Um, and we had a wonderful opportunity where you have a Character whose origins were in the 1940s. At the end of that Movie, we reveal that he’s now alive in the present day. He’s got a brief adventure in, uh, in the Avengers Film but doesn’t have a lot of time to — to, uh, to think about his — his current stay where he’s living, he’s got to stop this horrible event from happening.
So now this was the Movie where we got to say OK, here’s Steve in the modern day, let’s do something totally unique and that led us to the notion of doing the Marvel Superhero version of a ’70s Action Movie, a ’70s Political Thriller. Um, and he doesn’t fly, and he doesn’t go visit other Planets so that gave us an opportunity to do the kind of Action that we haven’t necessarily done before in our Movies which is a ground base and visceral, you know, car chases and — and hand to hand combat. Um, and what — what Steve’s Super power is other than sort of his — his strong moral foundation is he’s a Super Soldier. So you know, we always say take the best Olympian in each Field, add 10%, 20%, and that’s what Steve Rogers can do. Um, and we wanted to showcase him in this Movie. And we wanted to put him up against somebody that is — is equal to that, which is what the Winter Soldier was in a bad guy. So it really — it really, I’m glad people are responding to how unique the tone of this — of this Movie and how different, not just from the first Captain America Film but from any of our Movies that it has.
Q: Is there any hope to get other Characters with other Studios?
No I think — I think we’re all, they’re busy making, SONY’s busy working on Spiderman Movies, Spiderman II is coming out very soon. Fox is, uh, is, uh, working very hard on X-Man and they’ve got an X-Men Movie coming out very soon, and we clearly, um, are spending a lot of time, uh, doing our two Movies, two Movies a year. I don’t want to say Never say Never necessarily but I don’t know that that would happen any time soon, and we’re certainly not planning for it. It’s Phase 12.
It was so interesting to hear his answers to the questions. I love how passionate he was about the Super Hero universe and keeping them true to story and connected. It was fun hearing him talk about other projects going on, and his desire to keep future Marvel plans a secret.
Captain America: The Winter Solider is in theaters April 4 – this Friday! Stay tuned for more interviews from the people that made the film!
Be sure to keep up with all the fun posts from this trip including Muppets Most Wanted, Captain America and ABC TV shows by clicking the #MuppetsMostWantedEvent tag!