It's hard to believe that its only been 10 years since Marvel Studios launched their cinematic universe with the Robert Downey Jr led 'Iron Man'. In the years since they've followed up with gigantic, worldwide hits such as 'Incredible Hulk', 'Avengers: Infinity War' and 'Black Panther.' Arguably the man most responsible for their success has been studio boss Kevin Feige.
He sat down for a podcast interview with Variety recently and began by discussing the unexpected success of the studio over the last decade.
“It’s surreal,” Feige says. "In one way it’s incredibly satisfying. In the other way it’s nearly unbelievable from where we started. There were days when I wasn’t sure we would be able to get ‘Iron Man’ in theaters. There were days when I thought ‘Avengers’ was a pipe dream. And there were days after ‘Avengers’ where I thought, ‘Well, where do we go?'”
Feige also spoke about the phenomenal success of 'Black Panther' and working with a relatively young and inexperienced director in Ryan Coogler.
“With what Ryan was doing, what he had to say, and vouching for crew members that we had not worked with before but that he believed in — he came in and blew us away with initial sort of presentations to get the job,” Feige says.
“For them to have stepped up and knocked it out of the park the way they did is incredible. It comes down to a filmmaker who has such a deft hand at being able to balance something that is going to have entertainment value with being true to his soul and being true to the questions he had growing up,” he said.
Perhaps the question that Feige is asked most is when Marvel will gain the rights to the likes of X-Men and Fantastic Four following the upcoming merger of Disney and Fox in 2019.
“We’ve been told it’s looking very, very good and could happen in the first six months of next year,” Feige says.
“The notion of the characters coming back is great. It’s nice when a company that created all these characters can have access to all those characters. It’s unusual not to. But in terms of actually thinking about it and actually planning things, we haven’t started that yet.”
You can listen to Playback, the Variety/iHeartRadio podcast with Kevin Feige in full here.