Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige seems to be making the rounds to company’s favorite news outlets this month in advance of the release of Thor: The Dark World. And piecing those disparate interviews together, one of the biggest takeaways is the emphasis on the next inductees into the Marvel Cinematic Universe
“[Doctor] Strange, as I've been saying for years, is a movie I believe we should make -- we're just figuring out how to make it a great movie. It is in active development right now," Feige said in an interview with Movies.com. "Whether that's one of the movies we announce for 2016 or 2017, we have to see. I think it'll be the middle of next year before we announce officially what the post-Ant-Man films will be.” He gave a similar “talking about 2016/2017 lineup” answer to Movies.com in regards to a female-led film, as well.
Over at Bleeding Cool, Brendon Connelly has been releasing pieces of an interview conducted with Feige last week in bite-size morsels, the first of which being talk about Daredevil and Punisher, two movie franchises which only reason came back into the fold of Marvel Studios.
“We’re trying to figure out what to do with Daredevil now,” Feige said. “
Punisher could show up at one point. You know, once we get characters back into the Marvel fold we don’t want to do something right away, we want to do the smart thing at the smart time.”
Feige went on to say that upcoming Marvel movies will include more Chinese aspects, including “both Asian characters and settings.”
The Chinese edition of Iron Man 3 included an exclusive scene giving more emphasis to the roles of Chinese actors Wang Xueqi and Fan Bingbing.
Speaking of overseas heroes, for the YouTube channel BlackTree TV Feige said that a big-screen adaptation of Black Panther is in the works as well.
“In terms of Black Panther, it’s absolutely in development,” Feige said. “When you have something as rich as Wakanda and his backstory — and clearly Vibranium’s been introduced in the universe already — I don’t know when it will be exactly, but we certainly have plans to bring him to life some day.”
These new solo franchises could well be a part of Marvel’s Phase Three movies, three of which Marvel has announced release dates but no details on the subject matter. Movies.com interviewer Erik Davis pointedly asked when those Phase Three movies would be announced, with Feige saying “Maybe... stuff might happen before that. It's too early to tell."
Davis also asked Feige about the potential for a Marvel super-hero movie featuring a female character in a solo role. The Marvel Studios head said that while “none of them are currently slated,” some female-centric movies were ‘in development.” Feige said that they’ve planned out their movie schedule through the end of 2015, but that after that it’s open to possibilities.
Over at The Huffington Post, Feige talked briefly about the casting of James Spader for the role of Ultron in 2015’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron movie. In an interview with HuffPo’s Mike Ryan, Feige pointedly strikes down the notion that Spader will merely be voicing the character and instead be embodying the character fully in motion capture work.
“Well, I think it will be more than a voice role -- we'll be capturing his face and his body to create a whole performance,” Feige told HuffPo. “He's a very unique and incredibly exciting and unpredictable actor. And Ultron in the comics is a robot, but what's cool about him in the comics -- and certainly how Joss Whedon is interpreting him for the movie -- is that he is much more than just a robot. That he's infused with much character. And I don't want to say too much, but you can imagine James Spader will be very dynamic in his portrayal of this character.”
Feige also says that Spader will not be using a “robot voice” when voicing Ultron.
In an earlier interview, also for HuffPo, Feige was asked about recent rumors and some murky statements about casting for future Marvel movies; namely the role of Ant-Man being fought over by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Paul Rudd, as well as Vin Diesel’s over-the-top online talk about being cast as Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy. Feige says that Diesel’s casting is “close… but not 100 percent yet.” For the casting of Ant-Man, Feige was decidedly non-committal on who’s in the running to play Marvel’s shrinking man, saying that “nothing is true yet” but admitting that he liked Paul Rudd as an actor.
Lastly, Thor: The Dark World director Alan Taylor released a small but tantalizing new piece of information about the recently revealed two post-credit scenes in his movie which premieres in just a few weeks. In an interview with Bleeding Cool, Taylor said that the first post-credits scene was directed by Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn and tie-in with that movie.
“It’s a different tone. I would have shot it differently. But I think it’s cool that it reaches out and touches that other universe,” Taylor said. “That universe is coming. The Guardians universe is really cool and wacky…”