Kevin Feige has been particularly chatty as of late. Marvel‘s movie boss has taken on a string of interviews in the past few weeks, taking the opportunity to provide updates on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including some particularly juicy comments about the ‘Avengers‘ movies and where the Marvel universe as a whole might head at the conclusion of Phase 3. And while that might be the more enticing storyline, let’s begin with the (relatively) smaller piece of news.
In a conversation with Collider, Feige provided a few updates on the production of “Avengers: Infinity War” and let it slide that the studio was no longer looking to shoot it back-to-back with the yet-untitled “Avengers 4.” Quoth the Feige:
We’re doing them one right after another… It became too complicated to cross-board them like that, and we found ourselves — again, something would always pay the price. We wanted to be able to focus and shoot one movie and then focus and shoot another movie.
This is a totally understandable approach for Marvel to take. While back-to-back shoots became popular in the early 2000s — with Peter Jackson‘s ‘Lord Of The Rings‘ trilogy and the Wachowski Sisters‘ ‘Matrix‘ sequels both benefiting from the practice — the Marvel universe must be a logistical nightmare compared to those films. “Avengers: Infinity War” will feature anywhere between six and eight bonafide movie stars — not “good actors,” not “interesting talents,” but international stars — and trying to build a shooting schedule around them while also bringing together the disparate storylines introduced after “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” sounds like a real headache. Good on Marvel for bailing on the approach before it became a problem.
The big news, though, is Feige’s comments on the post-“Avengers 4” MCU. Feige spoke with Collider again about the direction the studio might head after their Phase 3 movies had come to a close, and Feige admitted they may decide to go in another direction entirely:
We’ve been lucky that [contract expirations] haven’t factored in too much. We’ve had people under contract for certain films, then we’ve had new ideas and new directions like Civil War like we wanted to do, and we’ve been lucky enough to make new contracts. Or Spider-Man: Homecoming, the cast has been awesome in their enthusiasm for the direction and the storylines that we’ve been telling. So it really does, right now, all start with where we wanna take the stories. Certainly as we get to Infinity War there is a sense of a climax if not a conclusion to, by the time we’re at untitled Avengers 4, the 22 movies that will have encompassed the first three phases of the MCU. And what happens after that will be very different. I don’t know if it’s Phase 4, it might be a new thing.
That’s a twist. Look, Marvel was always going to have a tough time pivoting from its old cast to its new one, with a combination of age (Robert Downey Jr.?) and the desire to do something else (Chris Evans?) causing the core Marvel actors to eventually move along to greener pastures. While I’m sure Feige and his team are farther along into discussions about the post-“Avengers 4” universe than he’s letting on, it’s good to hear that Marvel is entertaining a variety of different approaches. I’d love to see the Marvel pass the baton to a younger generation rather than reboot the darn thing, but if Marvel wants to get funky with the alternate Earths or something, I’ll refrain from passing judgment until I see what’s on their mind.