After 20 critically-acclaimed movies in the space of a decade, Marvel Studios is practically in a league of its own when it comes to franchise filmmaking. Not that the industry giant is ready to take its foot off the pedal, mind you.
With another three big-budget films in the pipeline for 2019 – Avengers 4 included – Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is currently presiding over an enviable lineup of comic book movies.
But with so many projects at his disposable, isn’t Feige concerned about the possible onset of superhero fatigue? It’s an issue that has been raised numerous times before, and though it has the potential to stymie the MCU’s runaway success, the Marvel boss recently told Cinema Blend that only by balancing established franchises with new and exciting solo movies will this cinematic juggernaut have the legs to continue.
It’s one of the reasons we’ve expanded to three films a year, is so that we could do the sequels to films that people have responded to — because we love to make continuing stories with characters people have responded to — but also keep doing the stuff that nobody’s ever heard of, and people go, ‘Why are you doing that?’ That’s fun. And that’s what Phase One was built on, Phase Two was built on, Phase Three was built on, is having that… Whenever we announce the next year, two years, three years, five years, whatever we’re going to announce, there will be plenty of those that, maybe people in the know like yourself will know what they are, but the world at large will go, ‘What is it? Why are they doing that? That’s exciting for sure.
That template applies to the studio’s 2019 slate, too. Captain Marvel, a 90s-set origins movie, heralds a totally new MCU experience, before the Powers That Be tread over familiar ground for the back-to-back release of Avengers 4 and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Indeed, mixing the old with the new will always be the Marvel Studios way, according to Kevin Feige.
When you’ve got, what is it now, six, seven separate franchises? It’s part of the scheduling process. Sometimes when people ask, ‘What about this character, what about that character?’ I go, ‘Well, it’s scheduling.’ And they go, ‘What’s he talking about?’ Scheduling. How many years between movies can you have? You know, [Thor:] Ragnarok was four years. There’s four years between, right? He had an appearance in between there. So that seems to be maybe okay – sometimes, though, you want it to be less. Sometimes it can be more.
Now that Ant-Man and the Wasp has begun the one-week countdown, next to tumble off the MCU production line is Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s standalone Captain Marvel movie. Its mission? To introduce the franchise’s strongest ever character.