One of the major differences between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and virtually every other attempt to build a shared mythology from the ground up in the years since Iron Man first changed the face of blockbuster cinema, is the lack of a Kevin Feige figure ensuring everything pulls in the same direction.
Every major creative decision regarding the world’s biggest and most popular franchise flows through the company’s Chief Creative Officer, who ensures the connective tissue is there, and stops his roster of filmmakers from stepping on each other’s toes. Marvel’s What If…? creator A.C. Bradley recently discovered that firsthand when pitching episodes of the upcoming Disney Plus animated series, after revealing she’d accidentally come up with half of the story from James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
“I walked [executive producer] Brad Winderbaum through all my hard work, only to find out I accidentally pitched the back half of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. ]. So I stay away from Mr. James Gunn and his brilliance and his work, and I did go home after that day and cracked open a beer and be like, ‘Well that’s going to be an amazing movie but now I gotta go back to the drawing board.”
Bradley had spent several days and a lot of hours knocking a story outline into shape, only to discover when she took it higher up the food chain that Gunn was already working on something very similar for the return of his beloved intergalactic misfits.
“He [Winderbaum] went, ‘Oh, yeah, Kevin would love that, that’s half the plot of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘.”
Of course, we won’t even be able to guess what the similarities are until Vol. 3 hits theaters in May 2023 and we can all speculate wildly, but Bradley even went a step further and admitted that during the earliest days of development on Marvel’s What If…? before Avengers: Endgame was released and Thor: Love and Thunder had been given the official green light, she’d additionally pitched Jane Foster becoming Thor, Steve Rogers as an old man and Professor Hulk, so maybe the studio should keep her on board as some kind of soothsayer after her ideas have proven to be so much in sync with what the live-action films are cooking up.