Following the big announcement by Marvel Studios in regards to their Phase 3 films' release dates, Kevin Feige participated in a QnA.
Below you can check out the video footage, but you can also read highlights thanks to a user on reddit, Murdockmania.
On a possible Iron Man 4 - If there are more years after 2019 then there will be more possibilities after 2019.
On whether DC's announcement played a part in Marvel's announcment - We wanted to do this at Comic Con this year. Things were not set. Things for Civil War were not set yet, Guardians hadn’t come out yet, the comfort with dating a few of the other movies wasn’t set yet. So the plan has been, since a few weeks before Comic Con when we realized we weren’t going to be able to do everything we wanted to do, is to decide “let’s do either something we haven’t done in a long time, or something we’ve never done.” Which is a singular event, just to announce what we have when it’s ready. I thought that might be early August, or mid-September, it ended up being today.
On Doctor Strange casting - I can say that if it were confirmed, we would have introduced him. I like that Chadwick, for the most part — I think there’s always been speculation on lots of good actors for Black Panther — but I’m glad that didn’t leak in earnest, the way every single other actor in human history that is of a certain age has been for Doctor Strange. So along with everything else, [Doctor Strange] will be announced maybe this afternoon? Next week? Next month? Sometime before the release of the movie.
On a Black Panther appearance before the solo film - With Black Pather, what our little song and dance at the end was meant to signify, and I’ll just clarify it for you: he is definitively a big part of Civil War. We will meet him for the first time in Civil War, in costume.
On Cosmo appearing once more in GotG - The great thing about Guardians is that there’s no lack of characters we can do fun things with. Is Groot going to be small, is Groot going to be big? Is Cosmo going to come back, will he speak? What’s that duck doing? Where’s the Collector? All of those are questions we like having fun with. We developed them, and when Mr. Gunn returns from Tokyo, those will be the questions we start to move through.
On Captain Marvel casting - My guess is rumors will start flying this second. The initial announcements, in terms attachments for that film, will probably be the writer and director announcements, which I do actually expect will be quite soon. In terms of the actress, I think there’s more time.
On the Russos saying that Civil War is highly unlikely - Well, the Russos do a very good job of trying to answer all your questions without giving things away. They are truthful in that it is very hard, and it was very hard. Which is why we couldn’t announce it at Comic Con, and we couldn’t announce it until today. Now it’s a big storyline, of course it is. Winter Soldier is a big storyline.
And let me say, this is the Civil War of the cinematic universe, which will be greatly inspired by the Civil War of the comic universe, but we have a very different continuity going on. So this will be Civil War based off all the other films you’ve seen up until this point, particularly Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron. So I believe Joe and Anthony were being very good and very coy when talking about the difficulty of putting this together.
On future Hulk appearances - I wouldn’t say Hulk is absent from the timeline, I’d say Hulk is going to appear in many of those movies, particularly all those Avengers movies leading up to 2019 and Infinity War. Mark Ruffalo is on board for all those films, and we’re excited to bring him to those films. What happens with a standalone Hulk film? I’ll only say what I would have said about Black Panther last week or Captain Marvel the week before that, or Doctor Strange the week before that, or Guardians of the Galaxy two years ago, or Ant-Man ten years ago: we’ll see. We’d love to do it, we’d love to find the place to put it, but right now, Hulk will be appearing, with his friends, in their films.
On what's next in Phase 4 - I hope fans always have their rumors and their hopes. We’re not going to talk specifically about the story of any of those films, the plot of any of those films, what happens to any of the characters in any of those films. In fact, even to talk about any of those characters, frankly as I just did with The Hulk — who will be involved in those movies will be a bit of a spoiler as to what may or may not happen to them in earlier movies. So let the rumors continue.
On the Russos possibly directing A3 and those Spidey rumors - Anything that wasn’t specifically and obviously revealed today is either not true at all, or is still rumor until it is worked out.
On planning for each phase - I wouldn’t say we set out to say any particular number. Phase One was six films. Phase two — and for those following along you’ll realize that Ant-Man truly is the end of Phase Two and Civil War is truly the beginning of Phase Three — that leaves us with six films in Phase Two. And it is nine films in Phase Three. One of the reasons is that one of the films is being split into two parts: Infinity War. And because frankly, the success that we’ve had, which is beyond our wildest dreams — I mentioned before, ten films, over 7 billion dollars, it is amazing — gave us confidence. And frankly, the studio’s firing on all cylinders right now. We have the absolute best team in Hollywood in front of the camera and behind the camera working on these movies, which made us comfortable for the first time as you saw in 2017 and 2018 that we have the ability to increase to three films a year instead of just two, without changing our methods. That’s why we were able to put in two additional films.
On that Serpent Society joke - There are always plans, but they are mainly jokes. I want to say one more thing about Serpent Society. We had this great idea, right? Because Civil War’s first up, but we don’t want to blow our wad on the presentation with Civil War. Then Mike Shule had the great idea to put Serpent Society on there, and I thought it was awesome and hilarious. And then part of me thought “people are going to love Serpent Society, and think that would be really cool.” But we figured they wouldn’t think it was as cool as Civil War, which is why we did that. But now it’s on the radar.
On possibly hiring women and minorities as directors - Oh we are, and we’re doing what we always do, which is looking for the best filmmakers, the best writers, the best directors possible. So I’m not going to say for sure that we’re going to hire from any one demographic, but we’re meeting a lot of people. Reggie, for one, i’ve known for many many years, and he’s a great guy. I think I’m meeting with him again shortly. We will do what we’ve always done, which is hire what we believe to be the best people to write the films, and to direct the films.
On whether the Netflix shows affect the films - Well, it doesn’t affect my end of things much at all because my end of things is exclusively the features, and Jeph Loeb runs our TV division, which is overseeing Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, and of course all the awesome Netflix series. I have some smaller involvement in Agent Carter, because of Haley and because of Louis D’Esposito did the short upon which the show is based. He directed the pilot, just finished it. It’s awesome, even in its rough form, and I had asked to be a little more involved on that one, so I’m helping them out there. But primarily, and exclusively, I want to make the movies.
On how they're creating the Inhumans mythology to fit the MCU - Well, obviously I know a lot about the Inhumans. Where they fit into the universe… you may find out sooner than you expect to, frankly. I already mentioned in the presentation that there are seeds leading to Black Panther, leading to Wakanda, starting very very soon in things you’ve already seen and will see soon. Likewise, with Inhumans, there may be easter eggs starting before you know it. Will those easter eggs include Fantastic Four? No. They will be introduced into the cinematic universe as it exists at Marvel Studios.
On the tonal changes that are happening with the characters - Well, I like to think it’s a natural evolution based on what’s come before and based on where we want to go. I think in general, the tone of all of our movies are equal parts very serious and very lovingly respectful, and at the same time humorous, and funny, and some more than others. I think that is our default tone. Because that’s the kind of movies we want to go see, and that’s the kind of movie we want to make. Sometimes, as in Winter Soldier, the storyline calls for it to be a little more serious. Sometimes, like in Guardians, there are incredibly emotional moments, and very serious moments, particularly the opening of the film, but also liberties to be much funnier and much sillier. We like having both ends of the spectrum to play with in all of our franchises, in all of our films, regardless frankly, of what the “A” plot is.
On a future adaptation of the Runaways - The Runaways is still an awesome script that exists in our script vault, by Drew Pearce. Frankly the best thing that has happened with that script is that it brought our attention to Drew Pearce, who ended up co-writing Iron Man 3 with Shane Black. We’d love to do something with Runaways some day. In our television and future film discussions, it’s always one that we talk about, because we have a solid draft there. But again, we can’t make them all.
On the challenges of having so many comic book films in the market - I think that’s a challenge that we’ve faced for many many years. My general feeling is: let’s stick to our plan, let’s keep doing what we believe in, let’s keep doing what the audience is telling us we’re doing right. Our plan has never altered one way or the other based on what anyone else is doing. In any genre, frankly, particularly in any other superhero film. In terms of the dating, that’s why we plant flags as early as we do, to mark some territory, so that you can hopefully have some room. But the truth is there are always going to be big movies on almost every weekend. What we’ve found so far is that if the movie delivers, the movie will do well. That’s what we focus on: what we can control, which is the quality of the pictures.
On a Black Widow solo film - Well, frankly, as I said in the presentation, it’s about bringing new characters to the screen. Black Widow couldn’t be more important as an Avenger, herself. Like Hulk, the Avengers films will be the films where they play a primary role. Her part in Avengers: Age of Ultron is very very big, and further develops and further enhances her character. The plans that we have for her throughout the rest of the Avengers saga is very very big, and lynchpin, in fact, to those films. So instead of taking her out there, or instead of doing a prequel, which we haven’t done yet, continuing the forward momentum and the continuity of the cinematic universe. Of which Widow is a key, key part.
On how the MCU Civil War will differ from the books - I don’t want to give too much away, but needless to say, the generalities of the act are the same. Something happens, perhaps it’s cumulative for things that have happened though all of the movies leading up to this point. It has made the governments of the world say “we need to have some oversight of these guys. They need to report to somebody. So it becomes more… it falls under that umbrella, rather than “you have to take off your mask.” It’s not about the secret identity thing, as much as it is about, overall, who reports to who, and who can agree to oversight committee. Because as of now, in Avengers 2, there is no more security council, there is no SHIELD, obviously. Stark is paying for it, Captain America is running it, and things occur that will make governments begin to question.
On the Defenders possibly coinciding with the Phase 3 events - The Netflix series are leading to a Defenders series, and Devin is asking about including them into the features at some point, because Infinity War is going to be big. There are a lot of people from the movies in Infinity War. A lot of it is about space, and a lot of it is about just what happens between now and then. But all of those things inhabit, however far on the outskirts, the same continuity. So certainly that opportunity exists.