Last week at the Thor: Ragnarok Premiere press junket we had a surprise visit from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. It has been a big year for Feige with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok coming out in the same year. There were lots of questions from fellow bloggers in the room, we were in a roundtable setting, but one of the most important, I feel, addressed the issue from earlier this year regarding the comment made by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) about bloggers. If you missed the uproar, you can find more information on it here.
Looking for interviews? Check out my interviews with Director Taika Waititi, Karl Urban (Skurge), and live on Monday at 9 am EST Rachel House (Topaz). You can also check out my coverage of the media press conference, and my spoiler-free review here.
Thor: Ragnarok is in theaters now!
Thor: Ragnarok is an incredible film. Undoubtedly my top favorite along with Guardians of the Galaxy. If you missed my SPOILER-FREE Thor: Ragnarok review check it out here!
In addition to the blogger comment, we had a chance to talk about his big year, how he balances everything, standalone Hulk movies, his favorite Avenger, an all-female hero film and more.
Photo: Allison Waken
Interview with Kevin Feige for Thor: Ragnarok
Kevin on GOTGVol2 and Thor: Ragnarok coming out in the same year:
It’s pretty awesome and I love that littler Peter Parker in high school is in the middle of all that. It’s pretty cool and it indicates what I’ve always wanted people to understand that just because something’s based on a comic doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Doesn’t mean they all inhabit the same exact tone.
On the Guardians of the Galaxy meeting up with Thor:
Infinity War is a pretty major meeting of those minds and Thor, in particular, with the Guardians, we’ve already shot some very fun scenes, between them. The cosmic adventurers spend a lot of time together in that movie.
On filming in Atlanta:
We have finished Avengers: Infinity War. They are currently filming Untitled Avengers and that started in January of this year and we go through January of next year. Nonstop. Black Panther has started and finished. Ant-Man and The Wasp has started and almost finished while that’s all going on.
On Thor’s new look and feel:
That was our idea perfected and improved by Taika. We wanted to, as we always do in our movies, go to a new place. Go to an unexpected place. Look at what we did with Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, the third Captain American film, with Civil War and we always look at a third film, Infinity War in the case of Avengers coming up, as an opportunity to, to take what the fans like, that they’re willing to go with us and take them to a totally unexpected fun place.
Also, Mr. Hemsworth used to say, “Hey, mate, Captain America has got Iron Man in his movie, has got Black Widow in his movie, who am I getting?” I’d go, “I think he’s right”. And the fun thing about Thor is he’s got amazing characters in his own comics, Hela and Valkyrie from his books, from the mythology.
We knew we wanted to bring someone in there. We realized Hulk would be that guy. Seeing Thor and Hulk battle it out together is great. Seeing Banner and Thor being fish out of water is even better. So, suddenly, you have this great dynamic between them.
On bringing Planet Hulk, Sakaar into the movie:
Well, it was always something, Planet Hulk, in which Hulk finds himself forced into these gladiatorial games, it was always a great comic. That image of Hulk with these big battle weapons and that big helmet, we loved. We never really thought we would be able to do it, in large part because Banner is not a part of those comics. He’s Hulk the whole time and we love Mark Ruffalo. We wouldn’t want to do a movie without Mark Ruffalo in it.
As we were putting Thor: Raganrak together, we realized, oh, this is where we could do it. This is how we could do, a taste of it. This is not the Planet Hulk story, but it’s certainly the inspiration of getting to see that and even characters like Korg and Meek who, as performed by Taika, steal the whole movie.
On a standalone Hulk movie:
We love them all. We think it would be fun to bring them to the screen and how we do that, I’m not sure. In terms of stand-alone Hulk movies, there are various contracts with studios that have to be worked out. I’m just so happy that we have the ability to include Hulk in these ensembles and what we already have planned, the arc that we’ve started with Raganrak. An enhanced push and pull between Hulk and Bruce Banner sort of for their body continues in the next Avengers film, in unexpected fun ways.
Photo: Allison Waken
On a film telling the story that bridges the gap between the Avengers and his life on Sakaar:
That would be pretty cool. I don’t know. I think that would probably fall under the solo Hulk area and stuff we’d have to figure out before we’d be able to do that, but you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to see more of that or more of Jeff Goldblum as the Grand, as the Grand Master.
On an all-female hero movie:
I think we certainly have enough powerful characters to do that. When and how, I don’t know, but I recently found myself in an undisclosed location. Somebody tapped on my shoulder and I turned around and there was Scarlet Johansson, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, um, Tessa Thompson, Pom Klementieff all saying, hey, when are we going to do a movie? So that was pretty overwhelming. Zoe Saldana was also standing there.
On the “bloggers aren’t real journalists” comment made by Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming:
That was a ad lib. A comedic ad lib from Mr. Downey that he just, one of the many things he just says. Moments before that, he says something about a human dog hybrid and puppies and who knows what he’s talking about? It’s just funny and when we shot it, it just sort of went past me. When we cut it together and only in sort of the early screenings I went, oh, “I’m gonna hear about this”.
Photo: Allison Waken
On Kevin’s favorite Avenger:
I really don’t have a favorite and I love that. You know we’ve been so lucky that with each release, another one rises to the top and I read comments that now Thor is going to become people’s favorite Avenger after this movie. I love the I’m Mary Poppins shirt and what we did for Yondu and what James did for Yondu.
But I think in the looking as we approach our ten year anniversary, it’s impossible not to look back on Iron Man one and what Favreau did and what Downey did and continues to do that really is the foundation for everything we’ve done. So that experience of Iron Man one was our first, so, in many ways, is the one I look back at quite fondly, but I don’t have favorites.
On balancing all the films coming out:
You hire Taika Waititi, you hire James Gunn, you hire John Anthony Russo. I’ve got a incredible team at Marvel Studios who each film has a single embedded Executive Producer on it who sees it. Brad Winterbaum on this movie, executive Producer on that poster over there has lived with Taika for the past two and a half years, moved his family to Australia for months. They’re on it the whole time. I’m always a text or a phone call away of knowing exactly what’s happening anywhere at any given time.
It’s a great privilege to have this team in place. Most of us have been together for almost the entire ten years at the studio which is very unusual in, in Hollywood. It’s great.
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Looking for all the trailers, posters and images for Thor: Ragnarok
Special thanks to Disney for flying me out to experience the Thor: Ragnarok premiere and attend the press junket, this in no way shaped my opinion in this post.