Like a leaky nerd faucet, Marvel keeps the information flowing, albeit in servings that would strain to be called child’s size. And yet, here we are, because the Marvel-verse is one of the most interesting gambles in recent memory at the movies that is only growing bigger and more successful with each passing year (leading up to a whopper of a 2015 for Disney). But before we get ahead of ourselves and talk Phase Three, there is still lots to come with Phase Two, starting with “Iron Man 3,” which opens tomorrow, and EW sat down with Kevin Feige and grilled him on all things Marvel.
Perhaps one of the biggest questions marks on the comic company’s slate is “Guardians of the Galaxy,” an oddball alien world movie that is bringing together a ragtag cast that includes Zoë Saldana, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Ophelia Lovibond and Lee Pace, with characters that include a talking raccoon and a tree. No, really. But Feige says that if all goes according to plan, it will be those two latter characters that wind up worming their way into the hearts of audiences.
“It’s a huge story on a massive canvas,” Feige explained. “We can take it to all those crazy places as long as all the characters respond in an emotionally truthful way. That’s why I believe people are going to respond to Chris Pratt and to an alien Zoë Saldana—because they did respond to that one time before [with ‘Avatar‘]. And to a tree and a raccoon who, it is certainly our intention, will steal the whole movie.”
It’s a pretty big ambition, but perhaps Marvel is playing it a bit safe too, because from what it sounds like, ‘Guardians’ won’t be tied too heavily into the current Marvel-verse. “ ‘Guardians’ takes place within the continuity of the [other movies] but it’s on the other side of the universe,” Feige said. “We’ve always wanted to do a space movie. I’m obsessed with ‘Star Wars,’ I’m obsessed with ‘Star Trek.’ ” Again, the aspirations are huge, so we’ll see if James Gunn and co. can pull it off.
Dipping into Phase Three now, the other big Marvel coming in 2015 besides “The Avengers 2” will be Edgar Wright‘s “Ant-Man,” and fans have been patiently waiting ever since the script has handed in a while ago, with test footage dropping at Comic-Con last summer. And while the movie is on track, the script will need to be given a once over to make sure it locks into the developments of Phase Two. “Frankly, now we have to re-write it to put it a little bit more into the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] because it was written before it existed,” Feige said.
Right now, Wright is putting the finishing touches on his next effort “The World’s End” before work will begin in earnest at the end of the year for “Ant-Man,” with Feige promising that the test reel that leaked earlier will get an official bow. As for casting? “We’ve talked about various names over the past eight years but as you can imagine they keep changing as time goes by,” Feige shared. “But towards the end of this year, we’ll buckle down and start casting and start refining the script, which is great and which is very Edgar. He has done a great job being incredibly true to the comics but is putting his own spin on it, so we’ll be drawing on multiple mythologies for this one.”