Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige dropped a ton of Marvel news in a new interview, including several teases of specifically how Ant-Man will have an effect on Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which directors he’s met with for upcoming movies, recasting roles, Spider-Man and more.
Let’s start with Ant-Man, which opens July 17. It’s the final film of Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which started with Iron Man 3 and recently added Avengers: Age of Ultron. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Feige explained that Ant-Man’s release as the final film of Phase Two is significant in ways that’ll both be immediately evident as well as a few that won’t be revealed for some time.
The truth is, there is so much in Ant-Man: introducing a new hero, introducing a very important part of technology in the Marvel universe, the Pym particles. Ant-Man getting on the Avengers’ radar in this film and even – this is the weirdest part, you shouldn’t really talk about it because it won’t be apparent for years – but the whole notion of the quantum realm and the whole notion of going to places that are so out there, they are almost mind-bendingly hard to fathom. It all plays into Phase Three.
“Quantum Realm?” What could that mean in a Marvel sense of the word? Well it opens the option of there being alternate dimensions for one. That’s something we might see Doctor Strange tackle. “Going to places that are so out there” could mean physically, such as the Avengers being transported into space to fight Thanos, or more figuratively. Basically, the whole quote is loaded with interesting subtext.
Later in the interview, Feige talked a bit about Spider-Man. We already know Tom Holland has been cast in the film, he’ll appear in Captain America: Civil War next year, and then have his own solo film in Summer 2017. Besides that, Feige teased that other Marvel characters could appear in that movie. “Specifics of the story aside, the agreement that has been made between Sony and Marvel is that we could do that,” Feige said.
The president also talked about looking for directors for two of their other major superhero films, Black Panther and Captain Marvel. Both are several years away but rumors have been running rampant about directors such as Ava DuVernay meeting for the movies. Feige confirmed he’s met with the Selma helmer and had this about the pressure to hire more diverse directors:
I think it will happen sooner rather than later, without giving too much away. But you look back sometimes, and it’s just the nature of this industry, or the nature of the culture. But there’s a big shift happening. What’s exciting about Marvel, go back and look at the source material: It’s been diverse in a cutting-edge way going back to the ‘60s, and I think we’ve represented that effortlessly and accurately in the movies we’ve made up to this point, but certainly with Black Panther and Captain Marvel doing it in a much more overt and purposeful way.
But that’s not it!
In addition, Feige talked about the inevitably of continuing the Marvel Cinematic Universe without actors like Robert Downey Jr. Will they recast? Will they just phase those characters out? Feige said those decisions have not yet been made yet:
Thankfully, I’m not going to be faced with that decision for many, many years because we have everybody locked up and planned out for as far as any studio has movies planned. But one day, it will be a combination. It will be a combination of choosing which characters to continue on with and explore and which to bring in, as we’re doing with Captain Marvel and Black Panther. And certainly to recast in some way or another – as we’ve already done in certain cases. Certainly many other franchises have reached that milestone before we have and done that with great success.
When he says they’ve already done that, he’s referring to the fact Mark Ruffalo was a replacement for Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/The Hulk.
Top image: Ant-Man, courtesy of Disney. Middle image: Kevin Feige, by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney. Bottom image: Avengers: Age of Ultron, courtesy of Disney