Kevin Feige Answers Questions About Marvel Phase Three

After today’s unexpectedly huge announcement from Marvel Studios, which detailed plans for superhero movies through 2019 and revealed that Chadwick Boseman (Get On Up) has been cast as The Black Panther, Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige stuck around for a while. The press, including CraveOnline, had a lot of questions about their plans for Marvel Phase Three.

The most relevant questions from that press conference, and Kevin Feige’s answers, have been included below, but let’s clarify his responses as concisely as possible, to make sure everyone is on the same page:


  • The initial reveal that Captain America 3 would be subtitled The Serpent Society was officially a joke. Kevin Feige indicated that the supervillain group will not be part of the third film in the franchise, which is actually titled Captain America: Civil War.


  • Benedict Cumberbatch has not “officially” signed on to play Doctor Strange. If his casting was official, Kevin Feige says they would have made the announcement today.


  • There are currently no plans for solo movies starring Iron Man, The Hulk or Black Widow. At least, none for Marvel Phase Three.


  • Although she won’t be getting her own movie in Marvel Phase Three, Black Widow is “a key part” of the forward momentum of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and she will be a “lynchpin” in the upcoming Avengers movies.


  • Black Panther will make his first official appearance in Captain America: Civil War. Kevin Feige added the words “in costume” to that statement, meaning it’s technically possible that his alter ego, T’Challa, could show up beforehand in either Avengers: Age of Ultron or Ant-Man.


  • The Civil War of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be different than the Civil War of the comic book continuity. Since the alter egos of the Marvel movie superheroes are (mostly) not a secret, the plot will focus on the governments of the world wanting the Marvel superheroes to be held accountable for their actions.


  • Easter eggs teasing the Inhumans movie may start appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe very soon.


Check out Kevin Feige’s official comments below (the original questions have been paraphrased due to audio quality issues), followed by a gallery of official logos from Marvel Phase Three!


Related: Marvel Studios Announces Phase Three Movies!


When asked about whether Iron Man 4 was in the cards…

Kevin Feige: If there are more years after 2019 then there will be more possibilities after 2019. I hope there will be more years. I’m not suggesting that [there won’t]. 


Was Marvel always planning to announce their plans through 2019, or was the recent Warner Bros. announcement – which scheduled superhero movies through 2020 – part of the reason for making the slate public?

We wanted to do this at Comic-Con. We wanted to do this at Comic-Con this year, and things were not set. Things for Civil War were not set yet, things for… again, Guardians hadn’t come out yet, so 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 we realized we weren’t going to be able to do everything we wanted to do, to decide, “Well, okay, let’s do something we either haven’t done in a long time or had never done, which is a singular event just to announce what we have when it’s ready.” And I thought that might be early August, I thought that might be September, and it ended up being today.


Chadwick Boseman was just announced as Black Panther. Why wasn’t Benedict Cumberbatch officially announced to war in Doctor Strange?

Well, I can say that if it were confirmed we would have introduced him today. […] Like everything else, that will be announced later this afternoon, next week, next month, sometime before the release of the movie in November 2016.


Black Panther and Captain Marvel are going to get their own solo movies, but will audiences be introduced to them before that?

With Black Panther, our little song and dance at the end [of the press event] was meant to signify – and I’ll just clarify for you – he is definitively a big part of Civil War. We will meet him for the first time in Civil War, in costume. 


When are we going to find out which actress is in consideration to play Captain Marvel?

My guess is rumors will start flying this second. The initial announcement, in terms of attachments for that film, will probably be writer announcements and director announcements, which I do actually expect will be quite soon. In terms of the actress, I think there’s more time on that. 


The Russo Bros. said that Civil War would be very hard to bring to the big screen, given the rights to certain characters being with other companies, and secret identities not being an issue in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What happened?

Well, the Russos do a very good job of trying to answer all of your questions without giving things away. And they are truthful in that it is very hard, it was very hard, which is why we couldn’t announce it at Comic-Con and why we couldn’t announce it until today. 

Now, it’s a big storyline. Of course it is. Winter Soldier is a big storyline [too]. And make no mistake, 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 different continuity going on. So this will be Civil War, based off of all the other films that you’ve seen up till this point, particularly Winter Soldier and particularly Age of Ultron.

So I believe Joe and Anthony [Russo] were being very, very good and very coy when they were talking about the difficulties in putting it together.


What’s going on with The Hulk? It looks like he’s absent from the timeline. 

Well, I wouldn’t say he’s absent from the timeline. I would say Hulk is going to appear in many of those movies, particularly all those Avengers movies leading up to 2019, Infinity War. Mark Ruffalo is on board for all those films and we’re excited to bring him to all those films.

What happened with a stand-alone Hulk film? I’m going to 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 the other films.


Can you confirm any of the reports that The Russo Bros. might direct the two-part Avengers movie, and address the spate of rumors about Marvel and Sony possibly working out an appearance deal for Spider-Man?

Anything that wasn’t specifically and obviously revealed today is either not true at all, or still rumor until it’s worked out.


Just to clarify for all of us… are there any plans for Serpent Society, or was the first title you gave for Captain America 3 entirely a joke?

Well, there are always plans… but they’re mainly jokes.


Are you looking at women directors or minorities to direct Captain Marvel and Black Panther? Filmmaker Reggie Hudlin already wrote the Black Panther comic book for a while.

Well, 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 any one demographic but we’re certainly meeting with a lot of people. Reggie I’ve know for many, many years and he’s a great guy. I think I’m meeting with him shortly. So we will do what we’ve always done, which is hire who we believe to be the best people to write the films and to direct the films.

I want to say one more thing about Serpent Society… We had this great idea, right? Because Civil War is first up, and we don’t want to blow our wad in the presentation with Civil War right off the bat. I guy named Mike Schula (sp?) had the great idea to put Serpent Society on it, and I thought it was awesome and hilarious. 

And then part of me thought… “You know, people are going to LOVE Serpent Society. That’d be really cool.” But then we bet that they wouldn’t think it was as cool as Civil War, which is why we did it. But now it’s on the radar.


Obviously the Fantastic Four won’t appear in The Inhumans, but can you give us any idea of how you’re creating the Inhumans’ world?

Where they fit into the universe, you may find out sooner than you’re expecting 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 The Fantastic Four? No. [The easter eggs] will be introduced into the Cinematic Universe as it exists at Marvel Studios.


With Scarlett Johansson being one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, why did you decide not to give Black Widow her own movie?

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. And like Hulk, the Avengers films will be 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, and the plans we have for her throughout the rest of the Avengers saga  [are] very, very big, and lynchpin in fact to those films. 

So instead of [taking] her out there, or a prequel – which we haven’t done yet – continuing the forward momentum of the continuity of the Cinematic Universe, of which Widow is a key, key part. 


Civil War has a lot to do with secret identities in the comic books. So how are you going to do Civil War?

Well, 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 through things that have happened through all of the movies leading up to this point, [that] 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 falls under that umbrella versus “take off your mask,” “I’m not wearing a 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 an oversight committee. Because as of now, in Avengers 2, there is no more World Security Council, obviously, there is no more S.H.I.E.L.D., obviously. Stark is paying for it, Captain America is running it, and things occur that make governments begin to question that.


Slideshow: Official Logos & Concept Art for Marvel Phase Three


William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast and The Blue Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.


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