With the release of the record-breaking, highly anticipated film Avengers: Endgame just 10 days away, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige sat down with Variety to discuss what will happen when the dust settles.
He has previously stated the company has a "five-year plan" which will go in motion after the premiere of Endgame; it's been hinted that the movie's conclusion will see the retirement of characters like Chris Evans' Captain America and Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man. The plan calls for a number of different films, reportedly including The Eternals and Black Widow.
“Some of these films will feature characters that you already know,” Feige said. “Some supporting characters will assume leading roles, while some new characters will be introduced." The introduction of these characters will allow Marvel to do things "differently and learn from our mistakes and try something we haven’t tried before.”
Feige also spoke about the projects to be featured on the upcoming streaming service Disney+. He declared that the spinoffs “will intersect with the movies in a very big way. It’s a totally new form of storytelling that we get to play with and explore.”
For example, the upcoming Hawkeye project will feature the archer (played by Jeremy Renner) passing the torch to his successor, Kate Bishop. This could see the end of Renner's portrayal, setting Bishop up for an appearance in a future Avengers film.
Feige also discussed the future of the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and others acquired in Disney's Fox purchase. Though he recently stated the X-Men are not set to make an appearance in the MCU for a "very long time," he is very excited to reinstate them. "The specifics of what it means remains to be seen, but overall it’s wonderful and it feels like these characters have come home. It will be nice to have what every other [intellectual property] holder that I can think of has, which is access to all their IP. … Imagine if Goofy or Moana were someplace else and you didn’t have access to them even though they are yours.”
With projects such as Shang-Chi in development, Marvel is looking to tap into its diverse IP roster. Joe Russo, who will be co-directing Endgame, says, “The future of these movies will be an inclusive one. Diversity, both in front of and behind the camera, will be its gold standard.” When speaking on these decisions, Disney chairman Alan Horn has given Feige his seal of approval. "He's earned the right to bring us things about which we might be 100 percent unfamiliar," he says. "How many people out of 100 were familiar with Doctor Strange or the Guardians of the Galaxy before we made the movies? Maybe five.”
Feige's devotion to film culture goes beyond superheroes, which is what he is mainly known for. Never one to give many interviews, he revealed that his interests have resulted in amassing an impressive Star Wars figurine collection, as well as driving around listening to film scores. The complete interview can be found here.