In a new interview regarding the state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kevin Feige has offered a few teases of what fans can expect from the long-awaited Phase 4, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Touching upon everything from the possibility of Venom being introduced to the MCU, to how Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is shaping up; the Marvel Studios head’s interview with Rotten Tomatoes offers plenty to dig into. With Black Widow out now in theaters, the second portion of the interview sees him detail how Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings connects with the first MCU film, Iron Man.
“The Ten Rings being the organization that kidnapped Tony Stark at the very beginning of Iron Man 1,” remarked Feige, explaining that the organization itself was inspired by the character the Mandarin. When making that first Iron Man film, the team behind it even asked when they thought would be a good time to bring that fan-favorite character to the screen. Ultimately, the character sort-of appeared in Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, but many fans were disappointed to find out it wasn’t the real Mandarin. Fans should be happy to discover, then, that the real Mandarin is in Shang-Chi.
“Just because that version wasn’t real didn’t mean there’s not a leader of the Ten Rings organization and that is who we meet for the first time in Shang-Chi,” he explained. He also took a moment to highlight what an opportunity it is to get critically acclaimed actor Tony Leung, most famous for his roles in multiple Wong Kar-Wai films, to portray the Mandarin.
Later in the chat, the conversation moved towards the potential of having Tom Hardy’s Venom join the MCU, since the character is currently part of Sony’s separate Spidey-related universe. “I will say what I’ve always said, which is having been with Marvel for 20 years I wouldn’t dismiss anything,” Feige said. “I wouldn’t rule anything out completely. When and how and where remains to be seen. Any rumor that you read online could happen anytime between tomorrow and never.”
On the topic of Spider-Man, Feige also spoke about what it was like to get Sam Raimi involved with Marvel movies again. The director previously helmed the Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, and now he’s working on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. He called the choice to get him on board as coming “full circle.”
“It’s just exciting to get to watch Sam work again and to see Sam Raimi put his Sam Raimi stamp on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. And for people who know what that stamp is, they can be very excited,” he said.
As for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Feige said the death of Chadwick Boseman really hit the team at Marvel hard. “Our first thought for many weeks afterwards had nothing to do with the movie, it had to do with him and his family and his wife and his legacy,” added Feige. “And really we were looking to Ryan Coogler for guidance – as one frankly always should about almost everything in life, I’d recommend following Ryan Coogler for guidance.”
Ultimately, the team wanted to continue “the legacy of Wakanda” and the storyline “in a very meaningful, respectful, and yet still hopeful and fun and exciting way.” Admittedly, it was “difficult” after Boseman’s death, but he said the story for the sequel is looking “remarkable.” He added, “it will be extremely emotional across the board, but I think they have something very special in mind.”
Watch his interview above.