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Here’s some fun trivia to bust out at your next Zoom cocktail party: How much do you think a comprehensive book about the first three phases of the MCU might weigh? Six pounds? Eight? Maybe 10?
If you guessed "just over 11 pounds" you would be correct. And if you knew that just over 11 pounds is an average size for an English Toy Spaniel…why do you know that?
Anyhow, SYFY WIRE had the chance to sit down with the writers of the 11+ pound, beautifully crafted and highly informative insider look at the first three phases of the MCU, The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tara Bennett and Paul Terry.
Bennett (a colleague here at SYFY Wire) and Terry have written behind-the-scenes books on many beloved TV series. Bennett is the author of The Making of Outlander and Sons of Anarchy: The Official Collector’s Edition. With Bennett, Terry has covered Lost, Fringe and solo he penned The X-Files: The Official Archives. So the two know how to keep secrets.
But the level of secrecy surrounding Marvel is…a little different.
“I think if fans listening to this and watching this think ‘Oh, I’ve got a vague idea about security protocols,’ then times that by…an infinity saga amount,” Terry remarks on the hush-hush nature of working with the studio.
Bennett and Terry worked on the book for four years. In those four years, they were present for some huge milestones in the MCU, including the colossal events of Avengers: Endgame. In our interview, they discuss being on set for the filming of some major scenes. The two told us about one day in particular when they were “blindsided” by the enormity of the scene they were witnessing unfold. Check out the full story in the clip below. If you haven’t seen Endgame…SPOILERS COMETH.
The two also discuss what it was like to have access to personal materials from the creative teams who have shaped the MCU. Some of their favorite pieces reproduced in the book include the personal artifacts that individuals dug up and made available to the pair. In particular, Terry highlights a handwritten note from Ludwig Göransson as a little piece of film history he was especially delighted to capture.
“He [Göransson] just said, ‘Oh, I can give you a handwritten, in pencil, piece of music manuscript of a cue I was working on if you’d like that in the book’…It’s such an unusual piece to have, and, again, a piece of history.”
The secrets, the access — it’s all pretty enviable. But the best part of writing the insider’s look at Marvel Studios? Getting to witness extremely cool moments firsthand, as fans. They recall one such moment: The 2018 Marvel class photo. We all saw the end result online. Every star of the first three phases, from the Robert Downey Jr. to Don Cheadle to the man himself, Stan Lee were in person for a photo that defied the laws of Hollywood scheduling. Terry and Bennett were there too, observing the stars of the MCU just hanging out, some of them for the first time.
Their entire, four year experience really lends itself to another whole book. Possibly a 12 pounder. For now, we have the entire interview with Paul Terry and Tara Bennett available below.