When it comes to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans are letting Kevin Feige know what they want, and what they want isn't more of the same.
As president of the superhero juggernaut that is Marvel Studios, Feige's both a major source of the company's success and its public face, and as a result he's spent a lot of time over the last several years answering (or not answering) the question of what's next for the company. The gamble that was Guardians of the Galaxy paid off for the studio in a big way, Avengers: Age of Ultron is on the horizon, and Marvel's already laid out a number of prime release dates for mystery films dating all the way to mid-2019. The studio looks unstoppable, and while some of those release dates will certainly be occupied by Avengers 3, Captain America 3, Thor 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, it seems fans are making it clear to Feige that they want something more than sequels. They want new characters.
So, which ones specifically? In a recent interview with IGN, Feige was asked about both Black Panther and Captain Marvel, two characters fans have been clamoring to see on the big screen for several years now, and he revealed that they're not only frequently requested, but requested more than anything else the company's got cooking.
"They're both characters that we like, that development work has been done on, is continuing to be done on. And certainly, the public, it's a question I get asked more than anything else. More than Iron Man 4. More than Avengers 3," Feige said. "And that's sort of the first time that's really happened to us, so I think that makes a difference. I think that's something that we have to pay attention to."
OK, so Feige is getting the message, but will that translate to an actual impact on the company's production schedule? Do Carol Danvers and T'Challa get to move to the front of the line now, or at least jump ahead a few spots? Feige's not admitting to any particular changes, but he did stress that the demand for these characters is hard to ignore, even with Marvel Studios' almighty plan in place.
"I've always said we have our plan, and it's served us very well, and there hasn't been anything that has made us deviate or change from that based on an opinion, because opinions online change, and they alter, and they are based on sort of limited information they have to what's going on behind the scenes," Feige said. "But in this particular case, I think it is a groundswell, and I think it means something substantial."
Feige's been asked many times about the likelihood of a superhero film led by a woman or a person of color (or both) hitting our screens in the near future, and he's cited the "chess matches" that come with shuffling around a number of already established franchises as part of the reason why it hasn't happened yet. The more we ask him, though, the more optimistic he seems to get. Could it finally happen soon?
Check out the full clip featuring Feige's quotes below.