Kevin Feige has the important and enviable job of being the overseer for Marvel’s cinematic universe as President of Production for Marvel Studios. Beginning with the first X-Men film twelve years ago, Feige has produced every Marvel theatrical film, up to an including The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man. Feige organized the complex film continuity that came together in the Avengers, also known as “Phase one” of the coordinated shared universe that now exists for many of the Marvel properties. Feige now has his mind on “Phase Two” and even “Phase Three”. In recent interviews, Feige has talked about some of his plans for the future of Marvel films.
First of all, Feige talks about the introduction of Thanos, who appeared during the closing credits of The Avengers, and who will play a major role in upcoming Marvel films. Feige says, “Clearly there’s a purpose to us putting him in at the end. We do have plans for him.” Thanos will be the major uniting factor of “Phase Two” just as the Cosmic Cube was in “Phase One”. His influence won’t be evident in Iron Man 3 but expect him to start making his presence known in Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor 2: The Dark World .(The Infinity Gauntlet is in Odin’s vault, so expect it to play a part in future film plots.)
Feige says “We don’t feel the need to rush into anything”, so Thanos will remain a background figure for most of “Phase Two”. Will he be the Big Bad in Avenger 2? Feige says that “Joss Whedon (Who directed The Avengers) has some big ideas, and Thanos may be part of them.”
The “Phase Two” release schedule is tentatively…Iron Man 3 on May 3rd, 2013; Thor 2: the Dark World on November 8th 2013; Captain America: the Winter Soldier on April 4th 2014; Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st 2014; and Avengers 2 on May 1st 2015. Other possible “Phase Two” films include Ant-man and Dr. Strange.
Feige is already thinking ahead to “Phase Three”. He says, “We will be folding elements into the films that will not only lead to the culmination of Phase Two but even Phase Three.” He doesn’t have much to say on what Phase Three will possibly be about, except that it may include a solo Hulk film. He says “Do I think the Hulk can carry a movie and be as entertaining as he was in The Avengers? I do believe that. I believe he absolutely could. But we certainly are not even going to attempt that until after Avengers 2. So there’s a lot of time to think about it”. Feige plans to use Avengers 2 as a springboard for a possible Hulk follow-up film. He says that adaptations of the popular Planet Hulk and World War Hulk storylines were not out of the question. Considering the possibly cosmic/outer space direction the Thanos plot could take, it’s just conceivable that Planet Hulk could work as a follow-up feature for the big green guy. However, he thinks that World War Hulk would be a bit more problematic. “World War Hulk is a cool story but I think there are pitfalls of continuity overload and mythology getting so dense that it almost collapses in on itself.” He does add, however, that neither story was out of the realm of possibility. “There’s not a lot we couldn’t do someday.” He credits Joss Whedon and Mark Ruffalo for making the character work so well in the Avengers.
“People like grand experiments and things that haven’t been done before, the unexpected,” Feige says, “and that’s what people will see in Phase Two.”