Marvel's Kevin Feige Talks 'WandaVision' Future, Netflix's Heroes and R-Ratings
On Wednesday, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige beamed in for his first-ever TCA panel from the set of Ms. Marvel, one of multiple Disney+ series he is currently juggling. His studio has 10 Disney+ shows slated for the next few years, and Feige revealed that Ms. Marvel concludes filming soon, and that She-Hulk starts up in a few weeks, with Oscar Isaac's Moon Knight following shortly after.
Meanwhile, audiences are awaiting the conclusion of WandaVision, Marvel's first Disney+ show which now has just two episodes left. To date, Marvel has not shared plans for continuing its Disney+ series beyond their initial runs, but Feige confirmed that some of the shows will indeed live on for more.
Heat Vision breakdown
A WandaVision season two, however, is not something currently occupying Feige's mind, as that series will feed into a feature film: Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, due out March 25, 2022 and featuring Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff.
"When we start with a movie, we hope there is a part two, we hope there is part three, but we aren't factoring that into the part 1," said Feige, who noted he'd been at Marvel too long to say a definite yes or no to anything regarding WandaVision season two.
"Some of the shows that I mentioned that we are about to start filming, we are keeping in mind a structure that would lead into a season two or a season three in a more direct way compared to a show like WandaVision that goes into a feature," said Feige.
On March 18, Marvel will debut Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan's Falcon & The Winter Soldier, with Feige confirming the series will consist of six, roughly one-hour episodes. Feige noted that six hours is the sweet spot the studio has found for their series. In the case of WandaVision, that meant nine, slightly shorter episodes.
"The shows are not inexpensive," said Feige. "The per-episode cost is high to get that bar."
Over the years, Feige has maintained that Marvel Studios hasn't felt a need to delve into R-rated territory. Following Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox, which brought Deadpool into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Feige and Disney's Bob Iger have confirmed that property will remain R-rated, and the studio is currently developing Deadpool 3. Still, Feige said Deadpool 3 will be an exception to the rule.
"We have never been held back by it," Feige said of sticking to PG-13 ratings. "If we ever are, then certainly there could be a discussion to be had …. but that just hasn't been the case yet."
Marvel is in development on a Blade movie to star Oscar winner Mahershala Ali. The previous trilogy of films, distributed by New Line from 1998-2004, starred Wesley Snipes and were rated-R.
Before Feige gained oversight of Marvel's television side, Marvel TV produced a number of shows for ABC and Netflix, including the long-running Agents of SHIELD, Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
While those shows had highs and lows, Feige pushed back at the notion that they were not successful when compared to the critical love heaped upon WandaVision.
"I think there are legions of Agents of SHIELD fans and Daredevil fans and Jessica Jones fans and Luke Cage fans with disagree with you in terms of success or not," Feige told a reporter. "There is a very big fan base for those shows."
Feige has previously noted that he considers all characters who appeared in previous MCU shows to still be in play, meaning heroes from Netflix could potentially return. On Wednesday, he reaffirmed that notion.
"I'm not exactly sure of the exact contracts, but perhaps someday," Feige said when asked about reviving those characters.
Still, he declined to comment on rumors that members of Agents of SHIELD are set to return sooner rather than later.
"I'll just say there are often rumors that are true and there are often rumors that are not true," said Feige. "It was great fun having Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) come back to the MCU in Captain Marvel … but everything else, we'll just have to see."
His comments come as WandaVision winds down its season, which concludes March 5. The show was Marvel Studios' first foray into episodic storytelling. While no viewing numbers have been made available to the public, it has garnered the type of positive audience reaction Feige is accustomed to from Marvel's big-screen properties.
Next up on Disney+ will be Falcon and The Winter Soldier, followed by Tom Hiddleston's Loki (June 11), Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel and the animated alternate reality series What If...? In theaters, the studio calendar includes Black Widow (May 7), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (July 9), Eternals (Nov. 5) and the Sony co-production Spider-Man: No Way Home (Dec. 17), barring any COVID-19 delays.
With Feige overseeing so much, he was asked to reflect on the days before he had oversight of television. The executive noted he tended to pay attention to the things he did have control of, such as the MCU films, rather than the things he didn't.
"Just like when Fox was doing X-Men movies or Sony was doing Spider-Man movies without us. That was just the rules under which Marvel was operating at the time," said Feige. "It was much more of an opportunity and something that excited us at Marvel Studios when Bob Iger asked us to work on shows for Disney+ than it was a disappointment or something we thought that much about when Marvel Television was doing their series."
by Kimberly Nordyke
by John DeFore