Has it really only been seven years since “Iron Man”?
If it seems like a lifetime ago to me, I can't imagine what it feels like to Kevin Feige, who has been right there at ground zero the entire time. When we sat down to talk at the press day for “Avengers: Age Of Ultron,” I wanted to find out how he feels when he looks around right now at the rest of Hollywood, everyone struggling to play the same game Marvel's playing, imitating what they've done, scrambling to create shared universes.
We also talked about the upcoming “Doctor Strange,” which represents a personal victory for Feige, who has been a long-confessed super fanboy for the character. It sounds like they found the right guy to play the part, though, because he says Cumberbatch is just as big a fan. Marvel should just make a video of the two of them talking about old Doctor Strange comics so people can see that giddy energy for themselves.
The thing I respect the most about Feige is his focus. It seems very simple when you look at the way Marvel's films have been produced and released so far, but at each step, there have been very vocal doubters. They are indeed a commercial juggernaut now, but they weren't just handed that success. When even your studio's biggest missteps are modestly entertaining at worst, you're doing something right, and in this case, it's all about loving the thing you're doing. Kevin Feige and the big-brained army of guys he's got working with and for him are all doing their best to take care of these characters and to respect each new idea they introduce.
The real reason everyone's imitating Marvel? Because Feige makes it look simple.
The real reason not everyone can have that success? Because it's not as simple as he makes it look.
“Avengers: Age Of Ultron” is in theaters everywhere now.