The Marvel Cinematic Universe takes us to incredible worlds: far-flung planets like Sakaar, the wonders of Wakanda, the streets of Sokovia, and uh, airport tarmacs and parking garages in Captain America: Civil War. The crazy thing, though: Most of it is filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. Behind-the-scenes footage from their films invariably finds actors working in front of green screens in giant warehouses. And so when a new interview with MCU honcho Kevin Feige gushing about the wonders of shooting outdoors, sans CGI, people couldn’t help but make fun.
Feige's full quote is incredible. Someone rediscovering that cameras can capture the beauty of earth. pic.twitter.com/v14NPa7Xr1
— Minovsky (@MinovskyArticle) April 28, 2021
In a new Variety profile about Chloe Zhao — who just became the second woman to ever win a Best Director Oscar, for Nomadland, and who’s next film is MCU’s The Eternals — Feige is quoted talking about watching the footage that she shot for him. Zhao, Feige says, was all about “fighting for practical locations.” Indeed, her other films (including Nomadland and The Rider) were shot in the wilds, often with real people she found on the fly. After Zhao and her crew cut a sample reel for The Eternals for him to watch, filled with real locations, it absolutely blew Feige’s mind:
“And I had to keep saying, ‘This is right out of a camera; there’s no VFX work to this at all!’” Feige says. “Because it was a beautiful sunset, with perfect waves and mist coming up from the shore on this giant cliffside — really impressive stuff.” Later, watching “Nomadland,” he saw similar shots. “Oh! That is not just what she wanted to bring to Marvel,” he remembers thinking. “This is a signature style.”
Of course, Zhao’s “signature style” is not unusual outside of movies that are largely made in giant warehouses with an army of effects artists. For over 125 years, movies have been made by going outdoors and turning on a camera. So when Feige’s gushing quote about something that’s been a normal part of cinema since its infancy, people pounced.
someone buy Kevin Feige a calendar of waterfalls and shit and just watch his head explode https://t.co/C2NyAqBR6L
— Sam Adams (@SamuelAAdams) April 28, 2021
Kevin Feige suddenly learning you can shoot a sunset without green screen pic.twitter.com/MdvhemX6Mc
— Chris Evangelista (@cevangelista413) April 28, 2021
Kevin Feige watching a movie shot on practical locations pic.twitter.com/tFI0sAja39
— Jason Bailey PLUS (@jasondashbailey) April 28, 2021
— Blank Check Podcast (@blankcheckpod) April 28, 2021
mastermind behind most successful media empire of all time goes outside, has revelation https://t.co/w67YUhK0Kl
— Jacob Oller (@JacobOller) April 28, 2021
I love me a marvel movie. I truly do. But has anyone seen Kevin Feige outside in the last 10 years.
— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) April 28, 2021
mist just … hangs in the air? above the water? near a cliff?? and you don't need bids from eleven FX shops?
— Dan Kois (@dankois) April 28, 2021
CHLOE ZHAO: what if we have actual human beings acting in the same room together
KEVIN FEIGE: goddamn that’s crazy do other studios know about this
— Emperor Norton (@ashleynaftule) April 28, 2021
kevin feige touches real grass for the first time, remarks: “really impressive stuff” https://t.co/UwY6O4kUcQ
— emma is tired (@msmegalodon) April 28, 2021
Some even dug up one of the first movies ever made: Auguste and Louis Lumière’s The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station, which, as the story goes, was so mind-blowing to audiences of 1896 that some in the audience freaked out, thinking the train would emerge from the screen.
Kevin Feige smashing through the aisles to the exit, terrified, unable to believe his eyes pic.twitter.com/mbuuZgFaaR
— Phil Drinkwater (@PhillyDinkers) April 28, 2021
Still, good for Kevin Feige! He’s rediscovering that movies can create real life by just, like, shooting real life.