In an exclusive chat with Rotten Tomatoes, Marvel president Kevin Feige broke down Phase 4 projects and talked about the new and the old characters as well as their future in the MCU.
Feige reflected on the end of the Infinity Saga, the studio’s Disney+ shows, and Phase 4 slate, from Eternals to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. He explained how Marvel Studios chooses which characters get limited series and which get films, underrated characters that get the spotlight, Sam’s struggles with being Captain America, Black Widow, and Loki’s bisexual reveal.
The video starts with the viral clip of audiences reacting to the “on your left” moment in Endgame, which Kevin said, “took on new meaning, even for me personally, during lockdown last year.“
“I think I was in one of those theaters where somebody had recorded that—so that feeling was very special. But coming in the midst of this pandemic, when we had spent so much time in our homes, not surrounded by other people, it was a wonderful reminder of community and of a shared experience.”
Talking about a Black Widow fan screening that he attended in late June, Feige said that there’s nothing better than seeing people laugh or cheer or be very quiet and still during moments in a film that has been years in the making.
Some of the Phase 4 projects have been a long time in the making. Shang-Chi has been in talks for the last 10 or 15 years in the past, as well as the Black Widow movie. The studio knew they wanted to give those characters their own films.
When Bob Iger presented them with the idea of producing shows for Disney+, it was something they hadn’t considered before, and they got to do a “deep-dive on characters who deserved it but hadn’t had the chance yet.“
Wanda Maximoff and Vision were such characters, and the same was the case with Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes, and Loki.
“We knew they were being underutilized, both the characters and the actors, and we really wanted to have a showcase to show off how amazing those characters are and how amazing those actors are—and certainly Tom Hiddleston as Loki, as well. And also to do it in a new medium and do it in a way that couldn’t be done in a feature film.”
Feige also talked about unexpected characters getting the spotlight and fans wanting to see more of those characters, like Agatha Harkness, John Walker, and Mobius M. Mobius.
With TFATWS, they wanted to show what it meant for Sam Wilson to take over and fill in Captain America’s shoes.
While speaking of Loki, he said that they’ve wanted to explore the TVA (Time Variance Authority) for years and have been “obsessed” with the idea and that “it was a pipe dream that would never come to fruition.” With Loki, they figured out an entirely different way of looking at the MCU and looking at the timeline of the MCU.
On Loki’s bisexuality, Feige said that representation was important across the board and that the LGBTQ characters from comics needed to be seen on the screen as well.
Black Widow is currently out in theatres now, whereas Loki will stream its season finale on July 14 on Disney+.
Other upcoming MCU Phase 4 projects include Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, among others. Phase 4 projects extend till 2023, with more unannounced projects beyond that.
About Marvel Cinematic Universe
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is an American media franchise and shared universe centered on a series of superhero films and TV series, independently produced by Marvel Studios and based on characters that appear in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.
The franchise includes comic books, short films, television series, and digital series. The shared universe, much like the original Marvel Universe in comic books, was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters.