Are you planning on putting The Hulk in The Avengers?
Feige: I think it’d be cool. I’d like to see The Hulk again. It will have been a number of years, four years since he was in a movie by that point, by 2012. So I’d like to see him in it. I’m not being coy. We’re just starting the story. I was on the phone with Zak Penn this morning. He’s coming in next week and he’s going to work on the outline this summer, but because it’s so intertwined with what we’re doing before – I almost wanted to get done with production on Iron Man 2 [and] the scripts to Thor and Captain America well underway before we even started Avengers.
Is there any possibility of having SHIELD show up in a Spider-Man movie? Is that something you guys would like to do and is there a possibility of bringing these disparate properties back into the fold?
Feige: If we were talking about this four years ago and you asked if there was a chance to do an Avengers movie and a Marvel Cinematic Universe under one roof, I would’ve said that anything was possible, but that it’s a long shot and I’m not sure. Now we’re doing it. I’ll kind of give you the same answer to that now. Anything is possible. Right now they’re certainly different. What’s at Fox is at Fox. What’s at Sony is what’s at Sony and what’s at Marvel is what’s at Marvel. When I say the MCU that’s a goofy internal thing, but that’s [how] we’re referring to it.
You’ve got a lot now, but what other characters would you like to see make it onscreen?
Feige: Ant-Man. I want to make Ant-Man one of these days. I think that’ll be surprising and a funny thing. I love that what Edgar [Wright] likes about it is that when he says he’s doing Ant-Man people go, “Ant-Man? What the hell is that?” I think that’s fun. I think Dr. Strange would kick ass. I think we’ve done very well at the superhero genre, if you will, this street level superhero aspect of the Marvel Universe. I think with Thor you’ll see us cracking into the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe in a very good way that’s never been done before in our movies and I’d love to get into that supernatural element. I think that Dr. Strange could be a good way of being the lynchpin to that universe with Werewolf By Night, with Blade again someday – that side of the Marvel Universe.
Recently it’s been announced that more of the Thor story will take place on Earth. Is it a contemporary earth or Viking times?
Feige: It’ll be contemporary.
How are you going to deal with the fish out of water aspect of it? Are you concerned at all about Thor dealing with the wacky modern day aspects of his life, being on a cell phone or something like that?
I am concerned about that and that’s why we’re not going to do that. We always think about, not in terms of “Thor,” but if you talk about fish out of water; if a character is goofy at any time he’ll be goofy. If you bring in an idiot from the past he’s going to come into the future and go [holding a recorder up to his face] “What is this? Hello?” That stuff is not funny and it’s overdone. If Indiana Jones came to the future he’s going to be cool. He’s not going to be an idiot bumbling with things. There might be some fun humor out of him just getting something wrong for a minute, but he’s going to play it cool and just not come off like an idiot. I think that Thor…if you look at [Jack] Kirby’s Asgard, if you look at Walt Simonson’s Asgard; they are technologically superior to us by far. They’re not going to come and be flummoxed by much on Earth. There might be cultural differences that could be amusing or endearing, but he’s not going to be talking to a lamppost for five minutes.
Is Donald Blake going to be in Thor and is he still going to be handicapped?
Will Thor still be recognizable as a what we understand to be a superhero movie or is it going to be closer to fantasy?
I think it’s going to be very much a Marvel superhero movie, but I think to the movie audience it’s going to expand that definition more and more. Again, we’ve got a forty four year old guy who’s going to be a superhero in a movie and he puts on an armored suit. That didn’t necessarily mean superhero to people. In that same way, I think, someone who’s got superpowers coming to Earth and dealing with other character from his realm will come off very much as a big ass superhero movie. But it’s going to expand that definition, I hope, in a way.
QCan you talk about the casting of Chris Hemsworth and what it was ultimately about this guy after looking at all these other actors?
Feige: You couldn’t take your eyes off of him. When he did his auditioned he worked for it. He put himself on tape. He put himself on tape again and then did it again and then came in and sat with Branagh and then worked again with Branagh and then ultimately did a very late in the process screen test and there was no question. It was very much like going back to 1999 when Dougray Scott got injured on Mission Impossible 2 and we had to go back to the videotapes and suddenly we saw Hugh Jackman who came in and did a screen test and it was like, “There’s no question that this is our guy.” In this case it was actually even cleaner with Chris because with Hugh he was like two feet taller than the character was supposed to be which was nerve racking, but Chris is six four and looks exactly Thor.
Are you going to get a big name for “Captain” or are you looking to get another unknown?
Feige: We’ll see. I do think that’s something that we’ll take into account, international appeal. There are only a handful of stars that mean anything here much less overseas. But I do think that will be a factor in it. As long as we have the freedom to do so at Marvel….to just cast the best actor for the part whether it’s an actor who’s been a great actor, but hasn’t starred in marquee action movies before like Downey or somebody that came out of Australia that they’ve never heard of.
There’s been some talk of going with a Will Smith and using the “Truth” storyline of Captain America.
Feige: I love the “Truth” storyline. I think that’s very cool. I wouldn’t do that as a first Captain America movie though. I think Will Smith is probably one of those handful of international stars. But I think that [arc] came about four or five hundred issues in to the “Cap” run. I don’t see launching with that comic.
If one of the movies doesn’t do well in this run, how will that effect The Avengers? It’s the riskiest one of the bunch because you’re relying on people wanting to come and see Thor again and Cap again.
Feige: I think Avengers is going to have it’s own vibe. I think Avengers will feel very much like…it’ll have a different tone than the other Marvel movies. I’m not talking budget level here, but it’ll have a much more massive global feel to it. Our movies aren’t about saving the world. Iron Man doesn’t save the world. Hulk doesn’t save the world. Captain America, a little bit. But it’s not about these comic bookey “I will save the world” things. The Avengers is about saving the world because there’s no other reason for characters that powerful to band together. So I think the scope and the scale will feel like a much bigger thing. So whatever you had seen – whether Starscream was your favorite character or Megatron is your favorite character or Soundwave is your favorite character – you’re going to see the experience of that epic thing together. I think it’ll be the same thing. Clearly I hope it’ll all work. I hope that people will, like they’ve done with the comics for years and years, argue about who their favorite is and who would win in a fight and all of that fun stuff.
For Avengers,will the threat to them come from outside the Earth?
Feige: It’ll be big. It’ll be something that no single hero can handle.