In 2008, Marvel kicked off one of the most ambitious endeavors in the history of film, which was crafting multiple different films that took place in the same universe, allowing the potential for these films to cross over. Marvel has found success, but some of their competitors haven't, with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige sharing the advice that studios need to focus on making a compelling, singular movie and not worry about the universe.
"The only advice, and I’ve sort of said this already today, is don’t worry about the universe. Worry about the movie," Feige told Vanity Fair. "We never set out to build a universe. We set out to make a great Iron Man movie, a Hulk movie, a Thor movie and then be able to do what, at the time, nobody else was doing: put them together."
Fans had seen sequels and prequels and reboots of popular titles prior to Iron Man, with some films even including subtle Easter eggs that referenced elements outside of their specific film.
"Bring that experience that hardcore comic readers have had for decades of Spider-Man swinging into the Fantastic Four headquarters, or for Hulk to suddenly come rampaging through the pages of an Iron Man comic," Feige confessed. "We thought it would be fun for filmgoers to get that same—on a much bigger canvas—rush, because there is something just inherently great about that: seeing characters’ worlds collide with one another."
Last month, Justice League, the fifth film in the DC Extended Universe, opened with the lowest numbers in that shared universe, despite the film serving as the culmination of all the films. Earlier this summer, The Mummy was supposed to kick off a slew of reboots of Universal Monsters movies, but the poor critical and financial reception has put the shared universe on hiatus indefinitely.
"That’s what is so amazing every day on the set of Infinity War. These characters have no business being in the same room together. It’s ridiculous," Feige noted of the third Avengers movie. "Everyone within Marvel Studios just knows the individual movie trumps the overall picture. If there’s a better idea for a movie—if we were going to plant a seed in this movie that was going to be awesome and pay off three movies later, but that seed is not working and that seed is screwing up the movie, goodbye. We’ll do something else later."
Marvel's latest, Thor: Ragnarok, is currently still in theaters, helping the MCU gross over $13 billion worldwide.
"Make that movie work. The notion of sitting down going, 'Let’s build a cinematic universe,' might be a little off," Feige notes. “Let’s sit down and make a great movie and if people are interested in that, there are ways and ideas to tie them together going forward.”
The next film in the MCU, Black Panther, hits theaters February 16, 2018.
[H/T Vanity Fair]