2019 had a lot of talk about how Marvel Studios dominated at the box office. Kevin Feige closed out the year as a part of the Guest Speaker Series at New York Film Academy. While sharing some absolute gems about Marvel Studios’ continues successes, he talked about how much audience feedback figures into the decision making processes. It turns out that having the fanbase absolutely dictate everything that comes from the studio might not be the best thing. People often don’t know how much something is going to rock until they get it all in front of them. Feige could be considered to believe that sentiment in a very real way.
“It can become, ‘Oh, if we thought too much about it, if we thought too much about pleasing everybody about everything, we collapse into a fetal position and never do anything. So, we don’t do that we think mainly about what we think would be interesting, what we think would be cool, what we think would fulfill a promise we set up what we think would grow the MCU in an unexpected way that people aren’t anticipating. Killing half of your heroes for instance.”
“But, it is true that we always make the films with the intention of them working for people who have watched every other film we’ve made and for people who’ve never seen one of our movies. Yes, with Infinity War and Endgame, it gets tougher at that point but we test screen all of our movies like additional photography test screenings. I don’t know why, never become too arrogant, never think you don’t have something to learn from an audience. That would be one piece of advice I would give you. Test screenings are horrible, they’re painful, they’re terrible. All these people who aren’t making movies, ‘they look good, I’ll give you my opinion.’ And you sit in the back and I pull my hat down, and I listen. Because, there are things you don’t see.”
This all comes after Marvel has taken copious criticism from Martin Scorsese and others about the studio’s output not being “cinema.”
“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” Scorsese said to Empire. “Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in spring 2021, Loki in spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If? In summer 2021, Hawkeye in fall 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 in May 2022. Moon Knight, She-Hulk, and Ms. Marvel series have also been announced.