Fifteen Years After ‘Iron Man’ Kevin Feige Says Marvel Is Just Getting Started
With Disney in the midst of celebrating its 100-year anniversary, the different components within the company are taking the time to reflect back on their history.
In 2009, Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment and entered the business of superheroes. Just one year earlier, Iron Man had wowed audiences with its grounded take on the superhero film genre and launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the subsequent fifteen years, Marvel Studios would release 31 movies, 25 TV shows, and earn $30 billion at the box office, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe grew into a pop culture behemoth.
Kevin Feige’s Marvel Journey
From the beginning, the MCU has been guided by Kevin Feige.
The Marvel Studios head began his journey as an associate producer on 2000’s X-Men, since that time, he has seen Marvel grow into a dominant force at the box office and the leader in superhero storytelling.
Still, after all these years, Feige loves his job just as much as the day he started.
“I feel so lucky that I get to do this job,” Feige tells Variety. “Every costume fitting, when we see the actors transform for the first time, there’s always this moment of awe. It’s so incredible to take these characters and bring them to life on the screen.”
The Marvel Tradition
Since the launch of Iron Man, Marvel has expanded in ways that no one could have expected. In many ways, the studio reached its zenith with Avengers: Endgame, a cinematic event that brought together dozens of well-established Marvel heroes. Seeing the audience’s reaction to Endgame is something that Feige will never forget.
“We’ve had a tradition at Marvel Studios that started with the very first ‘Iron Man.’ For every new release, the cast, producers, director, and I will drop in on an opening night showing and watch the movie with the fans. Feeling the excitement in the theater, hearing cheers or gasps from the audience, is always a reminder of what these movies and characters mean to fans,” he says. “Being there on opening night of ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ hearing the crowds, is something I’ll never forget. Also, the feedback we received after ‘Black Panther’ came out. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would have the kind of impact it did.”
Just Getting Started
While Marvel has hit some choppy waters following Endgame, the MCU remains the gold standard for storytelling.
According to Feige, Marvel is just getting started.
“The great thing about Marvel truly is how many wonderful, interesting characters we have in the comics — they’ve been at it for 85 years. Even after 32 movies, it feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface,” says Feige.
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