For the past 10 years or so, Marvel Studios has been king of the superhero movie genre. So not only has other competing studios caught on to their success, but they have been trying to mimic it. Though there have been attempts to make their own shared universe work, some studios realized that it takes a little more effort to build one as massive as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But Marvel doesn’t really get all the credit. Despite their mounting success, they have yet to release a female-led superhero film. Something that Warner Brothers’ Wonder Woman not only has accomplished but shattered the glass ceiling.
Others had to make deals. Like Sony finally sharing Spider-Man. And Marvel finds themselves on the other side looking in as Fox has proven that R-rated superhero films could work. Kevin Feige talked about all these things during a Facebook-live event, and you can find out more about what he had to say about it below.
Speaking to Allocine, Feige says there is no rivalry between Marvel and DC. He says that the rivalry is something more between the press than the two studios. As we have seen, there is no bad blood between Feige and Joss Whedon, who directed the first two Avengers films, after Whedon decided to jump ship to direct Batgirl and the remainder of Justice League. In fact, Whedon has come out fully supporting Whedon’s move. And Feige is even friends with DCEU co-head Geoff Johns. Here’s what he had to say:
â€œThereâ€™s not really a rivalry. The rivalry is much more amongst the press, I think. Geoff Johns is a very good friend of mine. We grew up together in the business and recently celebrated Richard Donner, who we both used to work for. So, I applaud all the success heâ€™s had. I really just look at it as a fan. When the movies perform well and are well received, itâ€™s good for us â€“ which is why Iâ€™m always rooting for them.â€
Not completely sure if there is “no rivalry.” Last year saw the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War, both films whose themes are very similar. There were even a few think pieces on it. Sure they may be from the press, but if you talk to fans and non-press, then you’ll see that there is a rivalry. It’s been there.
Because Logan and Deadpool were box office hits, Feige is often asked if Marvel will at least look into releasing an R-rated film. Though he has said it wasn’t an option at the time, the Marvel Studios president acknowledges that those films have worked well in the past, and because of their recent success, it is something that is possible for them. Just not right now:
“Itâ€™s not out of the question. When I started at Marvel 17 years ago, the Blade franchise was doing very well. A lot of people didnâ€™t even know it was based on a Marvel character, because, at the time, they sort of hid the fact that it was a Marvel character. So, not out of the question, but not something weâ€™re working on right now.”
Part of that reason is that Disney owns Marvel Studios, and Disney does not traditionally release R-rated films. However, they have released darker and more mature material on their Netflix shows. While Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist aren’t R-rated material, they are damn near close to it. The violence and content make it pretty clear that there are characters who can handle the material.
But that’s TV. And what may work for Netflix may not necessarily work for the film studio. After all, all 15 Marvel Studios films have opened number one at the box office, and all were released as PG-13 films. So why try to do something different? Maybe it’s time for the studio to take a risk.
What’s definitely not a risk, and more of a call to meet a demand is to get a female-led superhero film out in theaters. Wonder Woman proves that all fans want to see a female-led superhero film. But what’s really surprising is the fact that Marvel wasn’t the one to release one first. Yes, they want to have quality films and not be the first just for the sake of being the first ones to do so. But it’s not like the demand wasn’t there. Marvel has plenty of strong female characters that deserve to have their own standalone film. Not only that, but Marvel has had at least 15 chances to get one out before DC. Still, Feige is excited that Wonder Woman was met with huge success:
â€œThe success of Wonder Woman is wonderful. It makes us incredibly happy. Finally, we can put to rest the falsehood that audiences donâ€™t want to see female characters. We never believed that was true. There were a run of movies that just werenâ€™t very good 10-15 years ago that caused that reputation. Iâ€™m glad that Wonder Woman has blown that away.â€
While I like to believe what Feige says about audiences don’t want to see a female superhero being a falsehood, it feels like there would be more weight to it had Marvel released one when fans were calling for a Black Widow film to be released. But hey, at least we are getting Captain Marvel, in two years.
Finally, Feige talked about the Venom spinoff that is currently in the works over at Sony, and confirms something we all knew about when that project was announced:
â€œFor now, there is no plan for Venom in the MCU. Itâ€™s a Sony Project.â€
That is a bit disappointing for fans who were hoping to get to see the anti-hero go up against the Webslinger. The two have such a rich history together, it would make sense that Venom would at least be a part of the Spider-Man world that Marvel and Sony are creating. Still, the fact is that all of Spider-Man’s supporting characters belong to Sony.
Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad and Zombieland) will direct Venom, while Tom Hardy will play the title character. The film is a part of a shared universe of Spider-Man’s supporting characters that Sony is currently developing. Silver and Black, a spinoff based on Silver Sable and Black Cat, will be directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.