Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige comes off as thoughtful and humble, albeit extremely calculated, in pretty much every interview, and nowhere is that more apparent than in a new lengthy podcast where he hints at more “genre plays” for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But with 22 superhero movies so far that blend together all kinds of science fiction and fantasy, what could more “genre plays” even mean?
Feige appeared on a Thursday podcast episode of Playback with Kris Tapley, produced by Variety and iHeartRadio. In the 51-minute interview, he talked about his personal history working in the film industry, as well as the past, present, and future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — including how very soon the Disney-Fox merger might allow the MCU to integrate the X-Men and Fantastic Four.
Feige made vague remarks about the future of the MCU after Avengers: Endgame, refusing to confirm anything other than Spider-Man: Far From Home, but he did remind host Kris Tapley how Marvel Studios has thousands of characters from the comics they might explore. Innovating and experimenting with new ideas and characters is how they’ll keep the MCU fresh.
“There are so many different types!” Feige says. “The earthbound stories we’ve done. Getting to a cosmic space was always important to me. I’m a big fan of science fiction and outer space movies, which now we’ve done; the supernatural, metaphysical side of things with the Doctor Strange universe; and there are still others that we haven’t tapped into yet in terms of genre plays, which is what we always like to do.”
Most MCU films could be categorized as “earthbound.” But the Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor films tapped into the more cosmic elements, as will the upcoming Captain Marvel. And there’s obviously a lot of overlap there with the “science fiction and outer space movies.” Doctor Strange, of course, covers the supernatural.
But what other “genre plays” does Feige want to tap into?
For starters, Captain Marvel focuses heavily on alien Kree culture, more so than Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 1 did, so there might be alien exploration like something out of Star Trek. There’s also the shapeshifting Skrull invasion of Earth that’ll play a bit like Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
If the Marvel Cinematic Universe is lacking in any area of genre fiction, it’s definitely horror. Sony is developing Morbius the Living Vampire, technically a Spider-Man spin-off, but Marvel Studios is likely to follow suit with something within the realm of horror, right?
But depending on a potentially broader definition of genre fiction, that could mean Marvel Studios wants to explore a Western (like Logan did) or even something that feels like a fairy tale. (Is Guillermo del Toro available?)
When asked more directly about “what kind of movie” he and Marvel Studios might want to make next, Feige confirmed that saying anything would be a spoiler before going into a tangent about Black Panther:
“Even as Ryan Coogler has talked about, the notion of a James Bond-type film with a suave hero, that was one of the early inspirations that Nate Moore discussed with Ryan Coogler for Panther. I don’t think most people watch that movie and think James Bond but you can see where part of that inspiration came from. Doing it with an African hero in a country that had never been colonized is only more exciting and makes it more unique and special.”
Feige confirmed in the interview that blending together these new “genre plays” with a diverse array of talent behind and in front of the camera is a major focus of Marvel Studios moving forward. Whatever they have planned for the MCU after Avengers: Endgame, it probably won’t look similar to everything that’s come before it.
Listen to the entire interview right here: