In a recent interview in Barcelona, Mark Feige, the president of Marvel, spent some time answering questions about a number of upcoming projects which made it clear that the company was not only not slowing down, but moving full speed ahead with numerous projects. With the upcoming August 1 release of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel is once more bringing an iconic comic book team to life on the big screen.
While based on the more recent reboot of the team, the emotional draw to see how the team has been reinvented is real even for old-school fans of the series who will find little of their comic boot team in this one. There are rumors, however, including one surrounding a cameo by Nathan Fillion, that there will be several nods to the original Guardians series; both the 60’s and 80’s versions. Regardless, the images and footage surrounding this movie have been met with excitement and anticipation. With a young cast, and trailers that have gratuitous flesh spread in between the witty banter, the target demographic for this film is a bit younger that the people who followed the comic in its previous versions.
Feige, connecting the dots for some, mentioned several tie-ins with other current franchises in his Barcelona interview. He commented on the introduction of the villain, Thanos, as a thread which is beginning to be used to create a loose continuity between different Marvel projects. He said that Thanos would reinforce that the different Marvel film franchises were part of the “same reality,” while being independent entities.
The villain has appeared in the tag scene after the credits of Thor: The Dark World, as well as at the end of the first Avengers movie. Thanos, scheduled to be voiced by Josh Brolin, will be a recurring character in the Marvel releases coming up, culminating in his playing a large role in upcoming Avengers sequels.
Sci-fi hard-core fanatics will be pleased to see Karen Gillan, of Dr. Who fame, playing a villain in the Guardians of the Galaxy film. She will be playing the character of Nebula, well-known in the print storylines. Her addition to the cast is being met with almost as much anticipation as the lead heroes. The synergy associated with this cast points to some serious consideration on the part of those selecting actors for the roles. There is a buzz about the movie which is growing exponentially.
Aside from the Guardians and Avengers films, Feige also addressed the fact that Peyton Reed has become the new director of the Ant-Man film in production. He spoke of the difficulties in introducing a character who is not as well-known to the general public, but who plays such a significant role in the comics that he cannot be left behind in the Avengers movie franchise. He was sure to mention that the script written by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish was only being partially re-written, and was optimistic that the final product would be as compelling as will be required to generate a new generation of fans of the character.
In addition to the movie projects, the upcoming Netflix series were touched upon in the interview. Two of the most anticipated titles, Daredevil and Jessica Jones, were mentioned. He indicated that he thought important for television shows to stand alone, but that they would almost certainly live up to expectations that they be worked as expected into the loose continuity of the Marvel universe that the movies inhabit. With the movies, television shows, and a bevy of other hinted-at projects on the drawing board, Kevin Feige made it clear that the Marvel Franchises had come a long way from where they were at when he took over as president, and that they were moving full speed ahead into the future.
By Reuben Malone