It goes without saying that setting up the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a risky prospect — it would have been for any studio, let alone for a brand-new one. And yet they trudged forth, establishing four separate franchises in its first phase (excluding Hulk because…you know…).
Speaking with EW, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige discussed some of the big gambles in setting up this universe, and why they decided to go the riskier route.
“Every time you do a film that doesn’t have a part two behind it or wasn’t a sequel. After Iron Man, and certainly after Captain America and Thor, and certainly after The Avengers, Marvel Studios could have made, theoretically, a nice game plan only making sequels to those movies. A lot of studios would love to have four franchises that they can keep doing sequels to. We specifically didn’t want to do that, because we wanted to keep bringing new characters to the forefront, because there’s an embarrassment of riches in the comic books.”
So the idea that they’d be able to expand beyond those initial four franchises was a risk for them early on. However, even now, they continue to take certain risks. Of course, Guardians of the Galaxy was a risk in the midst of Phase 2, and Ant-Man was another big one following Avengers: Age of Ultron. Even the recent Doctor Strange ran the risk of driving the world in the wrong direction. Kevin Feige then pointed to more recent risks they took.
“You look at Black Panther or Captain Marvel, that we have just started filming. One could consider those risks, whenever you’re doing something new and it’s not proven. Doing a third version of Spider-Man. Those are all things that have a certain amount of risk associated with them, but early on we decided we didn’t want to be just the Iron Man studio or just the Avengers studio. We want to be the Marvel Studio.”
Given the way things have turned out, I think those risks have undeniably paid off. Now, it’s just a matter of keeping it all going, and at the end of the day, doing that is harder than setting things up.
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