I was invited by Disney on an all expenses paid trip in exchange for my coverage of the #ThorRagnarokEvent. All opinions are my own.
As you already know, I had an amazing time in LA on the #ThorRagnarokEvent trip. Walking the red carpet and interviewing the talent were definitely the highlights. At the Thor Ragnarok Press Junket we got to sit down with the Producer Kevin Feige.
How are you feeling having Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor coming out in the same year?
Kevin: It’s pretty awesome and I love that little Peter Parker in high school is in the middle of all that. I’ve always wanted people to understand that just because something’s based on a comic doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Doesn’t mean they all inhabit the same exact tone. These were our three movies this year. I always knew and was hoping would be pretty exciting.
Will Guardians of the Galaxy meet Thor in the future?
Kevin: Yes, and it comes out in May of next year. [Speaking of Avengers: Infinity War]
Is it going to be a major set up or a cameo?
Kevin: No, Infinity War is a pretty major meeting of those minds and Thor, in particular, with the Guardians, we’ve already shot some very fun scenes between them. The cosmic adventurers spend a lot of time together in that movie. [Speaking of Avengers: Infinity War]
Is that filming in Atlanta?
Kevin: We have finished Avengers: Infinity War. They are currently filming Untitled Avengers and we started in January of this year and we go through January of next year filming. Nonstop. Black Panther has started and finished. Ant-Man and The Wasp have started and almost finished while that’s all going on.
Why does this Thor has such a different look and feel?
Kevin: That was our idea perfected and improved by Taika [Director of Thor Ragnarok]. We wanted to, as we always do in our movies, go to a new place. Go to an unexpected place. Look at what we did with Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, the third Captain American film, with Civil War and we always look at a third film, Infinity War in the case of Avengers coming up, as an opportunity to take what the fans like, that they’re willing to go with us and take them to a totally unexpected fun place.
Also, Mr. Hemsworth used to say, “hey, mate, Captain America has got Iron Man in his movie, Iron Man has got Black Widow in his movie, who am I getting?” I’d go, “I think he’s right.” And the fun thing about Thor is he’s got amazing characters in his own comics, so Hela and Valkyrie from his books, from the mythology.
We knew we wanted to bring in them, but thinking about who else we could bring in from the universe and very quickly we realized Hulk would be that guy. But seeing Thor and Hulk battle it out together is great. Seeing Banner and Thor being fish out of water is even better. So, suddenly, you have this great dynamic between them. Hulk, when we last saw him on a Quinn jet heading up into the atmosphere, he kept going. And he got caught in a wormhole and he ended up on Sakaar.
What was behind pulling the Planet Hulk storyline into this movie?
Kevin: Well, Planet Hulk, in which Hulk finds himself forced into these gladiatorial games, was always a great comic. That image of Hulk with these big battle weapons and that big helmet, we loved. We never really thought we would be able to do it, in large part because Banner is not a part of those comics. He’s Hulk the whole time and we love Mark Ruffalo. And wouldn’t want to do a movie without Mark Ruffalo in it, so I always sort of thought there wouldn’t really be that opportunity. As we were putting Thor: Ragnarok together, we realized, this is where we could do it. This is how we could do a taste of it. This is not the Planet Hulk story, but it’s certainly the inspiration of getting to see that and even characters like Korg and Meek, who as performed by Taika steal the whole movie, are from that story as well.
Are there plans for any other stand-alone Hulk movies?
Kevin: We love them all. We think it would be fun to bring them to the screen and how we do that, I’m not sure. In terms of stand-alone Hulk movies, there are various contracts with studios that have to be worked out. I’m just so happy that we have the ability to include Hulk in these ensembles and what we already have planned, the arc that we’re started with Ragnarok, that you saw. An enhanced push and pull between Hulk and Bruce Banner sort of for their body continues in the next Avengers film. In, I think, unexpected fun ways.
Is there going to be a film where we see more of what happened to Hulk on Sakar between the time he left the Avengers and became a warrior?
Kevin: That would be pretty cool. I don’t know. I think that would probably fall under the solo Hulk area and stuff we’d have to figure out before we’d be able to do that. But you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to see more of that or more of Jeff Goldblum as the Grand Master.
Are you looking towards an all-female movie?
Kevin: I think we certainly have enough powerful characters to do that. When and how, I don’t know, but I recently found myself in an undisclosed location. Somebody tapped on my shoulder and I turned around and there was Scarlet Johansson, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Tessa Thompson, and Pom Klementieff all saying, “Hey, when are we going to do a movie?” So that was pretty overwhelming. Zoe Saldana was also standing there.
Can you comment on the “bloggers aren’t real journalists” line in Spiderman Homecoming?
Kevin: That was an ad lib. A comedic ad lib from Mr. Downey, one of the many things he just says. Moments before that, he says something about a human-dog hybrid and puppies and who knows what he’s talking about? When we shot it, it just sort of went past me and we cut it together and only in sort of the early screenings, I went, “oh I’m gonna hear about this”. And it was just him being funny.
Who is your favorite Avenger?
Kevin: I really don’t have a favorite and I love that we’ve been so lucky that with each release, another one rises to the top and I read comments that now Thor is going to become people’s favorite Avenger after this movie.
But I think in the looking as we approach our ten year anniversary, it’s impossible not to look back on Iron Man one and what Favreau did and what Downey did and continues to do that really is the foundation for everything we’ve done. That experience of Iron Man one was our first, so, in many ways, it is the one I look back at quite fondly, but I don’t have favorites.
How do you balance all the films you have coming out?
Kevin: I’ve got an incredible team at Marvel Studios. Each film has a single embedded Executive Producer on it who sees it, Brad Winterbaum on this movie, Executive Producer on that poster over there has lived with Taika for the past two and a half years. Moved his family to Australia for months and months. They’re on it the whole time, so I’m always a text or a phone call away of knowing exactly what’s happening anywhere at any given time.
So it’s a great privilege to have this team in place. Most of us have been together for almost the entire ten years at the studio which is very unusual in Hollywood. It’s great.
It was really cool getting to hear about Marvel Studios’ upcoming projects and to finally hear about the origin of the infamous blogger line in Spiderman Homecoming. After the interview Kevin took a group photo with all of the bloggers.
THOR RAGNAROK open in theaters everywhere on November 3rd!
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“In Marvel Studios’ THOR: RAGNAROK, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first, he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk! THOR: RAGNAROK is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.“-Marvel Studios