Monday, July 21, 2014

Kevin Feige Knows Who Doctor Strange Is, But He's Not Talking!

Thanks to a Guardians of the Galaxy press junket last night, today's seen at least a dozen Marvel-related stories hit the Internet. In one such interview with IGN, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige spoke at length about the plans the studio has for Doctor Strange.
It's widely believed that an introduction to the actor that will portray the Sorcerer Supreme in the MCU will be one of many big moments for Marvel when they put on their annual Hall H show this Saturday at Comic Con, Kevin Feige wants you to sit in doubt for a few days. When asked by IGN when we might find out the identity of the man that will bring the mystical side of Marvel to the MCU, Feige responded, "relatively quickly. I don't know if it'll be as quick as next Saturday. But it'll be relatively quickly." Marvel has a guy in place, they've cast the role. So why aren't we finding out right away? It seems it's just a matter of working out the details as Collider's Steve Weintraub mentioned in the following tweets:

All things being equal, we will very likely get that announcement come Saturday evening if that's what Marvel wants to do. There is no way that Marvel won't hash out a deal with the chosen actor IF they are truly planning on having this reveal. The timing of this is interesting to me. Marvel has a very solid track record of putting together the creative teams behind projects about 2 years ahead of release, which they've done in this case with director Scott Derrickson and screenwriter Jon Spaihts; however, the track record for casting actors, even leads, is quite different and all over the map. They sometimes cast a year ahead of filming and other times within months of shooting. In this case, it makes me wonder if they aren't working on signing the actor now in order to secure his involvement, even if just in a cameo or post-credit tag, in a film they are already shooting (Avengers: Age of Ultron) or one they'll be shooting soon (Ant-Man). Now neither of those reasons have to be accurate, but they're reasonable questions to be asking.

In the IGN interview, Feige also talked about the future of Doctor Strange, who has been rumored to be the centerpiece of the next couple of phases of Marvel films, beyond his first solo film and whether or not he'll join the Avengers, or some version of them:
"It does make sense [to have standalone franchises], but I don't think it makes sense for this character, who has clearly woven in and out of that stuff [The Avengers] in the comics. We have a template. There's a template for everything we do, which are the comics. Strange goes back and forth. Guardians less so, actually, until recently. But if there's a character like that who clearly interweaves over the course of many stories, I find no reason to go, 'We're not going to do that in the movies. We're going to keep him in his own movies.' So there's always the potential for it [Strange to join The Avengers]."
I've long believed that Marvel has to be, at the very least, considering something along the lines of a New Avengers franchise following the eventual exit of many of their Phase 1 and 2 leads. Doctor Strange, a member of just such a team in the comics, would be a wonderful bridge between the two groups. Of course those Avengers would consist of a different collection of heroes than the first assemblage of Earth's Mightiest but, as Feige points out, that's how the comics have always been:
"Certainly that has been the case with the comics, right? Go into the comic bin and pull up any Avengers issue from 1960-whatever and 1980-whatever, and they probably don't match. I think that's fun. That's one of the reasons why Wanda and Pietro [Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch] have shown up in the new Avengers film, because we like the notion of a shifting roster, of a growing roster."
Could we conceivably see a New Avengers team made up of Doctor Strange, the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Captain America (Bucky), the Black Panther, Iron Patriot and Falcon? Why not...even better, with Sony failing at an almost unbelievable level with their Spider-Man properties, why not buy the rights back now and throw Spidey in just in time for Avengers 3? A guy can dream...