Marvel boss Kevin Feige is credited with crafting the modern day Marvel image and his mega productions for the studio have cumulatively amassed close to $27 billion at the global box office, redefining big screen entertainment in the process. As Kevin Feige kicks off the fourth phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), he is thinking bigger, only this time the size of screen he sets out to conquer is substantially smaller.
If the world is hooked to OTT right now, Feige has wasted no time to check in with his ultra-popular superhero band. Marvel’s latest superhero project, “WandaVision” will premiere in streaming space as a nine-episode series. Feige says the effort is an outcome of striving to do something that could not be done in feature film format.
“Marvel has had a lot of good successful TV in the past. This was Marvel Studios’ first foray and directly with cast — and amazing characters that we’d seen in movies — coming onto television,” he said, during the virtual global interaction to promote “WandaVision”.
“The idea was to do something that could not be done as a feature, which plays with format and with medium. There were a lot of meetings before people actually sort of understood what we were trying to go for,” Feige recalled.
“We were able to turn a wacky idea into a spectacular show. We have got lots of other things we have announced that are coming out. I’m actually very happy it worked out perfectly — that this is the debut on Disney+ for the MCU,” Kevin Feige added.
It is obvious he is taking OTT as a medium seriously, to disseminate entertainment amidst the new normal. “We want to make people understand that these projects on Disney+ are as important as the projects going into the theatres, and we want to feel that same excitement,” he insisted.
“WandaVision” directed by Matt Shakman with Jac Schaeffer as head writer, brings back Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen as the superheroes Vision and Wanda Maximoff, who are a married couple trying to adapt to their suburban lives. The series blends the style of classic sitcoms with MCU thrills and, Feige promises, will give a sneak peek into what fans can expect in the studio’s new phase.
“I hope it (the show) says ‘get ready for the new and the different’. I hope all of our movies have said that, one after the other over the years,” Feige said.
The OTT platforms has advantages, he feels. “Disney+ allowed us to expand creatively what we do. The original plan was that ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’ was going to debut first last year, followed by ‘WandaVision’. So creatively, it didn’t reshuffle. Part of the plan is having the ability and the ideas of how to shuffle should the need arise,” he noted.
On the pandemic affecting schedules, Feige added: “I’m not saying that we were prepared for a global pandemic. We were not, but we have always over the past, 12-15 years, Marvel Studios has been able to shuffle around. This required not shuffling in terms of the creative, just in terms of production. The unexpected has often served Marvel Studios well, and it has served us well in this case because this show being our first one, I love how bold it is. I love how different it is, and I love it is something you could only see on Disney+.”
“We have things that you will only be able to see initially in theatres, and this, week after week on television is very different for us and was very fun,” Feige said, summing up “WandaVision”, which co-stars Kat Dennings, Kathryn Hahn, Randall Park and Teyonah Parris, and is scheduled to premiere on Disney+ Hotstar Premium on January 15.
–ians, Sugandha Rawal