Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige just offered up a rare interview with Variety, during which he teased the future of the MCU and how it will intersect with both Disney+’s upcoming series and the X-Men universe, which, following Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox, is now under his umbrella.
Though the interview breathlessly frames Endgame as the end of an era—and teases exits for Chris Evans’ Captain America and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man—it posits projects like The Eternals, which recently cast Angelina Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani as a few of Jack Kirby’s cosmic defenders, as “one of Marvel’s next big projects.” Shang-Chi, as well, is said to, alongside The Eternals, introduce “a new group of heroes and villains whose various adventures will eventually overlap.” One can expect, then, that these films will soon intersect with the Black Widow spin-off and the upcoming Black Panther and Doctor Strange sequels, forming the spine of the MCU’s next phase.
“Some of these films will feature characters that you already know,” Feige says. “Some supporting characters will assume leading roles, while some new characters will be introduced. The reward for all of these films working is that we get to try to do it again and do it differently and learn from our mistakes and try something we haven’t tried before.”
Also getting folded into the mix, however, will be the studio’s numerous spin-off series, which, per Feige, “will intersect with the movies in a very big way.” He adds, “It’s a totally new form of storytelling that we get to play with and explore.” While that’s unsurprising in terms of Hawkeye’s spin-off, which will aim to weave archer Kate Bishop into the franchise, it does confirm that Loki’s time-hopping travels and the regrettably-named WandaVision won’t operate in a vacuum.
Also of note for Marvel fans is the possibility of the X-Men, Wolverine, and Deadpool invading the MCU, which is now a very real possibility. Feige is tight-lipped about it, but appears to be optimistic about their eventual inclusion. “The specifics of what it means remains to be seen, but overall it’s wonderful and it feels like these characters have come home,” he says. “It will be nice to have what every other [intellectual property] holder that I can think of has, which is access to all their IP. Imagine if Donald Duck was at another studio. Imagine if Goofy or Moana were someplace else and you didn’t have access to them even though they are yours.”
As such, the future looks bright. It also, per Endgame director Joe Russo, looks to be diverse. “The future of these movies will be an inclusive one,” Russo says. “Diversity, both in front of and behind the camera, will be its gold standard.”
Read the full interview, which also includes Iron Man director Jon Favreau reflecting on that first film’s shaky, stressful production, here.