CBMB: Kevin Feige Discusses his (and Fans) Desire for Black Panther and Captain Marvel | FanboysInc

CBMB: Kevin Feige Discusses his (and Fans) Desire for Black Panther and Captain Marvel

By Muuka Muyumba

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige sat down with the folks at IGN recently and discussed his desire to please fans by producing movies based on the Black Panther as well as Captain (Ms.) Marvel. He teased us by threatening to announce those movies right then and there, but returned to his usual self and spoke in generalities.

“They’re both characters that we like, that development work has been done, it’s continuing to be done on, and certainly it’s the question I get asked more than anything else, more than Iron Man 4, more than Avengers 3. That’s sort of the first time that’s really happened to us, so I think that makes a difference. I think that’s something we have to pay attention to… I’ve always said we have our plan, and it’s served us very well, and there hasn’t been anything that has managed to deviate or change from that based on an opinion, because opinions online change and they alter, and they are based on limited information they have to what’s going on behind the scenes, but in this particular case I think it is a groundswell, and I think it means something substantial.”

We don’t know whether this video is from before or after the launch of Guardians of the Galaxy, but what is clear from the smashing success of this film is that Marvel may have carte blanche — they can make whatever movie they want and will succeed. In other words, Marvel’s brand may be so strong that they will have a guaranteed audience for their films, no matter who is at its center.

Now this may be too broad a statement because Guardians was such a unique property and was blessed with a new star in Chris Pratt. Not only is the movie funny, but its also moving, weird, rude, crude, and different than any other Marvel film before it.

The film is so different that many believed that it was too risky post-Avengers. Those people (and me) have been proven so wrong.

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Will this embolden Feige to push the genre even further? Black Panther could be seen as risky because would be a superhero film centered on an African character. Many in the industry believe that automatically makes it a “black” film and limits its appeal overseas. If the African continent had the infrastructure (and population) of a country like China, then this point would be mute. However, our world is sadly far from that. Worldwide audiences just don’t care about African or African-American centered films because they may be too culturally specific and less relateable.


If there is one filmmaking company that could shatter that, its Marvel, who with these two films has now been hoisted into a socially relevant position. Captain Marvel holds similar social relevancy as Black Panther, but may not have as steep a climb if the film’s protagonist remains a Nordic blonde for the lead. The most recent incarnation of Captain (Ms.) Marvel has a Arab-Muslim girl as the hero. I doubt that Marvel would be that bold for their possible first female-led superhero film, but the social impact of a film like that would be appealing.

Ms. Marvel‘s hang-up may still be the perceived stigma of a female-led superhero film. Some seem to have forgotten that they have happened in the past with the likes of Supergirl, Catwoman, and Elektra. However, the real concern of people like Feige has been the lack of financial success for those films despite a possible true concern of the lack of quality in the filmmaking. None of those films had even reasonable storylines that would bring an audience in from the cold. Simply placing a woman in the lead doesn’t guarantee an audience.

Marvel has done a good job of relying on passionate filmmakers, great casts, and connected storytelling that fits within their movie-making machine. At this point, the machine has yet to churn out a stinker, so we have to hope that a Ms. Marvel or Black Panther project would have the same Marvel machine and churn out a hit.

All this being said, we may still have a long time to wait for these films, but Feige likely has scripts for both of them ready. As he noted, once the conversation changed, then he knew the time was right. Marvel has slated films for the five years on unknown titles with plenty of space to fit in these groundbreaking heroes.