Monday’s press tour of Marvel Studios’ headquarters in Burbank, California has bought us a plethora of news to pour over and dissect – concept art, early footage, and other craziness, among all of which is a short but intriguing interview conducted by The Hollywood Reporter with head honcho Kevin Feige.
THR quizzed Feige on a number of topics, including on the possibility of a Rated-R MCU flick, following the success of Fox’s Deadpool and Logan. His response was a surprisingly straightforward no, stating:
“My takeaway from both of those films is not the R rating; it’s the risk they took, the chances they took, the creative boundaries that they pushed,” explained Feige. “That should be the takeaway for everyone.”
Feige went on to state that it was the finality of Logan as a story, and Deadpool’s fourth-wall breaking shenanigans, that are the reason for those films’ success. While that is indeed true, one can clearly see that aspects of both films would have had to be severely toned down – and thus significantly alter the final product – were they not enjoying the liberty of an R-rating.
Feige was also asked about the humor in his Marvel movies, and he shed some light on how it helps guide the film-makers in earlier stages of post-production, as well as it being a way to “hook” the audience in for the journey:
“We don’t sit there and say, ‘We need 15 jokes in the first 45 pages,’ but it just is something that we are naturally entertained by. Certainly in the Guardians films, as James would point out, in the Ant-Man films — it might rise to the surface more. It’s been a long time that we haven’t done a screening of a film that humor and action aren’t the top two things that are listed in those movies.”
Feige calls watching these movies at an early stage, “horribly, horribly painful … Imagine watching a Guardians movie without Rocket, without Groot, without any of the ships.”)
“But you know it works when the audience is laughing. That’s the only sign you get when you’re in the dark theater that they are with you.” He added: “I also believe that laughter is the way you hook the audience. Then you can scare them. Then you can touch them deeper than they were expecting to in a film about a tree and a raccoon and aliens that don’t understand metaphors. Humor is the secret into the audience’s other ranges of emotions.”
It seems clear that – while some might have expected the MCU to “go darker” and perhaps even put out a Rated-R film – the studio believes in its formula and sees little reason to deviate off-course. It will definitely be interesting to see the franchise continue to try and “push boundaries” while stylistically remaining more or less the same, 18 movies in.