Kevin Feige Reveals the 'Secret' to Marvel's Formula

By Gillian Blum Posted:
Kevin Feige, Marvel, Avengers

In a new podcast episode, President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige opened up about Marvel Studios' secrets.

The MCU is one of the most successful franchises in movie history. 

Not only does it have a massive and vocal fanbase, but also its projects and stars have received prestigious honors and awards.

Love it or hate it, everyone can acknowledge that the MCU must be doing something right. Feige shared his perspective on this in a new interview.

What Makes the MCU Work?

Kevin Feige, Marvel, Avengers

In an interview on The Movie Business Podcast, President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige spoke to host Jason E. Squire about the secrets to the MCU's success.

He said that while "storylines and spoilers" are kept secretive, "there are no secrets" and there "isn't any" secret "formula" that Marvel follows to ensure success in its projects:

Jaseon E. Squire: "What are the secrets to Marvel Studios?"

Kevin Feige: "The honest truth, which is not as exciting, but you get the inside scoop on this podcast and I'll give it to you. There are no secrets. There's secrets in terms of the storylines, and spoilers, and things like that, but if there was a formula, because people have been asking up for a very long time, 'What's the formula?' and the truth is there isn't any."

Feige explained that "one of the many, many positive" parts of Marvel being a part of the Walt Disney Company is the ability that position gives Marvel creatives to connect with those in other Disney-owned properties and subdivisions:

"A number of years ago, when we became part of the Walt Disney company, one of the many, many positive things that happened then is we got access to all the brilliant people at the other studios within Walt Disney Live-Action, and Pixar, and soon after Lucasfilm, so we can have all these inside conversations with people."

Through those conversations, Feige learned that a creative process wherein a project is "terrible" at first, then is "shaped, and worked, and reworked," is a shared experience.

"And I found it very therapeutic when the folks at Pixar, again this was probably a decade ago, were sharing with us how hard they have to work on each project and how at a certain point everything that they're working on is... terrible. And is not very good. And needs to be shaped, and worked, and reworked. And I felt such a weight lifted off my shoulders because that is what it was like for us, and still is like for us at Marvel Studios."

This "weight lifted" for Feige revealed to him that the work needed to make Marvel projects good enough that it "ends up standing the test of time" is work that all creatives end up putting into any project and that projects don't "come out of [people's] brains perfectly formed:"

"It takes a tremendous amount of work and effort to make any movie or project, much less one that ends up standing the test of time, which is always what we strive for at Marvel Studios. And for some reason I just thought, well all these other successful places and people, it must just come out of their brains perfectly formed and it is only us at Marvel Studios that has to grind, and work, and rework, and rewrite, and recut, and reshoot over and over again to make something work. And it turned out, no, that is not the case."

He concluded that while Marvel does not have any individual secrets to its own, specific success, there is one secret "shared across successful organizations, and storytellers, and filmmakers:" that being "a tremendous amount of hard work:"

"The secret that is shared across successful organizations, and storytellers, and filmmakers is just a tremendous amount of hard work. And the only thing that can power that hard work is passion. And thankfully that's what we have at Marvel Studios in spades. I always say if we weren't here making the movies we'd be the first ones buying advanced tickets, or I used to say waiting in line around the block to go see them."

Marvel Studios' True Formula for Success

Reshoots are no stranger to MCU projects — in fact, just more than a month before its release, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania underwent reshoots.

While that may indicate to some that there are problems with the film, it is actually a testament to the "tremendous amount of hard work" that goes into each Marvel project that Feige discussed. Reshoots mean that Marvel has recognized a problem, and is taking steps to fix that problem.

As the MCU continues releasing more and more movies, shows, and special features, fans will hopefully be able to enjoy the result of the hard work put into every project.

Release Date
February 17, 2023
- About The Author: Gillian Blum

Gillian Blum has been a writer at The Direct since 2022, reporting primarily from New York City. Though she covers news from across the entertainment industry, Gillian has a particular focus on Marvel and DC, including comics, movies, and television shows. She also commonly reports on Percy Jackson, Invincible, and other similar franchises.