There are countless factors and thousands of individuals that have helped turn the MCU into what it is today, but none more influential than Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. The Hollywood icon has produced every theatrical and Disney+ installment in the franchise, having served as the connective tissue the whole way.
One cannot underestimate the extent of Feige's role as he oversees every new project, both in the immediate and distant future, helping to shape the direction of the MCU as a whole. This all comes on top of producing an upcoming Star Wars movie for Lucasfilm, but details on that are remaining vague.
Feige is regarded by many as the face of the MCU, with many always eagerly awaiting those rare moments when the cap-wearing executive steps out before a convention audience to reveal future plans and surprises in epic fashion. But what's he like behind the scenes? The Marvels' Nia DaCosta had some thoughts.
The Marvels Director Reveals Her Reaction to Kevin Feige
During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, The Marvels director Nia DaCosta and several of the MCU sequel's stars addressed their first reactions to meeting Marvel Studios' infamous president Kevin Feige.
DaCosta noted how she was surprised to discover that "Kevin Feige is a good person," and also shared that several of her MCU friends told her before signing onto The Marvels that he "just really loves his job:"
"I've been a huge Marvel fan for the longest time, loved the movies, and so I always knew I wanted to be part of the universe. Well, you know what surprised me is that Kevin Feige is a good person. Because you always think that he rules over this entire empire, he must be, like, you know. Literally, all my friends are in the Marvel universe, I was like, 'just tell me he's a bad person I won't take the movie,' and they're like, 'no he's kind of great actually, he just really loves his job,' and I was like 'damn it.'"
The director then gestured to Ms. Marvel actress Iman Vellani to ask if she was similarly surprised by Feige's personality. The MCU newcomer noted how she felt she "came on too strong" with Feige after giving him a "five-page letter" when she was cast in her superhero role:
"Yeah, I thought I came on too strong, I defiantly did, I gave him a five-page letter."
The rest of the cast hilariously agreed that Vellani came on strong, but Monica Rambeau actress Teyonah Parris called it "lovely." This led to a discussion about Vellani's early interactions with Feige in which he took the time to answer many of her questions, along with a story about her meeting Samuel L. Jackson on set:
Larson: "It's a lot when you're like, 'nice to meet you here's a 54-page letter."
Vellani: "Still, he handled it really well and he called me the next day over Zoom and answered the first 40 questions out of like 72, or something. So, the fact that he took the time to do that, and every time we'd talk after that he'd answer a couple more. I think we're through the list now."
DaCosta: "When [Samuel L. Jackson] was on set we had some down time and she opened up her notebook and was like, 'I have some questions for you.'"
Kevin Feige: One of the Greats
Kevin Feige has long been synonymous with the MCU as his unique blend of leadership, creativity, and showmanship, have turned him into the real-world face of the franchise. So it's heartwarming to discuss that the even behind-the-scnenes, Feige is just as beloved by the MCU's creatives as he is by the fans.
The Marvel Studios President has been pivotal in turning the franchise into what it is today when it comes to securing talent, making creative decisions, and charting the course for the future. Clearly, Feige has great passion for what he does and that is clearly reflected in his extensive Zoom conversation with Iman Vellani.
As Feige plays such a significant creative role in every Marvel Studios project, directors, actors, and writers' ability to work with him is integral. So it's not surprising that Nia DaCosta was eager to clarify what to expect with Feige before signing on to direct The Marvels.
It's intriguing to hear about the extensiveness of the conversation Feige had with Vellani to answer her questions when she was first cast in the MCU. With the producer juggling dozens of projects, one would imagine a task like that would be delegated elsewhere, but his close involvement demonstrates great passion.
The Marvels hits theaters on July 28, 2023.