Through the years, Marvel Studios has introduced fans to a wide array of characters who have been played by a combination of up-and-coming actors and veteran stars.
Robert Downey Jr., who portrays the MCU's Tony Stark aka Iron Man, served as the face of the MCU up until his character's death in 2019's Avengers: Endgame. Despite being the main cornerstone of the mega superhero franchise, Downey was not alone as he was joined by a stellar ensemble including the likes of Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Scarlett Johansson.
After the successful launch of 2012's The Avengers, the MCU roster grew exponentially, adding stars like Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Benedict Cumberbatch, and the late Chadwick Boseman into the mix. The franchise's success also gave opportunities to different veterans like Jeff Goldblum, Cate Blanchett, Angela Bassett, and Benicio Del Toro to portray iconic roles who made an impact on the overarching narrative.
Now, a new interview with the head of Marvel Studios where a discussion about the studio's casting was divulged.
Kevin Feige Opens Up About Marvel's Casting
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige sat down with Film Companion to talk about the studio's casting choices over the years.
Film Companion pointed out that there's so much conversation on how the rise of superhero movies from the like of Marvel has arguably "eroded" the sort of foundation of the traditional movie star.
Feige gave his take on the matter, saying that the chemistry between finding a great actor to embody a great character usually leads to making "the character very popular and turns the actor into a movie star:"
"I don't know that it's eroded the movie star. I always said that when we find a great actor to embody a great character, it is that chemistry that both makes the character very popular and turns the actor into a movie star. So, I do think they go hand in hand."
Feige then cited notable examples like Thor's Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston:
"You look at the great work that people like Chris Hemsworth or Tom Hiddleston, Robert Downey Jr. was doing great work beforehand, have done certainly with us, but even as they go out into the world on other projects. I do think they go hand in hand."
Marvel's Casting Success Stories
Many would agree that the MCU's success led to the rise of superhero movies over the years, and this is why different actors are being given opportunities to portray heroes and villains on the big screen.
There's a sense that Feige's remark about finding a "great actor to embody a great character" is simply his way of saying that this is Marvel Studios' formula in its casting process. Although it may sound simple, this essentially cements the idea that Marvel doesn't need a complex formula to find the right stars for the job.
It isn't coincidental that Feige used Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston as examples in the interview, especially after both stars were relative unknowns before they were cast in their respective MCU roles. In fact, a 2009 article from Vulture actually described both stars as "no-names" when they were first reported to be involved with 2011's Thor.
Despite that, fans and critics praised the impressive performances of both actors in the MCU, thus catapulting their careers in the process.
As the MCU embraces a new chapter, it's reasonable to assume that the same casting formula will be adapted. This is evidenced by Feige's statement about the casting strategy for Jon Watt's Fantastic Four being "a beautiful combination" of well-known Hollywood stars and up-and-comers alike.
After a widely successful Infinity Saga, many would agree that the MCU's reach is already grand in scale, and a good chunk of its success could be credited to its stellar cast of actors and actresses. Feige's belief that the chemistry between a great actor and a great character is key, especially after the combined success of the franchise when it comes to box office receipts and overall impact on fans.
Feige's full interview with Film Companion can be watched below: