It has been nearly a year and a half since Marvel Studios kicked off (the record-breaking) Phase 4 of the MCU, and with the new era of Kevin Feige-produced super-powered storytelling has come a bevy of new projects. Not only have audiences taken in debut outings from a variety of heroes, including Shang-Chi and Moon Knight, but they also have been treated to adventures alongside returning names like Doctor Strange and Spider-Man.
Thus far in this new phase of Marvel stories, the franchise has been reestablishing itself a bit, taking on a variety of different creative visions in a number of different genres. Studio head Kevin Feige has been busy looking forward to what is to come after the decade-long Infinity Saga came to an end back in 2019.
This new effort from the Marvel Studios brass has had some fans wary of the franchise's future, as - at least in these early stages - it may remain unclear what the next end goal may be. But those worries may be for naught, as Feige himself has spoken about the early going of Phase 4 and the unique directions each project has gone in.
Feige's Phase Four Feelings
In the virtual press conference for the upcoming MCU streaming series Ms. Marvel, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige addressed the different directions/tones each Phase 4 project thus far has taken.
Feige told members of the press that, "the intention" was to differentiate these projects from one another with unique tones. He said, that the MCU doesn't necessarily "promise a particular group of characters and a particular exact tone," instead it is much more "a spirit and a style." He mentioned that this is what makes this franchise so unique, it's "being able to see all of those different tones and styles and characters:"
"That's always the intention, is that the Marvel Studios logo doesn't promise a particular group of characters and a particular exact tone. It promises a spirit and a style and a vibe and an emotion, I hope. And it's perfect timing to go from Moon Knight to Ms. Marvel, specifically because they're so unique and so different with Multiverse of Madness and Love and Thunder on either end of that. That is what makes Marvel in publishing and now in the MCU so unique, is being able to see all of those different tones and styles and characters. So I like very much that people say, 'Look, they're all different.' Because that's how we always feel about them and always want them to feel."
The studio head then went on to speak directly to Ms. Marvel, saying "it's such a privilege" at Marvel being able to "[bring] new characters to the screen" like Kamala Kahn, instead of exclusively "telling reinterpretations of characters people have seen:"
"With Marvel, it's such a privilege, because not only are there reinterpretations every few years of existing wonderful characters, but every once in a while, and it does seem like every decade or so, there's a new character that comes around that catches the audiences' imagination. And this character clearly did that, and as I said to some people on the red carpet last night, almost from the first few issues, people started asking us in environments like this when we were promoting other things, 'When is Kamala Khan coming [to the MCU]? When is Ms. Marvel coming?' And so it always seemed inevitable, in a great way to be able to do it. When Disney+ came around, it really gave us the opportunity to do what we really wanted to do, which was tell her full story in six episodes, and then have her then transition into a feature. And as Sana [Amanat] said, I'm so proud of bringing new characters to the screen and not just telling reinterpretations of characters people have seen for decades and decades. And I think that's important. I want people who have never even considered watching a Marvel Studios production before to be excited and watch this show. And then go watch all the other ones!"
Kevin Feige Is Right Again
Kevin Feige is right here. The Marvel Studios banner is much more a feeling than a particular tone. No longer is the franchise populated by simple cookie-cutter superhero fare, now the MCU is home to everything from intergalactic comedies, to kung-fu epics. It's this diversity that makes the series special.
And that diversity is only going to grow. Just this year, the MCU will offer up its first straight-up horror scare-athon, a procedural legal comedy, and a coming-of-age story akin to Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink.
But with all those different genre packages comes something that still feels distinctly Marvel. Over the last 14 years, Kevin Feige has curated a vision for what a Marvel Studios movie (and now streaming series looks like). And yes, filmmakers can bend what that is, putting each title into their own unique genre bucket; however, no matter the different wrapping, the candy on the inside still tastes like the MCU.
The next of these diverse projects comes in the form of Ms. Marvel, which debuts on Disney+ on June 8.