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Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige talks “Captain America 2″ and the Skrulls in “The Avengers”

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It’s official: “The Avengers” was a huge success. But after Marvel finally brought their various superhero properties into one epic ensemble blockbuster, it’s time to send them their own separate ways again.

In an interview with CHUD, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said that the next few standalone movies will have the Avengers standing very much on their own.

“If we do an ‘Avengers 2′ it will be after [‘Iron Man 3,’ ‘Thor 2,’ ‘Captain America 2′]. They have to grow, they have to change,” he said. “What they’ve gone through in this movie will impact their state of mind and where they stand in their next movies. Then whatever they go through in those movies is going to affect where we meet them in the next Avengers film. But I think people will be surprised to see, as we go forward – particularly in ‘Iron Man 3′ – the notion of how singular the stories can become. ‘Iron Man 3′ is a very singular Tony Stark story. As is ‘Thor 2.’

The only upcoming movie to really diverge from this will be “Captain America 2,” Feige explained. “Cap, who is stuck in the modern day with no friends or family, there will be some revelations of who is still alive from his days in WWII, but S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury are kind of his confidants right now,” he said. “So of all these movies, ‘Captain America 2′ will be most closely associated with ‘Avengers.'”

Speaking of S.H.I.E.L.D., it turns out that they almost didn’t appear in the movie — until Feige realized Marvel had the rights to the property.

By now we’ve already heard the story of how Marvel opted to introduce S.H.I.E.L.D. to their movie franchise, but Feige said that he almost knocked the idea down before it was brought to fruition.

“Some of the writers asked, ‘Hey we want to have an agent who is sort of trailing Tony Stark, and is asking questions to add an air of mystery and global consequence to what he’s doing. Can we use S.H.I.E.L.D.?’ And I said, no no, you can’t do that,” Feige said. “I said that as a knee-jerk reaction because that is what I would always say when people writing ‘Fantastic Four’ or ‘X-Men’ or ‘Spider-Man’ or whatever — I’m not saying they all asked for S.H.I.E.L.D., but many of them would ask for something that wasn’t in their contract. So my knee-jerk was no no. But then I thought, oh wait, you can! Of course you can! It’s ours! We have it!”

Something they don’t have, though, is the complete rights to the Skrulls. That’s one of the main reasons the alien race didn’t appear in “The Avengers,” apparently.

“Skrulls have a big connection to ‘Fantastic Four.’ So there are some contractual limitations about who can do what when it comes to Skrulls,” Feige said. “Though that is not why we didn’t do Skrulls. There is already enough going on in this movie.”

Are you glad the next Marvel movies will be more standalone? Are you disappointed the Skrulls didn’t appear? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Bill Murray in Ghostbusters II

Hopebusters, Too

Ghostbusters II Predicted the World Will End on Valentine’s Day 2016

Catch Ghostbusters II this month on IFC. Provided the world doesn't end, of course.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

Far be it from us to contradict Mr. Bill Murray, but a prediction made in a scene from one of his films is about to be put to the test. If you remember Ghostbusters II, then you know that at the beginning of the film, retired ‘buster Peter Venkman is the host of a chat show called World of the Psychic. According to a guest on the show, the world will end on February 14th, 2016 — this Valentine’s Day.

Now, before you start looting, keep in mind the source of this information is a tad unreliable. Elaine (played by Sid and Nancy star Chloe Webb) sits with Venkman and relates how she received this intel from an alien who may or may not have disguised a UFO to look like a Holiday Inn in Paramus. Let’s just hope she misheard, otherwise there will be some awkward date nights this year.

Check out the grim prognostication in the clip below. Hopefully the world will still be here when Ghostbusters II airs Monday, Feb. 15th and throughout the month on IFC.

Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige talks “Spider-Man,” “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four”

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“The Avengers” is finally coming out this Friday, and we largely have Kevin Feige to thank for that.

The Marvel Studios president had a lengthy conversation with Wired recently that touches on a lot of subjects, including the Marvel properties owned by other studios. The magazine asked whether it was difficult assembling the Avengers without such big names as Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four in their arsenal, but Feige said it ultimately worked out to Marvel’s advantage.

“Well, look, clearly we would prefer everything be at home, so to speak. But all the contracts are different. Some of them have very firm reversion dates, and some of them we don’t expect to get back any time soon, let’s put it that way. We’re fine with that,” Feige said. “We have a great relationship with Sony and Fox. Would we like to have them all back? Sure. But we are more than comfortable with the way things stand now, because it worked out pretty well, right?”

He continued, “The Avengers is a gargantuan part of the Marvel Universe, as big a part or bigger than X-Men, bigger than Fantastic Four. There’s no doubt that Spider-Man is the most well-known, but in terms of families of characters, Avengers is bigger. Yes, the book has been around so long that almost every single character has popped in and out at some point. But there was a little bit of planning and a lot of luck that we ended up with Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Widow, Fury, SHIELD, all within our rights. Because that obviously led up to ‘The Avengers.'”

The whole chat is very interesting, but one of the greatest moments comes at the end when Feige starts talking about how superhero movies got a big boost in 2008. He thanks Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” for that, but also comments on how studios’ views on the comic book genre has changed over the past decade.

“Chris Nolan’s Batman is the greatest thing that happened because it bolstered everything. Imagine the one-two punch in 2008 of ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Dark Knight’? It was great,” Feige said. “Six years earlier I was having conversations with studio execs where they’d say, ‘Why don’t you come work for us? These comic book movies can’t last forever. It’s probably towards the tail end.’ And I, being with big bright-eyed naiveté would go, ‘I don’t know, I think we can do more. I think there’s more fun to be had.'”

Do you wish that Marvel had control of Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four as well? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

“Iron Man 3″ casts Guy Pearce in villain role

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Ben Kingsley might be playing a villain in “Iron Man 3,” but he won’t be playing Aldrich Killian.

That responsibility will fall on the capable shoulders of Guy Pearce, Variety is reporting. The “Prometheus” star is in talks to play the geneticist who is one of Iron Man’s antagonists in Warren Ellis’ six-issue series “Extremis,” the comic book storyline that “Iron Man 3″ is going to be based on.

When Kingsley’s name was first announced as a villain in the flick, it was assumed he would be playing Aldrich. But this new information seems to confirm the rumor that he will be playing Iron Man’s greatest archnemesis, the Mandarin. In addition for the fact that Kingsley’s the perfect fit for the role (despite the fact that he keeps denying that’s what he’ll be playing), a portion of “Iron Man 3″ is also going to be shot in China, which seems to back up the Mandarin storyline.

Which Aldrich cast, that means that director Shane Black only needs to fill the role of Maya Hansen. Hansen is the bioengineer who originally dreamed up the idea of the Extremis serum, and turned to her partner Aldrich to help her create it. Together, they decided to put the serum into the hands of terrorists and set them against Iron Man in order to prove the strength of the Extremis-enhanced supersoldiers created.

“Iron Man 3″ is set to begin shooting in North Carolina in May. It’s due to hit theaters on May 3, 2013.

Do you think Guy Pearce is a good fit for Aldrich Killian? Does this mean Kingsley is actually playing the Mandarin? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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