MarvelBlog News for August 1st, 2022
This week, the Kang Dynasty adds a director, while the Russos reveal a What If… scenario regarding Avengers: Endgame; welcome back to MarvelBlog News!
A Different What If…
Last week, MarvelBlog News mentioned that the Russo Brothers wouldn’t direct the two upcoming Avengers movies. Fans took the news hard, as the Russos hit a grand slam with Avengers: Endgame. MCU loyalists had hoped for a reunion in time for Avengers: The Kang Dynast and/or Avengers: Secret Wars.
For its part, Marvel has suggested that the Russos will return to the fold one day. But sadly, that likely won’t happen during Phase Four or Phase Five. Still, the Russos have performed a recent news cycle as part of the San Diego Comic-Con postscript.
Vanity Fair asked the brothers to break down some of their previous directorial efforts. Here’s the full video:
You only need to watch the first four minutes to learn the story here. The Russos revealed they had serious misgivings about killing Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame. Apparently, Jon Favreau, the director of the first Iron Man film, called them after reading the script and quizzed them about going through with it.
In relaying the story, the directors casually dole the revelation that Stark’s last words didn’t happen at first. Actor Robert Downey Jr. had already said goodbye to the character twice and thought he was done.
After a member of the original Iron Man crew suggested the phrase, “I am Iron Man,” Downey had to put the armor back on and film that scene.
Yes, Tony Stark almost snapped his fingers and controlled the Infinity Gauntlet without saying a word. That REALLY wouldn’t have been in character. Of course, the other story here involves Favreau’s unusual request. He was diametrically opposed to the idea of killing Stark.
According to the Russos, Favreau argued: “You can’t do this. It’s gonna devastate people. You don’t want them walking out of the theater and into traffic.”
About that Kang Dynasty Director…
While Iron Man died anyway, the Russos delivered an instant classic with Avengers: Endgame. Personally, I’d hate to be the sucker stuck following that project. Obviously, I’m not as bold and brave as Destin Daniel Cretton.
Marvel has settled on this director to helm the next Avengers movie. MarvelBlog News cannot stress enough what a significant hire this is. Thus far, only three people, the Russos and Josh Whedon, have directed Avengers titles.
Now, the person responsible for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will take control of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty. Presumably, Cretton will also possess heavy input into the characters leading into the Avengers film.
Marvel often takes this approach so that a director doesn’t have to explain any storyline incongruities. In fact, Nia DeCosta directed the post-credits scene of Ms. Marvel. Without adding spoilers, she introduced a plot element that will tie into The Marvels.
DeCosta had nothing else to do with Ms. Marvel. Still, she’ll take care of Kamala Khan during her next character arc. So, Marvel gave her the reins early. Something similar can and likely will happen with Cretton. Notably, Disney hasn’t announced a Shang-Chi sequel, though.
I strongly doubt Cretton will exclude his signature character from The Kang Dynasty. For this reason, I’d expect Shang-Chi to appear in other projects. For Cretton, this is a career-making opportunity even more than Shang-Chi was.
There’s a legitimate chance that no film from now until 2025 earns as much box office as the next Avengers release. So, he’ll gain all the credit if the project succeeds on the level of the most recent two Avengers titles.
Conversely, he’ll take the blame if it’s as much of a mess as critics deemed Avengers: Age of Ultron to be. (They were wrong, by the way.)
Kevin Feige Updates and Speculation
The head of the MCU has also performed a recent media blitz in the wake of Comic-Con. These media events work like a vacation for him, as he’s otherwise one of the busiest people in Hollywood.
Feige clearly relishes these opportunities to get facetime with fans and reporters alike. It’s a chance to recognize his work’s impact on others. During a recent conversation, the MCU boss refused to list cast members for Fantastic Four. However, he did provide a surprising tidbit.
This film won’t work as an origin story! Instead, the characters will already possess their powers and comprise Marvel’s First Family at the start. There’s also rampant speculation at the moment about Feige’s future with Marvel/Disney.
I will state in advance that this stuff is uninformed nonsense. However, popular YouTube personality John Campea tweeted the following:
So Kevin Feige's favorite boss (Alan Horn) has come out of retirement for WB. This is how I picture it in my head. pic.twitter.com/AwzF1iKJXc
— John Campea (@johncampea) July 29, 2022
He also added this reply later in the thread:
100%. Bob Chapek has stripped away a lot of his power and authority. Embarrassed him with his talent like Scarlett Johansson and put accountants as his bosses instead of a creative like Alan Horn. Yes, he's looking to leave.
— John Campea (@johncampea) July 29, 2022
These posts require a bit of context. In 2011, Warner Bros. made the catastrophic decision to push out Alan Horn in favor of younger blood. Horn was 68 at the time and quickly signed with Disney, where he enjoyed a stellar run until the end of 2021.
At that point, the now-79-year-old Horn watched history repeat itself. Disney’s new CEO pushed him out. Friends, if you love the MCU, you have Alan Horn to thank for it nearly as much as Kevin Feige.
New ownership at Warner Bros. has made amends with Horn and brought him back into the fold in what he describes as a “consigliere” role. Horn and Feige share a strong working relationship, and WB owns DC. So, it’s not the most absurd notion.
However, Feige extended his Disney/Marvel contract in late 2021 or early 2022. This news comes from Disney’s CEO. So, Feige stays; and that’s MarvelBlog News for the first week of August!