If you were to ask Ronald McDonald if he thinks people will ever get tired of eating hamburgers, what would he say? Would it be anything other than no? His whole life is dedicated to selling hamburgers, so why would he be anything but bullish on their future? It’s important to him that people not only still buy hamburgers, but that they believe hey is still invested in the future of hamburgers.
Anyway, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige recently appeared on Jason E. Squire’s The Movie Business Podcast (via Variety), and as you can probably imagine, he feels the same way about the future of superhero movies as Ronald McDonald does about the future of hamburgers. Feige said that, pretty much since his “second year at Marvel,” people have asked him if he thinks comic book movies are a “fad” and if their popularity will last much longer, and he has this understandably optimistic take:
I didn’t really understand the question. Because to me, it was akin to saying after ‘Gone With the Wind,’ ‘Well, how many more movies can be made off of novels? Do you think the audience will sour on movies being adapted from books?’ You would never ask that because there is an inherent understanding among most people that a book can be anything. A novel can have any type of story whatever. So it all depends on what story you’re translating. Non-comic readers don’t understand that it’s the same thing in comics.
There’s a little disingenuousness to his response, because the vast majority of comic book movies that have ever been made are superhero movies, and not every movie based on a novel is a Civil War-era epic romance, but he is technically correct. There are other kinds of stories that people could tell with comic book adaptations, but again, “comic book movie” and “superhero movie” tend to be pretty synonymous.
Feige went on to say that Marvel has “80 years of the most interesting, emotional, groundbreaking stories that have been told” in comics, and they all have adaptation potential, so it’s just a matter of doing different genres and making different kinds of movies as needed. He believes that, even after all of these years of Marvel movies, audiences will stick around as long as they have “the Marvel Studios logo above the title and a seed of an idea from our publishing history.”
But again… he is just making superhero movies at this point. Maybe his argument will hold more weight if Marvel Studios starts making rom-coms based on pre-Hellcat Patsy Walker or real Tomb Of Dracula horror movies with no Blades or Morbiuses in sight. Either way, it’s nice to know that the guy who makes superhero movies still likes superhero movies.