Another day, another interview from Kevin Feige in which he gives vague half-answers to questions about the MCU.
It’s not his fault—Marvel fans would get excited about a detailed list of all the catering decisions for an MCU movie if they had the opportunity.
Pay attention if you have any interest in directing a Captain Marvel movie, though, as Feige has broken down the Marvel hiring process for the project.
First things first: be a woman. Straightforward, as it filters out about half the population of the planet, and about 90% of the directors working in Hollywood.
Marvel wants a woman because this is their Girl Power movie. By the studio’s logic, one movie in which they deliberately hire women for as many jobs as possible will absolve them of a need to include women in more roles across the rest of their portfolio of projects.
Take from that whatever you wish.
After Marvel bosses have selected their shortlist of women (they’ve more-or-less done this already), it’s time to start the interview process.
“I expect to have a director by the end of the year. We’ve been meeting amazing filmmakers, but often the way we work, as was the case on Doctor Strange and most of our movies, is that we have a… I don’t want to say a ‘road map,’ but we have a general view of what the movie is and then we meet with filmmakers and share that with them and then they pitch it back to us in a better fashion.”
So in order to get the job as a director of a Marvel movie, candidates get told what the movie will be, and are then expected to parrot back what they’ve just been told.
Fine, sure, if that’s the way Marvel wants to tackle their hiring process whatever. It might sound a little odd, but if it gets Taika Waititi a gig playing with Marvel’s living Thor action figure, clearly the system works.
So we’re getting a Captain Marvel director by the end of the year, which is nice. The existing shortlist contains a lot of directors from a wide variety of backgrounds, and it’ll be interesting to see the kind of movie Marvel are going with here.
With Waititi’s Thor Ragnarok and the incredibly trippy Doctor Strange, it’s clear that the studio is branching out into bizarre, experimental filmmaking.
But what exactly will we get from a Carol Danvers solo film? There’s been an awful lot of different takes on the character over her history, and it seems that even Feige isn’t really sure which direction to go in with the movie:
“With Captain Marvel. There’s so much potential in the comics and there have been so many incarnations of her powers and the characters who’ve had that mantle that we’ve been focusing in on exactly how do we tell her origin. How does it fit into the cosmic side of our universe? How does it fit into what we’re doing with the next Avengers movies? So really, that’s what’s been delaying that particular announcement.”
Ah, so this is why announcements surrounding Captain Marvel haven’t been forthcoming.
Marvel has absolutely no idea what to do with the movie.
The studio is making Captain Marvel because it has to. It needs a Girl Power movie for publicity purposes, and Feige is essentially making up his “road map” as he goes along.
Step one: announce the movie.
Step two: hire the fantastic Brie Larson. She has an Oscar, that’ll help.
Step three: pick an acclaimed female director, to better build expectations about the movie.
Step four: ???
Step five: make all the money with an awesome movie.
At the moment, Feige is still staring at step four and scratching his head. He doesn’t know how to make a movie about a woman. Does it need to feature tampons, he wonders. Erratic mood swings and irrational crying?
After all, he’s made a career out of beefy male comic book characters. He’s very rarely ever had to talk to a woman, and this lack of knowledge is about to become awkwardly apparent.
It’s not yet twigged within Feige’s brain that a female-lead superhero movie is the same as a male-led one. Until he figures this out, he’ll keep viewing the Captain Marvel movie as an obligatory PR stunt that’s somehow been assigned a multimillion dollar budget.
Fingers crossed he goes to see Wonder Woman next year.