Marvel Studios president and CEO Kevin Feige recently revealed that he draws inspiration from multiple places, including other movies.
The co-creator of the elaborate Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) franchise, known for its “Avengers” blockbusters, said the “Harry Potter” movie franchise helped him develop the MCU.
Feige was recently a speaker at the New York Film Academy and said that he saw all eight “Potter” movies without reading the books or knowing too much about the plot or characters, and was able to follow along easily. He wanted his Marvel audiences to feel the same way.
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“I always default to my experience watching ‘Harry Potter’ movies,” Feige said. “I went to see every Harry Potter movie opening weekend. I saw it and I enjoyed it and then I forgot all about it and didn’t think about it again until the next ‘Harry Potter’ movie came out. And those movies were so well-made because I could follow it all. I could follow it, I could track it, occasionally I have to go, ‘Who was that?’ but for the most part, I could totally track it.”
“Now if I had watched every movie 10 times, if I had read every book, I bet there are dozens of other things in there that I would see and appreciate, but they never got in the way of me just experiencing it as a pure story. So that’s kind of what we try to navigate,” he continued.
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“If an Easter egg or a reference or something is so prevalent that it gets in the way of the story you’re telling so that people who aren’t aware of it go, ‘What is this? What’s happening?’ then we usually pull back on it,” he added.
Feige also commented on the criticism Marvel movies get for their extensive use of CGI, or computer-generated imagery, and special effects.
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“Maybe it’s easy to dismiss VFX [visual effects] or flying people or spaceships or billion-dollar grosses,” he said. “I think it is easy to say that you have already been awarded in a certain way.”
“[Alfred] Hitchcock never won [the Best Director Oscar], so it’s very nice [getting an award], but it doesn’t mean everything,” Feige added. “I would much rather be in a room full of engaged fans.”