In the past few years, Marvel Studios has shown us that they are fearless when it comes to risky ideas and pushing the envelope. For the most part, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has kept its action grounded here on earth, with the exception of trips to Asgard and Jötunheim. Now, studio head reveals in an interview with SFX, the Phase 2 portion of the MCU will be taking flight and heading to the stars, with Guardians of the Galaxy being set "95% in space".
But don't worry, Marvel isn't messing with things too much. Feige was asked whether or not "cosmic" would be a good way to describe Phase 2 and he responded:
I wouldn't say that in a broad sense. The Thor film and the Guardians Of The Galaxy film certainly are cosmic. Guardians and Thor will take the brunt of the cosmic side of the universe, particularly Guardians, which is 95% in space.
Guardians will also be much more of an independent film, Feige explains. Whereas the first five films of Phase One all built up to The Avengers, Guardians won't be as firmly entrenched in the Avengers storyline:
It’s much more of a standalone film. It takes place in the same universe. And when we’ve been on the other side of that universe in other movies, you might see those characteristics in Guardians, but the Avengers are not involved with what’s happening out there at this time.
In other words, Guardians is going to be a sweet film all in its own right, but don't expect to see the Avengers assembling in its scenes (with the exception, of course, of Tony Stark/Iron Man if the rumors are to be believed).
This could either be a brilliant stroke on their part (audiences eventually get bored seeing the same thing so Marvel is staying one step ahead of the game), part of their long-term vision (comic book universes and storylines do not remain static or in a bubble), or a disaster for the studio (why deviate from the formula that found Marvel breaking box office records left and right). Still, with such an ambitious project, Marvel hasn't made a misstep once, and I have faith that Phase 2 will be just as mind-blowing as the initial phase.
Feige seems to agree. The studio head is excited about how personal the Phase 2 films will be, simultaneously offering the chance for deeper character development of the Avengers and a platform upon which they can experiment with the usual comic book mold:
I think Iron Man 3 shows the other side of Phase 2, which is delving deeper into the characters. Throwing them on a much more personal journey. And Captain America will showcase...What’s exciting to me about Cap – sort of about Iron Man 3 too if you look at it – is it's tonally almost like a different genre. Shane Black's described Iron Man 3 as a Tom Clancy sort of political thriller, which I like a lot. We hired our directors on Cap because they loved our explanation that we really want to make a '70s political thriller masquerading as a big superhero movie. Just like with the first film – we got Joe Johnston because we said, "We want to do a '40s World War Two movie masquerading as a big superhero movie." I love that we're doing a sequel to a film that’s a completely different genre than the first film. I think that's fun. And the comics do it all the time.
And he's right. There are some out there who erroneously believe comic book and superhero movies are all the same, but if you look at them individually, each Phase 1 movie had a different feel: Iron Man was an action flick, Captain America was a war romance, Thor a fantasy, and so on. Seriously, what Marvel has done, both in pulling off their wildly risky and ambitious project without a hitch, and then having the brass balls to get even more ambitious and go bigger, well, there's really no stopping them.
(EXTRA: Check out this incredible fan-made mash-up banner featuring the Avengers and the Guardians. Sweet.)
Bring it on, Marvel. BRING IT ON.