Marvel’s Kevin Feige On Phase 4 Delays, ‘WandaVision’ And The X-Men, ‘Black Panther 2’ Plans

The arrival of WandaVision later this week will mark the first Marvel Studios project since 2019. That’s crazy to think about when we’re so used to three or four movies a year. But that’s the impact the pandemic has caused, not just on Marvel, but on all of Hollywood. The show also marks the beginning of Phase 4, the first to weave feature films with Disney+ spinoffs connecting the various aspects of the MCU. Sounds like a huge undertaking in the best of circumstances, but how did it work out in the midst of COVID-19 and the shutdowns?

Speaking with The New York Times, Marvel’s Kevin Feige says the projects they were working on “had not been significantly affected” by the pandemic. That’s interesting considering the long delays faced by Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Anyway, Feige does admit if the delays had happened around the time of Avengers: Endgame, things might have been seriously screwed up…

“If the run we had in 2018 and 2019 had gotten disrupted this way, in the buildup to ‘Endgame,’ it would have been a bigger headache,” Feige said. “With these projects, it worked well.”

Feige added that it was only “a matter of weeks” delay on the Marvel TV shows that are coming up.

Deadline caught up with Feige as well, and asked him about WandaVision and how it connects to the MCU’s future. Specifically, it was the possibility that the series, which features Scarlet Witch in a warped reality resembling TV sitcoms, could somehow connect to the X-Men. Feige does a pretty good job side-stepping the question to take a larger view…

“In hindsight, in five years if when we’re talking about everything that’s happened, everything can be a ramp to everything, specifically though, yes, Monica in Captain Marvel 2 and specifically to Wanda teaming up with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

That’s a good non-answer. In the comics, Wanda is very closely associated with the X-Men and was for a long time considered the mutant daughter of Magneto. That has been retconned away, though, so who knows if Feige even plans to have her connected to the team at all.

Feige was also asked about Black Panther 2 following the death of Chadwick Boseman. While it’s already been promised that the role won’t be recast or recreated using CGI, that just leaves more questions about the direction the sequel can go. Will the focus shift to put T’Challa’s genius sister Shuri (played by Letitia Wright) front and center? Feige doesn’t answer that exactly, unsurprisingly, but does suggest that a change of direction is coming…

“So much of the comics and that first movie is the world of Wakanda. Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story. We’re not going to have a CG Chadwick and we’re not recasting T’Challa. Ryan Coogler is working very hard right now on the script with all the respect and love and genius that he has, which gives us great solace, so it was always about furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda. There’s also the task of honoring and respecting the ongoing learnings and teachings from Chad as well.”

 

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.