Marvel's Kevin Feige Never Wants to Work With Joss Whedon Again
Marvel behind-the-scenes drama was almost as fiery as the best episodes of Game of Thrones.
Love the Marvel Cinematic Universe or hate it, but there's no denying the obvious: it was the biggest movie event of the 2010s. The genius of Kevin Feige, the de facto creator of the MCU, has not only breathed life into the superhero genre, but taken it to a whole new level.
Before the MCU, the main themes of superhero movies revolved around heroes who had acquired superpowers – they were trying to get used to them and figure out how to live with their new abilities. Another popular topic was revenge. The MCU rejected both. From now on, superpowers are nothing more than an additional feature of the hero, and nothing more.
Shifting the superhero genre to purely human conflicts was the key secret ingredient in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's success cocktail.
How did Joss Whedon change the MCU?
But this ingredient alone would not be enough for a roaring success. Each of the movies in the first phase had not created a sensation, even though they were generally well-received. They needed someone to prepare an explosive mix that would blow up the box office.
That someone was Joss Whedon.
Well, you know Joss Whedon. This is the same man who was behind the creation of the first two installments of The Avengers, the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and this is the same man who pissed off Kevin Feige. Impressive list of accomplishments.
Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige conflict is confirmed
Every Marvel fan is probably aware of the conflict between Whedon and Feige. But until recently, it was largely based on insider comments. Now we have official information – Whedon and Feige's clash was confirmed in the book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, by Joanna Robinson, Dave Gonzalez, and Gavin Edwards.
The book claims that Feige never plans to work with Whedon again. As fans suspected, the stumbling block was creative differences and, in the best Game of Thrones spirit, a power struggle.
Joss Whedon, at the helm of the projects that launched the MCU into stardom, obviously carried some (apparently quite significant) weight. Which Kevin Feige didn't like.
One day, Whedon even made a comment admitting that "they" didn't want him to do Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Feige responded with a snarky comment about how cool it was that Whedon was working on that show, but in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, S.H.I.E.L.D. will be destroyed.
The fall of Kevin Feige
Then came Avengers: Age of Ultron, which only the laziest of fans failed to slam. Whedon has been criticized for not adding anything new to the universe, but adding unnecessary drama instead, and for making the atmosphere too dark.
Perhaps the movie turned out that way because the director had to defend a number of scenes that were shot, and film what he did not want to film.
It is unknown how the MCU would have developed if Whedon had remained at the helm of The Avengers in the third phase. But it seems that the flop made the director snap, and The Avengers passed into the hands of the Russo brothers, and Joss himself left for DC.
Combining what is already known and what is mentioned in the book, one can come to the conclusion that Kevin Feige felt that Whedon was stepping on his toes, especially because of the TV project over which he had no control. This confrontation was only exacerbated by creative differences, which apparently drained Joss so much that he simply decided to leave.
Sources: MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, Buzzfeed