Despite what you may think of them now, after a recent run of less-than-stellar releases, it’s undeniable that Marvel Studios helped pioneer a new age of movies back in the early 2010s with one of the first successful attempts at developing an interconnected cinematic universe. What started as five films, culminating in 2012’s The Avengers, has now boomed into a 32-film franchise with several spin-off series streaming on Disney+, as well as animated shorts and specials, and at least 10 more movies currently in active production.
Like every great journey, it has to start somewhere, and (not to make you feel old) it’s been 15 years since the release of Iron Man which kickstarted the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a special featurette to celebrate the anniversary of Jon Favreau‘s movie, Marvel Studios have released a special interview with Favreau and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, where they discuss the legacy, risks, and challenges involved with creating Iron Man and the subsequent birth of the MCU.
You can watch the full interview below:
In the interview, the pair discuss the many trials and tribulations of creating the movie, including the risk of casting Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role. Younger Marvel fans may not be aware that, before being cast in Iron Man – the movie that revitalized his career – Downey Jr. was somewhat of a loose cannon, with several arrests for substance possession and trespassing, amongst other offenses. However, Robert Downey Jr. has since turned his life around and is largely responsible for the most successful movie franchise in cinema history.
The pair also discuss an incredible encounter with a young fan during a preview screening of Iron Man. The fan reportedly walked past Feige and Favreau as he was running late to the screening, as he walked past them he noted the confidence in their faces and immediately knew that Iron Man was something special. Many years later, that fan revealed himself to Feige, being none other than Ryan Coogler, the director of Black Panther, who was a college student during the time of Iron Man‘s release. Feige and Favreau then joked that they don’t ever remember feeling confident during Iron Man‘s release, instead being overwhelmed with fear and nerves.
Iron Man is still considered by many to be the best MCU movie to date, as it featured stellar performances from the entire cast, including Downey Jr, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Terrence Howard, stunning action scenes, and a killer soundtrack that included hits from AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and Ghostface Killah.
Upcoming Marvel Projects
Marvel Studios recently saw the release of James Gunn’s final film for the franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which has seemingly breathed new life into the franchise after its disappointing phase 5. The biggest projects releasing this year are the Secret Invasion series on Disney+, which sees Samuel L. Jackson return to the role of Nick Fury one last time, and The Marvels movie starring Brie Larson as Captain Marvel and Iman Vellani reprising her role of Ms. Marvel from her Disney+ series.
As well as those two projects, the future of the MCU also includes the following projects:
- Echo (Disney + Series) – 2023/24
- Loki Season 2 (Disney+ Series) – 2023
- Ironheart (Disney+ Series) – 2023/24
- Agatha: Coven of Chaos (Disney+ Series) – TBA
- Daredevil: Born Again (Disney+ Series) – Spring 2024
- Captain America: New World Order (Movie) – May 3, 2024
- Thunderbolts (Movie) – July 26, 2024
- Blade (Movie) – September 6, 2024
- Deadpool 3 (Movie) – November 8, 2024