There's a lot coming up in the Marvel theatrical universe, and there's no better person to ask about ongoing developments than the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige. Next up for Feige is "Thor: The Dark World" -- in which we once again find Thor (Chris Hemsworth) battling a cosmic threat (this time the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim), which eventually leads Thor back to Earth and reunited with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Oh, and then there's Loki (Tom Hiddleston), whom Thor must now ask for help - that is, if Thor can trust him.
Feige had plenty more to say about everything that's upcoming in the world of Marvel.
With the now well-known additional scenes added, was "Thor: The Dark World" the most difficult to finish?
I mean, you know, many movies are difficult. I wouldn't say this one was any more or less than some of the other ones. I think "Iron Man 3" might have been harder.
Why is that?
Yeah, you know, it just takes a lot of work to solidify something. When our movies work, they work because the tone is unique or is a very fine line in balancing the tone. And "Iron Man 3" was a tough one to land on. The additional stuff that went into this movie -- and usually the additional stuff that goes into all the movies is purely based on one thing and one thing only: Do we have a new, cool idea that we didn't have before?
Which was the fun scene in which Loki and Thor are walking together?
That was one of them, yeah. And the scene with Loki and Odin in the opening was another one. And sometimes just little beats within scenes to further explore something that we find interesting.
You mention the tone. I do feel after 45 minutes it shifts from a movie with a lot of exposition to a movie that becomes really fun to watch. If that makes sense.
Yeah, sure! I mean, a lot of it is, you know, the first act of "Iron Man 1," he spends a lot of time in that cave. Sometimes you need a lot of that setup to be able to enjoy what happens later.
What makes Thor work as a movie? I feel there's a fine line where it wouldn't be fun watching a Norse god just going around doing what Norse gods do.
Well, I think Chris Hemsworth is one of those main keys, to find an actor who is as charismatic and entertaining to watch as he is. And it's also making him as relatable as a Norse near-immortal being be, which we found works in his relationship with his family. And his relationship with Jane, which is very human and very relatable. And certainly his relationship with his brother in this movie.
Will we see a "Thor 3"?
Well, that's up to the audience. But, if people want one, we have ideas for what it can be. That's for sure.
I would assume it would have something to do with the last scene of the movie?
[Laughs] That certainly seems to tee us up for an exciting story, yes.
You mentioned that James Spader will be giving a full physical performance as Ultron in the next "Avengers" movie, I'm assuming that doesn't apply to Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon in "Guardians of the Galaxy"?
No. I mean, well, it will be his vocal performance that informs everything on that one, yeah.
So, I have a theory. Is the reason Thanos isn't the villain in the second "Avengers" movie is because he's kind of the end boss in a video game? As in, where would you go after him?
That's .... we never thought of it exactly like that, but I'd say that's a fair analogy, yes. It's also, you look at some classic story lines in the comics and they tease out characters like that -- big bads like that -- for sometimes years. I think Walter Simonson was teasing Surter for years before he popped up. It's fun to have the luxury to build somebody up like that.
I saw the footage at Comic-Con, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is going to be really weird, isn't it? In a good way.
I hope so! I think it will start out weird and end up, hopefully, very engaging and surprisingly emotional and immersive. But, yes, it is intentional to set it up with Benicio Del Toro, who is incredibly interesting in anything -- much less playing The Collector in "Guardians."
Is that fun for you? To be able to do wacky stuff?
Yeah. I mean, I wouldn't say we're intentionally trying to be "wacky," but we had an amazing group of characters and interesting storyline with a great "in" with a human -- a relatable character -- with Peter Quill. And we weren't going to let the fact that there [were] some unusual elements hold us back. And, instead, as we've always done, we want to forge those and embrace them.
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.