Mark Ruffalo: ‘Kevin Feige almost quit Marvel Studios over representation issues’

Mark Ruffalo has claimed Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige almost stepped down from his role in 2012 after quarrelling with Disney executives over a lack of diversity and representation.In a new interview with The Independent, the actor, who plays Bruce …

Mark Ruffalo has claimed Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige almost stepped down from his role in 2012 after quarrelling with Disney executives over a lack of diversity and representation.

In a new interview with The Independent, the actor, who plays Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), recalled how Feige once told him that he had approached leaders at the company over concerns about the depiction of women in superhero movies and was so incensed by their reaction that he threatened to quit.

“When we did the first Avengers, Kevin Feige told me, ‘Listen, I might not be here tomorrow,'” Ruffalo shared. “And he’s like, ‘Ike (Isaac Perlmutter, Disney’s largest shareholder at the time) does not believe that anyone will go to a female-starring superhero movie. So, if I am still here tomorrow, you will know that I won that battle.'”

Feige’s passionate pitch eventually prompted a change in the studio, with Captain Marvel, the first female standalone movie in the MCU, fronted by Brie Larson, released last year.

And Ruffalo was full of praise for the Marvel boss, especially in relation to the way in which he is championing equality and diversity.

“Because Kevin wanted black superheroes, women superheroes, LGBT superheroes, he changed the whole Marvel universe,” the 52-year-old explained. “We now have a gay superhero on the way, we have black superheroes, we have female superheroes – Scarlett Johansson has her movie coming out, we have Captain Marvel, they are doing She-Hulk next. No other studio is being that inclusive on that level.

“They have to, though. This is the f**king world.”

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Scott Derrickson ‘never had opportunity’ to write script before departing Doctor Strange sequel

Scott Derrickson “never had the opportunity” to start writing the script for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness before he left the movie.Last month, the filmmaker exited the follow-up to the 2016 Marvel superhero movie, which stars Benedict Cu…

Scott Derrickson “never had the opportunity” to start writing the script for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness before he left the movie.

Last month, the filmmaker exited the follow-up to the 2016 Marvel superhero movie, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong, and cited “creative differences” as the reason for quitting as director.

Rumours had swirled that Derrickson and co-writer C. Robert Cargill had written a script that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige was unhappy with, leading to them to both quit the sequel.

However, Cargill took to Twitter over the weekend to shoot down the reports and reveal that they hadn’t even penned a draft.

“Since it keeps coming up in news stories, it’s worth noting that Scott and I never had the opportunity to write a draft of MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS, so whatever they are working with now isn’t derivative of our work,” he shared.

“I am of course very excited to see where they take Stephen next,” Cargill added, referencing Doctor Strange’s alter ego, Stephen Strange.

According to IMDb, the screenplay for the sequel has been written by Michael Waldron, who helped write the first episode of the upcoming Disney+ series, Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston as the antihero.

Sam Raimi is currently in negotiations to helm the mystical sequel, and Derrickson recently gave his approval to the news in a touching post on Twitter.

“I’ve worked with Sam Raimi. One of the nicest people I’ve known in the film business, and as a director, a true living legend,” he wrote. “What a great choice to take over Doctor Strange.”

Production on the sequel, which will also star Chiwetel Ejiofor and Elizabeth Olsen, is scheduled to begin in May.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set for release in May 2021.

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Mark Ruffalo confirms meeting with Kevin Feige over possible Hulk movies

Mark Ruffalo has confirmed he is meeting with Marvel boss Kevin Feige over the possibility of creating a Hulk spin-off movie.The three-time Oscar nominee has played scientist Dr. Bruce Banner and his green alter ego since the 2012 superhero blockbuster…

Mark Ruffalo has confirmed he is meeting with Marvel boss Kevin Feige over the possibility of creating a Hulk spin-off movie.

The three-time Oscar nominee has played scientist Dr. Bruce Banner and his green alter ego since the 2012 superhero blockbuster, The Avengers.

Despite starring in all four of the blockbuster movies alongside a stellar cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, and a comedic appearance in Thor: Ragnarok with Chris Hemsworth, the Hulk has yet to get his own standalone movie with Ruffalo as leading man.

However, the 52-year-old has teased an upcoming meeting with the Marvel Studios boss to discuss the future of the beloved green hero.

“Kevin Feige just asked me last week if I had any more ideas or stories for the Hulk. And I said, ‘Yeah, I think there’s still some stories to tell,'” he said during a recent panel at Tokyo Comic-Con.

“And (Feige) said, ‘Well why don’t you come in and tell me about them and we’ll see if we can find a place for you in the Marvel universe?’ Hulk vs. Wolverine. I’d like to see that,” Ruffalo added, to wild applause from the audience.

At San Diego Comic-Con, Feige hinted at the introduction of the Fantastic Four and Professor Xavier’s mutants, the X-Men, to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following Disney’s acquisition of Fox. Fans have since speculated that a younger actor could be brought in to replace Hugh Jackman, who retired from playing Wolverine following 2017’s Logan, after 17 years of playing the metal-clawed superhero.

The last standalone Hulk film was Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk back in 2008, which starred Edward Norton as Dr. Bruce Banner, alongside Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt.

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Marvel boss Kevin Feige: ‘Martin Scorsese criticism won’t alter way we make movies’

Marvel boss Kevin Feige has insisted Martin Scorsese’s criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) won’t affect the studio’s output.The Irishman director sparked a huge backlash from Marvel fans and stars such as Robert Downey, Jr. and Mark Ruffal…

Marvel boss Kevin Feige has insisted Martin Scorsese’s criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) won’t affect the studio’s output.

The Irishman director sparked a huge backlash from Marvel fans and stars such as Robert Downey, Jr. and Mark Ruffalo when he called the movies “not cinema” in a recent interview with Britain’s Empire magazine.

Scorsese addressed the controversy in an essay for The New York Times last week, claiming he did not want to attack the artistry of those involved but emphasised that such blockbusters are not to his taste.

Marvel Studios president Feige opened up about the controversy in an interview on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast on Sunday and insisted the veteran filmmaker is “entitled to his opinion” but described his remarks as “unfortunate”.

“I think it’s unfortunate. I think myself and everyone who works on these movies loves cinema, loves movies, loves going to the movies, loves to watch a communal experience in a movie theatre full of people,” he said. “Everybody has a different definition of cinema. Everybody has a different definition of art. Everybody has a different definition of risk. Some people don’t think it’s cinema. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. Everyone is entitled to repeat that opinion. Everyone is entitled to write op-eds about that opinion… I look forward to what will happen next. But in the meantime, we’re going to keep making movies.”

Addressing Scorsese’s comment that “nothing is at risk” in Marvel films, Feige noted that the studio killed off half their cast in Avengers: Infinity War – although they were largely brought back in the follow-up, Endgame.

He also stated that The Eternals, the upcoming movie starring Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, was a big risk.

“It is a very big movie. It is a very expensive movie… That’s a risk if I’ve ever heard one,” the producer commented.

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Chris Hemsworth would love to join Star Wars franchise

Chris Hemsworth would love to be a part of the Star Wars franchise.News broke last month that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige will be teaming up with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy to develop a film that will explore “a new era of Star Wars story…

Chris Hemsworth would love to be a part of the Star Wars franchise.

News broke last month that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige will be teaming up with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy to develop a film that will explore “a new era of Star Wars storytelling”.

Since then, Captain America star Chris Evans has expressed an interest in appearing in Feige’s new movie, along with Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel. And now, Hemsworth has thrown his hat into the ring.

“Oh yeah, I’d love to. I’m not sure there’s many people that’d say they wouldn’t want to be a part of that world, you know and especially having it be something I’ve grown up with like all of us here, probably, it’d be like a fan experience as opposed to being an actor and that’s the fun thing at this point of cinema and my career,” he said during a panel discussion at the ACE Comic Con Midwest.

The Australian hunk is no stranger to film franchises, having already starred in 2016’s Ghostbusters alongside Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, in Star Trek as George Kirk in 2009, and more recently in Men in Black: International opposite Tessa Thompson.

Hemsworth is also the star of his own Marvel saga, having appeared as Norse God Thor in three solo movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as all four Avengers instalments.

The 36-year-old is reprising his role for the fourth chapter in the saga, Thor: Love and Thunder, and is relieved that the superhero has been “reinvigorated” after director Taika Waititi shook things up with 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok.

“I’ve been having so much fun at it and it doesn’t feel old to me and it feels fresh more now that the first couple of times I played it,” Hemsworth explained. “To be reinvigorated with the character and the world and to feel like we sort of have no boundaries so we can really take it anywhere is an exciting point to be in.”

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James Gunn defends Marvel movies following Francis Ford Coppola’s criticism

James Gunn has responded to Francis Ford Coppola describing Marvel movies as “despicable”.Martin Scorsese recently hit headlines for labelling the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) flicks “not cinema”, and on Saturday, Coppola supported his fellow moviem…

James Gunn has responded to Francis Ford Coppola describing Marvel movies as “despicable”.

Martin Scorsese recently hit headlines for labelling the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) flicks “not cinema”, and on Saturday, Coppola supported his fellow moviemaker after accepting his Lumiere Award in France by insisting filmgoers learn nothing from Marvel boss Kevin Feige’s blockbusters and commented, “Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”

Guardians of the Galaxy director Gunn took to Instagram on Sunday to defend Marvel, and while he didn’t call out The Godfather filmmaker explicitly, did repeat his use of the word “despicable” in his argument.

“Many of our grandfathers thought all gangster movies were the same, often calling them ‘despicable’. Some of our great grandfathers thought the same of westerns, and believed the films of John Ford, Sam Peckinpah, and Sergio Leone were all exactly the same. I remember a great uncle to whom I was raving about Star Wars. He responded by saying, ‘I saw that when it was called 2001, and, boy, was it boring!'” the 53-year-old wrote.

“Superheroes are simply today’s gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers. Some superhero films are awful, some are beautiful. Like westerns and gangster movies (and before that, just MOVIES), not everyone will be able to appreciate them, even some geniuses. And that’s okay.”

Gunn previously posted his take on Scorsese’s view on his Twitter page, claiming he was disappointed to hear the Oscar-winning director “judging” his films.

“Martin Scorsese is one of my five favourite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way,” he stated.

Other Marvel movie stars to defend the studio include Thor: Love and Thunder star Natalie Portman and Captain America: Civil War actor Sebastian Stan.

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Tom Holland: ‘Spider-Man split from MCU was the most stressful week of my life’

Tom Holland has described Spider-Man’s temporary departure from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as the most “stressful week” of his life.In August, it was revealed Sony and Disney executives couldn’t agree on new co-financing and profit-sharing ter…

Tom Holland has described Spider-Man’s temporary departure from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as the most “stressful week” of his life.

In August, it was revealed Sony and Disney executives couldn’t agree on new co-financing and profit-sharing terms, so the deal they made in 2015 to share the film rights to Spider-Man was off – meaning the web-slinging superhero, played by Holland, would no longer be a part of the MCU.

However, both companies announced in September that they had reached an agreement and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will produce a third MCU Spider-Man film starring Holland – which came as a huge relief to Tom.

Speaking on a panel alongside Spider-Man: Far From Home co-star Jake Gyllenhaal at ACE Comic Con Midwest over the weekend, the actor initially described rehearsals for his performance of Rihanna’s Umbrella on U.S. TV show Lip Sync Battle in 2017 as his “most stressful week” – before reflecting on more recent events.

“Well…maybe the whole Disney/Sony thing when that happened,” he mused. “That was a bit of a stressful week. I’m sure there’s some contractual obliged thing where I can’t say anything about anything, so I’m just going to keep my mouth shut.”

After a new deal between Disney and Sony was announced, The Hollywood Reporter claimed the star played a key role in negotiations, reporting that Tom made “multiple appeals to Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger and Sony film chairman Tom Rothman to reach a resolution”.

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Brie Larson and Marvel women have pitched all-female movie to Kevin Feige

Brie Larson and her female Marvel co-stars have joined forces to pitch an all-women movie to Kevin Feige.The Oscar-winning actress played Captain Marvel in her own standalone movie, which was released earlier this year, and appeared in an empowering ba…

Brie Larson and her female Marvel co-stars have joined forces to pitch an all-women movie to Kevin Feige.

The Oscar-winning actress played Captain Marvel in her own standalone movie, which was released earlier this year, and appeared in an empowering battle scene during Avengers: Endgame.

Cinemagoers were blown away when the extraterrestrial warrior united with fellow female superheroes including Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and Evangeline Lilly as Wasp, as they protected Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in a battle scene.

And in a new interview with Variety, Larson revealed that she and her co-stars have had talks with Marvel boss Feige about making their dream of an all-female movie a reality.

“I will say that a lot of the female cast members from Marvel walked up to Kevin and we were like, ‘We are in this together, we want to do this.’ What that means, I have no idea,” she explained. “You know, I’m not in charge of the future of Marvel, but it is something that we’re really passionate about and we love and I feel like if enough people out in the world talk about how much they want it, maybe it’ll happen.”

According to editors at Variety, Feige has previously expressed an interest in an all-women Marvel film but has instead pressed forward with standalone films concentrating on one female hero, such as Captain Marvel and Scarlett Johansson’s upcoming Black Widow spin-off, which will be released next year.

Larson later reflected on filming the Avengers: Endgame scene alongside her female co-stars, and said it felt like being part of a “coven”.

“It was just a great day. To get to be with all of those women for the day… it felt like we were a part of this like coven working together for this goal,” the 30-year-old smiled. “So, we get so excited and feel so much energy when you get to be around your peers and share stories.”

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Edward Norton wanted The Incredible Hulk to be ‘dark and serious’

Edward Norton wished that The Incredible Hulk was as “dark and serious” as Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies.The three-time Oscar nominee played scientist Dr. Bruce Banner and his green alter ego in the 2008 Marvel movie, which also starred Liv Tyler, …

Edward Norton wished that The Incredible Hulk was as “dark and serious” as Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies.

The three-time Oscar nominee played scientist Dr. Bruce Banner and his green alter ego in the 2008 Marvel movie, which also starred Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt.

It made a massive $263 million (£214 million) at the global box office, but a sequel was scrapped, and Mark Ruffalo was announced as Norton’s replacement in the 2012 superhero blockbuster, Avengers.

In a new interview with The New York Times, the 50-year-old explained that he had originally pitched two dark Hulk movies – in a similar vein to Nolan’s Batman trilogy – to Marvel boss Kevin Feige.

“What Chris Nolan had done with Batman was going down a path that I aligned with: long, dark and serious. If there was ever a thing that I thought had that in it, it was the Hulk. It’s literally the Promethean myth. I laid out a two-film thing: The origin and then the idea of Hulk as the conscious dreamer, the guy who can handle the trip. And they were like, ‘That’s what we want!'” Norton shared.

“As it turned out, that wasn’t what they wanted. But I had a great time doing it. I got on great with Kevin Feige.”

However, their relationship has been rocky, and back in 2010, Feige released a scathing statement, explaining why Norton had been sacked from the role and noting that Marvel would prefer an actor “who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented castmembers.”

In the new interview, the Fight Club star called Feige’s statement “cheap” and admitted he wouldn’t have been prepared to commit years to the franchise.

“We had positive discussions about going on with the films, and we looked at the amount of time that would’ve taken, and I wasn’t going to do that,” he shared, before adding that he would’ve “wanted more money than they’d have wanted to pay me.”

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Martin Scorsese: ‘Marvel movies are not cinema’

Martin Scorsese has sparked outrage on social media by saying Marvel movies are “not cinema”.The Oscar-winning filmmaker, best known for his epic dramas such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and The Aviator, was asked about the hugely successful…

Martin Scorsese has sparked outrage on social media by saying Marvel movies are “not cinema”.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker, best known for his epic dramas such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and The Aviator, was asked about the hugely successful Marvel movies, which have raked in more than $8.5 billion (£6.9 billion) since 2008.

However, Scorsese was harsh in his response, and told Empire magazine that he had tried and failed to watch the films, and ended up feeling sorry for the Avengers stars, including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johansson.

“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being,” he shared.

The 76-year-old is gearing up for the release of his highly-anticipated gangster epic, The Irishman, which brings together Hollywood legends Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and longtime Scorsese collaborator, Joe Pesci.

Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige previously opened up about the criticism his superhero movies had received and insisted that the studio were more concerned with pleasing cinemagoers than landing big awards.

“Maybe it’s easy to dismiss VFX or flying people or spaceships or billion dollar grosses. I think it is easy to say that you have already been awarded in a certain way,” Feige said last year. “(Alfred) Hitchcock never won best director, so it’s very nice, but it doesn’t mean everything. I would much rather be in a room full of engaged fans.”

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