Marvel’s Feige keeps tentpole fare fresh

ICG Publicist Guild Awards @ 50

Kevin Feige spends every day with comicbook superheroes. As Marvel Studios prexy, he’s producing the company’s next six films — two per year for the next three years, starting with “Iron Man 3,” which is set for a May 3 release.

“We’re entering that finishing crunch time where the days of the week have no meaning because you’re working all seven of them,” says Feige, who is receiving the Motion Picture Showmanship Award from the ICG Publicists Guild.

The challenge is not the number of projects but rather making sure that each is a fresh take on the genre. Being able to populate the films with rich, three-dimensional characters and employing a wealth of storylines that have been developed over the decades in print makes it much easier to pull off, Feige says.

And when it all comes together, the results are boffo: “The Avengers” was one of 2012’s most popular pics, according to Rottentomatoes.com, and with more than $620 million in ticket sales it was the year’s box office champ by a large margin.

As long as Marvel stays on its game, Feige believes its pics will continue to do well in a genre that is far from a passing trend.

“If it is a fad, it’s one that lasts 30 to 40 years, as the Western did, because each one is so different,” he says. “There’s an opportunity to graft almost sub-genres onto them. Our first Captain America film was a World War II picture, and the next is a political thriller. They all have their own textures and patinas, and that’s what is exciting about it.”

ICG Publicist Guild Awards @ 50
Awards reflect evolution of profession | Kirk Douglas valued publicists’ role | Marvel’s Feige keeps tentpole fare fresh | USA’s McCumber, Wachtel prioritize marketing

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