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‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’: First Reactions Tease ‘Emotional’ Film ‘Full of Surprises’

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige previewed “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” for media Monday night, but first he spent half an hour talking about upcoming projects.

Feige kicked off the open house with a sizzle reel of behind-the-scenes footage of “Black Panther,” which wraps production on Wednesday. Audience members got their first glances at the characters played by Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Danai Gurira.

Press also got a tour of the studios and viewed behind-the-scenes footage of “Thor: Ragnarok,” which highlighted the film’s comedic elements.

As far as projects farther in the future, he said “Captain Marvel” production would hopefully begin next February and that a director should be announced soon.

Reactions to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” were largely upbeat, with media saying it was “full of surprises” and “emotional.” Complete reviews drop at midnight Sunday ahead of the May 5 opening.

While the industry was surprised by Joss Whedon coming on to direct DC’s “Batgirl,” Feige made it clear that not only was he aware of what “The Avengers” director was doing, but he was pretty excited about the idea.

“He did call a couple months ago to tell me about it,” Feige said. “He didn’t have to call but I appreciated that he did. I think a Joss Whedon ‘Batgirl’ would be awesome.”

On the “Spider-Man” front, which is Marvel’s only current co-production with Sony, Feige praised his co-producer Amy Pascal while explaining that outside of “Avenger” films and a sequel to “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” there has been no further discussions of extending their involvement to other films.

New footage from “Spider-Man: Homecoming” was also unveiled, including first looks at Donald Glover and Logan Marshall-Green’s characters, though which roles they are playing is still unknown.

And while there has been talk of Marvel possibly boarding other properties set up at Fox, Feige stressed that Marvel was not actively pursuing any other projects at the studio.

Feige was also asked about how the global market affects development, to which he replied, “Marvel films are inherently global,” as well as Marvel’s efforts to promote diversity behind the camera, with “Black Panther” and the upcoming “Captain Marvel” choice as examples.

With the recent success of Fox’s Marvel pics “Deadpool” and “Logan”, there have been wonder if Marvel would venture into R-rated material and while Feige said it’s unlikely he also added that he didn’t it was the rating that was leading to these films success necessarily.

“My takeaway from both of those films is not the R rating, it’s the risk they took, the chances they took, the creative boundaries that they pushed,” Feige explained. “That should be the takeaway for everyone.”

He also added that he had no problem with Josh Brolin appearing as both Thanos in the Marvel universe and Cable in the new “Deadpool” sequel, saying “there is no rules in any actors’ contracts limiting the roles they can play.”

Before ending the discussion, Feige touched on what drives him when looking at a new film, saying character and story are always at the fore — not the genre itself.

“I’ve never been driven by the superhero genre,” he said. “In my mind, it’s the movie genre.”

Earlier on Monday, James Gunn announced he would return to write and direct “Guardians of the Galaxy 3.”

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