Kevin Feige Addresses Marvel's Villain Problem, Thanos to be Lead Character in 'Infinity War'
Kevin Feige is something of a god figure within the Marvel realm, shepherding an enormous franchise that has few things to critique about it. One thing that is open to critique, however, is its villains, who have been oft-talked about as the weak link in the ongoing superhero saga. Feige has responded to the criticism in a recent interview.
Feige first off insisted that their approach toward villains always "starts with what serves the story the most and what serves the hero the most... A big criticism of ours is that we focus on the heroes more than the villains, I think that's probably true. I don't think it will always be true."
It's debatable that the criticism exists in its focus on the heroes, though its long been noted that, in superhero fiction, its the villains that separate a mediocre film from a good film, and a good film from a great film (among other things, obviously).
During the interview, Feige gave an interesting and related detail about Avengers: Infinity War. "Thanos in Infinity War is in a movie that has a lot of characters, you could almost go so far as to say he is the main character, and that’s a bit of a departure from what we’ve done before, but that was appropriate for a movie called Infinity War.”
“In a lot of cases, Ronan’s great, Lee Pace did an awesome job, absolutely serves it, but certainly was there to go up against our heroes and to give our heroes a reason for coming together. And I think it’s, I hesitate to even, in 2008, there are two superhero movies that came out. One focused on the villain, one focused on the hero, and we at Marvel looked at them, like yeah, we focus on the heroes. We don’t mind that. We like that."
He's of course referring to Iron Man and Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Both are entirely different films with completely contrasting purposes, but nevertheless the differences narratively are clear. I think it's unfair, though, to consider The Dark Knight as a film that solely focuses on its villain, but more-so that its villain is utilized as the perfect foil for its hero.
"Please don’t start a flame war. Nobody wants that. We don’t do that. But it really always is what serves the story. Loki, great character, serves in a lot of ways, Thor. Zemo served that conflict between Cap and Iron Man," Feige added, saving face a little. It's clear that he's not firing shots, and the comparison is certainly worth noting.
Expect Infinity War to be a little more interwoven between its heroics and its villain's plot. Arriving in 2018, and with Thanos supposedly at the lead, Marvel doesn't look ready to settle into one big galactic fight. Maybe there's something more to this massive picture.