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Marvel president spills the beans on what’s next for its cinematic universe

Marvel has just started Phase 5 of expanding its cinematic universe with the release of Ant-Man Quantumania, starring Paul Rudd.

But Marvel’s president Kevin Feige has already laid out his plans up to Phase 7.

Feige sat down with Entertainment Weekly to tease details about some of the MCU’s upcoming projects. He also shared a surprise detail about Harrison Ford’s Marvel debut, and revealed the comic studio will release its first R-rated film.

‘Putting pen to paper’

Feige assured Marvel lovers they would see Tom Holland return as Spider-Man – and soon.

The rights to Spider-Man are held by Sony, but the company struck an unlikely alliance with Marvel in 2016.

In their deal, Sony allowed Spider-Man to appear in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, as well as an entire series of Sony-produced Marvel Spider-Man films.

But the alliance collapsed in 2019 over funding and profit splits, leading Sony to pull the character from Marvel’s clutches.

After resounding disappointment from fans – and Holland asking Disney CEO Bob Iger to sort things out – Sony and Marvel eventually found a way forward.

Sony said it would allow Holland to appear in the final film of his Spider-Man trilogy, as well as one more MCU film.

That final film, Spider-Man: No Way Home raked in an astounding $US1.9 billion ($2.7 billion) – making it Sony’s highest-grossing film.

But given the shaky relationship between Sony and Marvel, some fans wondered if they would see Holland return as Spider-Man.

Feige confirmed that things were already in motion.

“All I will say is that we have the story,” he said.

“We have big ideas for that, and our writers are just putting pen to paper now.”

Tom Holland Zendaya Spider-Man: Far From Home

Zendaya and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Photo: Marvel Studios

Ford’s Marvel debut

Fans are also eagerly anticipating Harrison Ford’s first appearance in a Marvel movie.

Last year, it was announced the Star Wars legend would be replacing Marvel veteran William Hurt in the MCU.

The actor had been part of Marvel’s line-up for 14 years, until his death in March 2022.

Hurt was an important part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since his first appearance in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.

He played Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, who was responsible for accidentally turning scientist Bruce Banner into the Hulk.

His character eventually left the military, and served as the US Secretary of State in several Marvel movies.

Many had wondered why the studio had decided to recast the character, rather than letting him die with the actor.

Now, Feige has revealed that this is because the character – and subsequently Ford – had been given a major promotion in the upcoming Captain America: New World Order.

“This is certainly a big part for Thaddeus Ross. He’s the president of the United States in the film,” he revealed.

‘A dream’

Ford has been “tireless” with his work on the film, Feige said, and fully “embracing this role” as Marvel’s chosen president of the United States.

He said that Ford had been drawing on some of his prior projects for inspiration.

“With Harrison, you think about Air Force One, and you think about some of his confrontations with the president in Clear and Present Danger,” he said.

“There’s a dynamic between President Ross and Sam Wilson,” said Feige, referring to Chris Evans’ Captain America successor, played by Anthony Mackie.

“They have a history together, but in this film, we’ll be seeing the dynamic between Captain America and the president of the United States in a way that is just incredible.”

And it’s not only the fans eagerly anticipating Ford’s Marvel debut.

Feige admitted that having the actor in one of his projects had been a “dream” of his “for years”.

“Ever since Jon Favreau cast Harrison Ford in Cowboys & Aliens. I was always very jealous of that, so to have him finally in the MCU is just incredible. It’s like, I can cross that off the wish list.”

Captain America: New World Order is scheduled to be released on May 3, 2024.

Adult direction

Feige even shared details about Deadpool 3, which is set to arrive in November 2024.

He says the film will be Marvel Studios’ first to have an over-17 rating.

“That’s our first R-rated film,” Feige confirmed to EW.

It will also be the first Deadpool film to be part of the MCU – meaning the project is open to interact with some of the studios’ most-beloved characters.

Ryan Reynolds, of course, will return as the cheeky, sarcastic mercenary.

And, to fans’ excitement, Aussie Hugh Jackman is also jumping aboard for the project, finally reprising his role as Wolverine, leader of the X-Men.

Feige said it was “full circle” to have Jackman part of Deadpool 3, given he began his superhero career producing X-Men movies.

“To have Hugh come back is incredible. For me, personally, that is where I started. I remember sitting behind the camera — well behind the camera — at his audition for the film,” he said.

“For him, and for me, and I think for all of the fans of Marvel, it’s unbelievable what has happened in those 23 years. It’s a very full circle having him come back in this new Deadpool film.”

Also coming on board for the project is The Crown actor Emma Corrin.

According to Deadline, Corrin is set to play the film’s villain – though further details about their character are unknown.

Topics: Marvel
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