Marvel’s senior vice president of production and development Jeremy Latcham, dicusses Avengers sequels and spin-offs.
Newsarama: Jeremy, how tough was it just doing Avengers from a scheduling standpoint? You’ve got Robert Downey Jr. in three Iron Man flicks, and he does Sherlock Holmes and God-knows-what-else, to say nothing of the rest of a large cast. Was scheduling talent into Avengers tough? Surprisingly easy? What?
Latcham: Well, the schedule was tough. But Lars Winther, who was our first assistant director, did an amazing job of trying to board the movie in such a way that made it easy as you can make it for the actors. Now on Avengers, we had the added complication that Thor was opening on day five of Avengers production. So [Thor actor] Chris Hemsworth was going to be busy going around the world on a press tour, and had to fly back to L.A. for the premiere. So, since that movie was opening on day five of production for the new movie, there’s just no way you can use him until after that.
Newsarama: Now in addition to your “solo movie guys” such as Thor, Iron Man or Cap, you have a couple of pretty big stars playing Black Widow [Scarlett Johansson] and Nick Fury [Samuel L. Jackson] and a rising one as Hawkeye [Jeremy Renner]. Can you handicap the odds of seeing solo features for these actors or characters?
Latcham: In the near, near future…we kind of know the movies we’re going to make, and it’s not those characters on the radar. But we love those characters, and we’re all deeply, deeply interested in doing that one day. Again, a lot is time and place, and other circumstances. Is it solo movies, or is there a pairing? How would you play it? Obviously, Joss did an amazing job of giving a lot of really meaningful backstory to Widow and Hawkeye in the Avengers film. I mean, I want to know what happened in Budapest! I want to know why one of them thinks it’s “just like what happened in Budapest,” and the other has no idea what she’s talking about. I want to see Hawkeye making that different call. I think that would be cool. So in terms of the stories, there’s no doubt there are stories to tell. It’s just a matter of when and where, and how it fits into the bigger picture.
Newsarama: Speaking of the bigger picture, has Avengers now changed your dynamic? In that, I mean it was the solo films that seeded it, but now, given the response, it’s the brand name. Will Avengers sequels spawn new solo films? Has your template been flipped 180 degrees?
Latcham: Well, the idea was always that you have these big special events that happen, which is where you have this Avengers movie, and then the characters spin back into their own solo movies. Iron Man 3 is now being shot in North Carolina with Thor 2 shooting soon in the U.K., so the idea is that these characters are always having their solo adventures, but when there’s an event that’s big enough to have to bring them all together, that it would happen in an Avengers film. And that’s still very much the idea. In the middle, these characters’ lives will change and evolve, and it will be interesting to see what the changes are and how these guys’ lives are different next time we bring them together for a big event.
Newsarama: One of the keys on the publishing side right now in Avengers, which has led to Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers and so on, is the inclusion of Spider-Man and Wolverine on the team. Without going too much into the intricacies of studio rights, do comic fans have any hope of ever seen a big-screen Spider-Man or Wolverine in an Avengers movie?
Latcham: I don’t know. I really don’t have a good answer to that one. In this moment, right at this moment…not really. Not much of a chance. But with the success of Avengers, and fingers crossed, maybe great response to the new Amazing Spider-Man, well…maybe people start getting excited about that idea. So who knows? But right now, my gut says it’s not really possible.
Newsarama: Are you a big nedrlinger? You have a personal fave, a close-to-the-heart, perhaps obscure character you’d love to do. Woodgod? Fin Fang Foom? Ka-Zar? Anyone?
Latcham: You know, there’s not a particularly obscure character I’d like to make a movie out of, because I think there are still a lot of the more well-known characters we can do that we haven’t got to yet. I’d really like to do a Dr. Strange movie. I’d really like to make a movie out of Luke Cage. There are a bunch of characters who, to me, are on that “bigger” roster I’d still like to do. I’m not thinking, “Yeah, I’d really like to make a movie out of The Hood or Hit-Monkey” or something.
But, you know what the strangest one maybe is? You might laugh, and it might look like I have a really soft sensibility—and I do—but I’d really like to do a Power Pack movie. I’d really love to do that someday. I just love the characters, and I think it could be so much fun. But I really don’t think it will happen. The world’s not calling out for a Power Pack movie right at this moment, but I love them. I really just like the idea of making a movie about kids, and I think we could capture that same sense of wonder that was in those old Amblin movies, you know? To get to that same sense of fun…I think Power Pack could be that Goonies movie, you know? I’m a huge, huge Goonies fan! And it totally holds up! I just showed it to my nephew, who was 13 at the time, and I had no idea if he was going to like it. And he was enraptured. It still holds up. It’s the best!
Sounds like Marvel Studios has quite a bit planned out for the future concerning The Avengers and its collective heroes, read the rest of the interview over at Newsarama.