All hail Kevin Feige!
I’m kidding, of course, but barely so. Like many filmgoers (most?), I've spent the last decade waiting for the superhero-movie bubble to pop. Sure, a few gifted auteur/enthusiasts—Bryan Singer, Sam Raimi, Christopher Nolan—had proven they could be successful within the narrow constraints of the genre. But talented directors move on to new projects, and ultimately, I assumed, the superhero genre would collapse under the weight of its own ridiculousness. It had happened before, after all.
Then along came Marvel Studios, and—more particularly—Feige. Named president of the studio in 2007 at the age of 33, he’s since had a run of almost Pixarian success. In six years, he’s produced nine Marvel movies by eight different directors, all of them interconnected even as they vary radically in tone and locale, from the interstellar fantasy cityscapes of Asgard to the bitter alpine forests of WWII Germany. His misfires (The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2) have been mild ones, and his hits (almost everything else) have been remarkable. According to Bloomberg, a flow chart on Feige’s office wall has Marvel releases mapped out all the way to 2028. If he maintains anywhere near his current standard, we may have to hold our obituaries for the superhero genre for a good long while.