We all know that Marvel Studios has been making plans for Doctor Strange, Kevin Feige has mentioned many times that the character is a personal favorite. Well it wasn’t until Captain America: The Winter Soldier that we got official confirmation that the character does indeed exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When speaking with Captain America and Black Widow, Agent Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández) mentions a list of potential future threats and on that list is “Stephen Strange,” the full name of the Sorcerer Supreme.
When asked by CraveOnline about the inclusion of the character’s name, and whether that implied him being active in the world at that moment, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige had this to say:
“Well, ‘we’ know what it means and where we want to head with it, but we were comfortable with keeping it in there and leaving it in there because there are a few different ways to interpret it. The whole thing, what Sitwell’s saying is, this algorithm is going to predict if you’re going to become a problem for Hydra or not. So you don’t have to just be Tony Stark, actively plotting to save the world. You could be a kid whose SAT scores and whose essays have indicated that you’re going to be a problem one day. So is Stephen Strange the Sorcerer Supreme? Probably not at that point. Is he an unbelievably talented neurosurgeon who’s opinionated and kind of arrogant? Probably. That might put him on the list.”
How far in advance were you thinking that this was where you’d take SHIELD? Was it just a need, “We need a plot for Captain America 2,” or were you already thinking about the way the organization would play through the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe:
“It was a combination. I mean, I’ve been thinking since the first Captain America film that if the SSR was a… you know, the SSR was the organization that Captain was a part of in the first movie, and had the super soldier program. That was basically our version of the precursor to SHIELD, which in real life there was… I forget what it was called now, but there was a division that was a precursor to the CIA in real life, and in real life there was Operation Paperclip, which Widow mentions. They worked with Nazi scientists and Nazi equipment, and that’s part of where NASA came from.
I had this thought for a long time that the SSR defeated Hydra, brought in their scientists, brought in their weaponry, that’s what SHIELD was founded on. But what if there was more to that than meets the eye? In Avengers, Captain America finds a Hydra helmet, Hydra weapons, and realizes that SHIELD has this whole plan Nick Fury was even aware of, of taking Hydra weapons and building them again. So I thought, what if SHIELD was Hydra?”
It seems like the show [Agents of SHELD] will have to shift dramatically after its first season because of the events of Captain America 2. Is that a safe bet, do you think:
“I would say it’s a safe bet. They haven’t been shy about talking about their connection to the Cinematic Universe, and this will be by far the biggest event that has happened for them.”
Fans have also been wondering why S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Clint Barton aka Hawkeye wasn’t around for the events of Winter Soldier but Feige says those eager to see more of him will get to do so in next year’s Avengers; Age of Ultron:
“We will discover, later, the answers to that question. But it really came down to how many players can you have on the field at this time? We really wanted to bring in Falcon, we really wanted to team [Captain America] up with Black Widow, we really wanted Fury to have more of a part than he’s ever had in any of the other movies before. We wanted, ever so briefly, to introduce Sharon Carter. And we had a fun place for Maria Hill to be involved. So we didn’t want to just have, “Hey, I’m Hawkeye! Hey, I’m Iron Man!” We want to avoid the brief cameos of the week….Not every character from every movie is going to be in Age of Ultron, for sure. But Joss [Whedon] is excited and, for the characters you haven’t seen since the first Avengers – like Hawkeye, like Hulk – there’s a reason for that, and that gets showcased quite prominently in Age of Ultron.”
About whether Avengers 2 would have to deal with the privatization of this very powerful, small military:
“Did you notice the very brief glimpse of Stark Tower in [Captain America: The Winter Soldier]? It looks different… There’s a big “A” on it now.”
Feige does play coy about Loki’s staff appearing in the mid-credits scene of Winter Solder. When asked if it was an Infinity stone:
“Well, it’s certainly pure speculation at this point. I’m not even sure if we even recognize Loki’s scepter [as an Infinity Stone], but that’s a big hint as to what will be causing them trouble in the next movie.”
Avengers: Age of Ultron stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, James Spader, Kim Soo-Hyun, and Thomas Kretschmann.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is set for release on May 1st, 2015.