Marvel Studios President Takes Inspiration from “Harry Potter” Movies
Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, has revealed that he uses the Harry Potter movies as a guide for how to create an interconnected cinematic world that appeals to hard-core and casual fans alike.
Speaking at the New York Film Academy, Feige likened the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to the Harry Potter movies in the way it tells stories. According to Feige, the franchises are similar in the way that the movies can stand alone without any knowledge of the source material.
When asked by a student in the audience how the MCU creates movies for both fans who have seen every movie and those who haven’t seen any, Feige revealed that he draws upon his experiences watching the Harry Potter movies. Having rushed to the movie theater for every opening weekend despite never having read the Potter books, Feige could still follow what was happening on-screen:
My kids aren’t old enough and aren’t into it yet, and I didn’t read them when they first came out, but I went to see every Harry Potter movie opening weekend. I saw it and I enjoyed it and then I forgot all about it and didn’t think about it again until the next Harry Potter movie came out. And those movies were so well made because I could follow it all. I could follow it, I could track it, occasionally I have to go ‘Who was that?’ but for the most part I could totally track it.
Drawing on his experience with the Potter films, Feige felt that it was important for adherence to the source material to not get in the way of telling the story. Intricate details about fantasy worlds or the inclusions of minor characters will definitely please hard-core fans (we still wish Peeves had been included!), but it could alienate more casual fans.
Now if I had watched every movie ten times, if I had read every book, I bet there are dozens of other things in there that I would see and appreciate, but they never got in the way of me just experiencing it as a pure story. So that’s kind of what we try to navigate is if an Easter [e]gg or a reference or something is so prevalent that it gets in the way of the story you’re telling so that people who aren’t aware of it go ‘What is this? What’s happening?’ then we usually pull back on it.
The Wizarding World franchise continues to navigate the challenge of pleasing casual moviegoers and fans of the source material. The remaining three Fantastic Beasts movies will surely contain a mix of storytelling for the casual fan and Easter eggs for Potterheads loyal to the series.
Check out the full interview with Kevin Feige below, and skip to 30:26 to hear his comparison of the MCU to the Harry Potter movies.