Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige: Visionary, producer extraordinaire, and massive fanboy for many aspects of nerd culture. The guy’s just an ardent fan at heart and has gone on record several times about his love of Marvel, Star Wars, Star Trek and the DC Universe. On top of all that, he comes across as a genuinely personable individual who is said to be easy to work with by those in front of and behind the camera.
Recenty, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, directors of Marvel Studios’ latest Disney+ streaming series Ms. Marvel, landed the job of helming DC’s Batgirl movie after their success with 2020’s Will Smith and Martin Lawrence buddy picture, Bad Boys For Life. The directing duo will help to bring Barbara Gordon aka, Batgirl to life with the acting talents of Leslie Grace.
Of course, Feige, being as interested in DC films as he is, wasn’t shy about checking in with El Arbi and Fallah as they were developing the Batgirl movie.
Feige Was Very Curious About Batgirl
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Batgirl directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall, mentioned that Marvel Studios’ chief creative officer Kevin Feige and the rest of the team at Marvel were enthusiastic about the pair’s new directing gig over at the Distinguished Competition:
“Yeah, we wrote [Marvel Studios] an email that said we were going to do Batgirl, and then Kevin Feige, Victoria [Alonso] and Lou [D’Esposito] all said, ‘Congratulations!”’They were super happy for us. People say there’s a rivalry, but it’s totally not like that. They make each other stronger, and we felt the vibe between DC and Marvel.”
El Arbi also mentioned that Feige in particular was very collegially inquisitive about how the Batgirl directors were progressing on their DC film, asking for updates like “‘How’s it going? What’s going to happen?'”:
“Yeah, they’re big fans of each other. Kevin was constantly asking questions, ‘How’s it going? What’s going to happen?’ He was a real fanboy, so that was pretty dope.”
The directors also harkened back to their time on Ms. Marvel and had this to say regarding the show’s sense of visual flourish while also noting that those special touches were “not presented in the script” and instead, an idea all their own.
“The animation was not presented in the script or in the concept art. It was something that we really wanted to do based on Into the Spider-Verse, and we imagined we could do a live-action version of that. It was also important for us to get inside Kamala Khan’s head and capture her dream world and fantasy world. We love animation and the comic-book aesthetic, and combined with Kamala being a fan of Marvel, all of that made us think to use animation to show that. But like Adil said, we were afraid that Marvel wouldn’t accept it because it’s totally different from all the other shows and movies. So we did a whole presentation with YouTube videos, and Kevin Feige said, ‘Yeah, I like it. Just don’t go overboard. Use it for good reasons like character and story.’ So we were surprised.”
For Those In Charge, There’s No Marvel vs. DC
A good few fans of these superhero movies often pit companies against each other. While things are not as tension-filled as they once were, audiences still draw stark comparisons between the films and series of Marvel Studios and the output of Warner Bros. and DC. This rivalry is not anything new and it extends back to the heyday of the comic books in the 1960s.
But for the top brass at these studios, things aren’t quite as heated.
Feige and co. Always seem very supportive of DC’s movies and vice versa. It’s nice to see a friendly and altruistic atmosphere between these two groups. After all, they’re both just trying to make movies that people will enjoy.
And they might not even be the same types of movies. DC’s movie slate is mostly far more grounded and realistic in tone while the MCU embraces the fantastical. Variety is the spice of life, and Marvel and DC certainly take advantage of that notion.
Additionally, El Arbi and Fallah made mention of the little visual touches they put into Ms. Marvel and how that was something they came up with themselves. As they mentioned, it definitely takes a page from the film adaptation of Scott Piglrim vs. The World, which is a film filled to the brim with those types of embellishments.
Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel releases new episodes on Wednesdays on Disney+ and DC’s Batgirl will land on HBO Max sometime this year.