Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness director Sam Raimi reflects back on working with Kevin Feige during the production of the first Spider-Man film.
Twenty years ago Sam Raimi’s first superhero film, Spider-Man was released in theaters. While it wasn’t the first superhero Marvel superhero film, it was one of the biggest moneymakers at the time and set a tone and appreciation for the source material that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would follow. At the time, the head of Marvel was a man by the name of Avi Arad who laid the foundation of what would eventually become the MCU. Along for the ride was his assistant, a young Kevin Feige.
Kevin Feige was an uncredited executive producer for the first Spider-Man film. However, he and Sam Raimi became acquainted on the set of the film. At the time the Doctor Strange 2 director had no idea the then 20-something producer would become the head of the biggest movie production company in the world. However, it was something that, in retrospect, made sense as Feige had many of the ideas for crossovers and cameos.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sam Raimi opened up about Kevin Feige, his early attempts at crossovers, Avi Arad’s work on the Marvel films, and how wonderful it is to work under someone like Feige:
“Yes, in retrospect. In the moment, his boss, Avi [Arad], was [trying to create an empire]. First of all, Avi had gotten behind Blade, X-Men, even these Spider-Man movies. He was the head of Marvel at the time, and Kevin was his assistant. [Arad] also went on to Iron Man. But it was Kevin who wanted to start bringing in guest appearances into the first three Spider-Man movies. I forgot if it was Wolverine he was trying to get into the movies or another character, but it was really Avi standing on the shoulders of Stan Lee and then Kevin standing on the shoulders of Avi that enabled this all to happen. It was generations of writers with intertwining stories that the Marvel universe told. Characters would have their own issues and comics, and in a Marvel team-up, they would get together. All of these interactions were pre-described by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko 50 years ago, and now we’re just following their formula. So yes, Kevin is brilliant, and I’ve never met anybody who runs a company just ensuring the integrity of the characters as their No. 1 job. It’s incredible. It’s a pleasure to work at that company because of that. He doesn’t really answer to the shareholder; he answers to the fan. And so it makes it a wonderful place to work.”
Here is the synopsis for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness:
The MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.
Directed by Sam Raimi from a script written by Michael Waldron, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stuhlbarg, Rachel McAdams, and Patrick Stewart.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6, 2022. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the MCU and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.