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Marvel's President Kevin Feige Explains How The 'Harry Potter' Movies Helped Build The MCU

By Lynne Versluys

A Major Influence

Gettyimages | Jesse Grant

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has been instrumental in building the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the mega franchise that it is today. Over twenty films have been released chronicling the stories of these superheroes, and both super fans and casuals have enjoyed them immensely (box office numbers don't lie).

Feige was speaking at the New York Film Academy, and he explained that he set out to make Marvel's films accessible to everyone, and he was seriously influenced by the Harry Potter film series in his vision.

Following Along

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He explained that even though he had never read the children's books, he was able to understand and enjoy the films.

"I always default to my experience watching Harry Potter movies. 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."

Special Details For Super Fans

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He continued, explaining that he loved the idea of Easter eggs for super fans (something that Marvel fans in particular relish), but not at the expense of alienating newcomers.

"Now if I had watched every movie 10 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.

If an Easter egg 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."

He's Not Worried About Awards

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Feige also briefly commented on the hullabaloo around whether or not Marvel films are cinema, and explained that he didn't really care about awards.

"Maybe it’s easy to dismiss VFX [visual effects] or flying people or spaceships or billion-dollar grosses. I think it is easy to say that you have already been awarded in a certain way.

[Alfred] Hitchcock never won [the Best Director Oscar], so it’s very nice [getting an award], but it doesn’t mean everything. I would much rather be in a room full of engaged fans."

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