They are the masterminds who brought you "Iron Man""Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk.""The Incredible Hulk." They are working on films for characters like Thor, Captain America and Dr. Strange, not to mention their tag team "The Avengers."
But ask Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige what film he's most excited about, and the answer isn't a single adult superhero — it's a teen one. More accurately, a group of teen heroes. "Runaways" — which is currently being scripted by comic writer Brian K. Vaughan — is tentatively scheduled to be among the studio's many post-"Avengers" projects.
"I love the idea. Brian brought to Marvel one of the best new concepts that we've had in quite some time," Feige said of the film, for which he expects a finished script in early 2009. "It's very different than anything we've done before."
"Runaways" follows a group of kids who come to discover that their parents are up to no good — as in, a take-over-the-world kind of "no good."
OK, sure, not everybody's parents are supervillains, Feige laughed, but didn't everybody at some point think their parents were?
"I love the idea of kids banding together, discovering this thing, which I think all kids secretly wonder at one time or another whether their parents are good or evil. Well, these guys find out, unfortunately, that their parents happen to be supervillains," Feige said of the flick's setup. "I loved, when I was a kid, movies like 'Goonies''Goonies' and 'Explorers' — and a non-genre example of that is 'Stand by Me' — the idea that when I came home from school, I could go on an adventure anywhere."
With the comic now in its fifth year and on its third major writer (including Vaughan, "Buffy" creator Joss Whedon and current writer Terry Moore), "Runaways," the film, will more or less follow Vaughan's creation arc, Feige said.
"In our discussions with Brian, we wanted him to be the person to bring it to life. I think it won't be a precise story line of any [of his comics], but certainly it will be most similar to the tone or origins of his structure in its initial run," Feige explained.
What it may or may not follow is the recent Marvel convention of cross-pollination, which is the buzzword of the summer thanks to cameos like Nick Fury's in "Iron Man" and Tony Stark's in "The Incredible Hulk." In the "Runaways" comic, several prominent heroes make brief appearances, but Feige thinks it's unlikely for the film version.
"If it fits a dramatic moment that we want to get across in the film, we would be able to do that — but I wouldn't want to rely on having Iron Man come in and wave every five minutes so we can put that in the commercial and sell more," Feige said. "I really want to build movies to stand on their own, and there's no reason that 'Runaways' — with the right script and the right cast — couldn't fit that on its own."
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