Marvel's Kevin Feige Calls 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' "A Political Thriller"

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Marvel's recent successes at the box office would be impressive enough if all they were doing was churning out well-made superhero movies -- but without getting too hyperbolic about it, their best films haven't just redefined the genre's commercial possibilities, they've also redrawn its artistic parameters.

From the classic wisecracking action of Iron Man to the lightly handled sci-fi of Thor and the old-fashioned pulp serial thrills of Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel's Phase One films strengthened the disparate narrative threads of the studio's comic properties -- then wove them into a cohesive cinematic fabric with The Avengers. And with Phase Two titles like Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy around the corner, they don't seem to be scaling back their ambitions.

Marvel chief Kevin Feige dropped a telling hint regarding one of those upcoming releases during a recent chat with Variety, expressing enthusiasm for Marvel's ongoing "opportunity to graft almost sub-genres" onto its adaptations and adding, "Our first Captain America film was a World War II picture, and the next is a political thriller. They all have their own textures and patinas, and that’s what is exciting about it."

As for what Feige means by "political thriller," well, we'll have to wait until closer to Winter Soldier's April 2014 release date to find out. But the studio's "sub-genre" approach reflects a solid understanding of something comics fans have known for years: If a character's strong enough, he or she can comfortably exist in a wide variety of stories.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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