While there is often a negative gut reaction summoned when the word “reshoots” comes up in Hollywood, the truth is that they shouldn’t have the stigma that they do. It’s true that to some productions the definition of the term is “complete overhaul,” but more often than that it translates to “minor fixes.” On the whole, it’s this latter take that is actually part of the overall strategy for the storytellers over at Marvel Studios, as recently outlined by President Kevin Feige:
As part of the promotional tour for Ant-Man And The Wasp, Kevin Feige sat down with Los Angeles Daily News to discuss Marvel’s 20-film run of success – and as you can see above, part of their conversation was dedicated to discussion about the evolution of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies through the various stages of production. The producer/executive in particular highlighted the massive changes often made during the editing stage, noting that not-so-great versions of the finished product exist as little as a month before theatrical release.
While Marvel’s particular approach in this department may be unique (not many movies are throwing around the same kind of money), the reality is that a vague version of this strategy has been a part of filmmaking from the very beginning. There is an axiom in the industry that a movie is written three times: once as the script is coming together; again as new ideas are being thrown around during production; and a third time as everything is being cut together. The final draft of a screenplay is never a transcript of the finished product. Marvel Studio’s tactic is really just an extreme case, with millions of dollars flying around.
Whatever Marvel Studios is doing behind the scenes is clearly working, as every film they’ve released since 2015 has made north of $500 million worldwide (Ant-Man And The Wasp is already on its way), and all but six of their titles have earned scores over 80% on Rotten Tomatoes (and all are rated “Fresh”). Surely the developing Captain Marvel will be made just the same way, as will Avengers 4, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – and we’re excited for all of them.