Even if they’re not promoting one of the studio’s projects, the stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will always end up fielding questions about what comes next for the franchise whenever they’re on the press circuit, and many of them are either sworn to complete secrecy or joke about Kevin Feige having snipers on the roof.
According to Kevin Smith, the latter isn’t too far from the truth. Speaking on his Fatman Beyond podcast, the actor and filmmaker revealed the levels of intense security Marvel operate under, which includes what he calls a ‘secret police’ who deliberately leak false information on occasion so that they can find out which of their employees are handing over potentially sensitive information.
“I don’t think this threatens anything they do or what not, but I thought it was an interesting factoid, coming from inside the world through many sources I can’t even tell you but pretty legit. There is a Marvel secret police who, when things are being discovered, not only sweat down the departments, so when leaks happen, not only do the Marvel secret police sweat the departments to find where the leaks sprang from, they also deal in subterfuge.
We know this in as much as you’ll go to auditions and read lines that have nothing to do with what you’re auditioning for. They’re well practiced at the art of like ‘look over here’, they like to keep their secrets over there. So they leave leftover call sheets where they draw allusions to characters that are well known that don’t exist. So they lay little traps in the call sheets to see if it gets passed on and then try to find the leaks thusly. This is some Watergate level sh*t man. The amount of thought that goes into like, ‘We gotta keep these secrets’.
Meanwhile, we’re living in a world where the most open secret on the planet is there’s 96 Spider-Men in the next Spider-Man movie, and everyone’s like, ‘Don’t tell the secret’, but we all know it. How fascinating man, the Marvel secret police.”
That’s some next level secrecy, and it’s hilarious to imagine clandestine meetings happening in the Marvel Studios boardroom, where Kevin Feige and his trusted lieutenants mull over how they’re going to indulge in a little in-house espionage to catch a culprit or two.
Secrecy is more difficult to maintain than ever in the age of social media, but some good old fashioned subterfuge remains as reliable now as it ever has. It just leads us to wonder how many people have wound up being reprimanded or even losing their jobs after being outed as a Marvel mole.