Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 by Angie Han
Marvel Studios’ plans for a unified Marvel Cinematic Universe may have seemed wildly ambitious when they were first announced a few years ago, but after the dazzling success of this summer’s The Avengers there’s no question that all the risk and hard work has paid off. The endeavor proved such a hit, in fact, that it sent other studios scrambling to up their game as well.
A few weeks ago, 20th Century Fox (which holds rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four) took a first step toward improving their comic book offerings by hiring Mark Millar to serve as the “creative consultant” for all Marvel-based films. Now the famously fan-friendly comic book writer has spoken up about what exactly that’ll entail. Read his comments after the jump.
Millar explained his new gig during an appearance on the Word Balloon podcast (via Screen Rant). Just as Joss Whedon will be overseeing all Avengers Phase 2 projects for Marvel Studios, so Millar will be shepherding Marvel adaptations for Fox. Currently, that means The Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Fantastic Four, as well as Nemesis, which has been in development at Fox since 2010.
The outspoken Millar was quick to acknowledge Fox’s spotty history with superheroes (Elektra, anyone?), but pointed out that the studio’s had some major successes as well:
There have been some poor decisions in the past, but you also have to remember that there have been some excellent ones too. Bryan Singer’s X-Men for example, I think revolutionised superhero movies. It pre-dated Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, and I think you forget how close that was chronologically to Batman and Robin! To open with a Holocaust scene in a superhero movie was just unheard of. Fox get a lot of flak for the films which didn’t work out, and quite rightly, but you forget that they’ve done some really great stuff too. I’m thinking specifically of X-Men, X-Men 2 and X-Men: First Class.
What’s changed, Millar says, is a new staff dedicated to bringing their Marvel movies to the next level:
The team who is running the show over there now I’m very comfortable with. I actually really like everything that they’re doing, and they recognise more than anyone the mistakes that they’ve made in the past and they just want to do right by the fans. Hiring myself was a first step in a number of things that they’re planning and they just really want to be respectful to the material I think. X-Men: First Class, which I absolutely loved, just feels like planting the flag for what they’re planning to do over the next few years.
Although Fantastic Four, The Wolverine, and X-Men: Days of Future Past were in the works long before Millar was hired, he was enthusiastic (if vague) in his praise for them.
Hiring Josh Trank for Fantastic Four…it could just not be more different than the first Fantastic Four movie from what I’ve seen so far. Even just as a fan, I’m very, very excited by the level of talent they have on the directors side of things.
I can’t say too much about it right now, but The Wolverine has only just started shooting really, I mean it’s been shooting for a few weeks now. I really do like it and I’m really impressed by it. Days of Future Past, which is being written at the moment, is the next one up and at the same time, Fantastic Four is being written right now. In a weird way, it’s just the easiest job in the world as I’m surrounded by people who are so good!
As a longtime Marvel writer (he’s worked on The Ultimates, Fantastic Four, and Civil War, among other titles), Millar should be able to offer some valuable insight. It’s far too soon to tell how much control and influence Millar will really have, but just the fact that they’ve hired him seems like a step in the right direction.