Marvel Studios Might Have Special Plans For 'Howard The Duck'

Did you know Lea Thompson pitched Marvel on directing her own Howard the Duck film? Well, she did and the reason why that didn't happen is pretty intriguing and leads to some interesting implications for the character's future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Lea Thompson in a big anniversary piece looking back at Howard the Duck as it celebrates its 35th birthday, and in that interview Thompson says she had a big pitch with Marvel about spearheading a Howard the Duck reboot that would work within the existing MCU.

This isn't a far out concept. As a comic character, Howard has a pretty large, albeit kinda underground, fan base, and to top it all off he's already been introduced in the films, thanks to a post-credits scene in Guardians of the Galaxy. He gets a couple lines, voiced by Seth Green, and hasn't popped up since then, but damn it, he's there and fits right into the James Gunn cosmic side of the MCU.

The question has become was that just a nod to the goofier side of Marvel's legacy or a set up for something in the future.

Well, when Thompson met with Marvel she went in guns blazing, coming in with what she called a "really great pitch" that included art by Howard the Duck vet Joe Quinones. She has been making a name for herself as a TV director, helming episodes of Picard and The Goldbergs, and the idea was Thompson would direct this reboot given her understanding of the fandom and deep love of the character. While she said the bigwigs liked the pitch, they passed because they had "different plans for the different characters."

Now, that could just be political Hollywood exec talk for "no thanks," but it could also very well mean they want to incorporate Howard into the movies in a bigger way.

I'm hoping for the latter, because Howard is such a bonkers character (a detective duck that knows quack fu? C'mon) and I could see him working so well within a Guardians of the Galaxy style framework.

With Gunn coming back to finish off his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy very soon we may have a better picture of what Howard the Duck's place is within this landscape. Because if Gunn doesn't incorporate him into Vol. 3 then I don't know who else has the right voice and willingness to fully embrace the character. Taika Waititi perhaps?

Does Howard the Duck Deserve Its Notoriously Awful Status?

It must be noted that while the original Lucasfilm attempt at the character is commonly thought of as being a huge misfire, I gotta say that I think time has been kind to it. Is it bonkers? Absolutely. Ill-advised on almost every level? I'll agree with that. But that's also what makes it a fascinating watch today.

It's not the massive swings and misses that are the truly bad movies, it's the boring, mediocre ones that are lost to time. Howard the Duck has duck boobs and feather boners. Say what you will about the movie, but it's not an easy one to forget once you've seen it.

The making of the film is filled with complications and interesting trivia, like the fact that Robin Williams was originally cast to voice Howard the Duck and quit after just three days of work. Can you imagine what the end product would look like with Robin Williams as the voice of Howard?

I wouldn't expect an MCU Howard to be as inexplicably horny as the '80s version, but again, he wouldn't be boring. You can just see Howard and Rocket kicking back, drinking and telling war stories.

So, here's hoping the Marvel head honchos weren't just blowing off Thompson and her pitch. I'd love to see Howard the Duck realized in an upcoming MCU entry.