Over the last several months, we’ve heard many industry folk chime in the Marvel Studio’s plan of bringing together their superstar superheroes into one shared project, the most ambitious project in comic book movie history: The Avengers.
From Matthew Vaughn (the original director attached to Thor) admitting his desire to helm The Avengers, Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier’s idea of a four-part series of Avengers films to writer Zak Penn’s fear that the epic team-up project is so complicated that it may “suck.” There’s been plenty of talk from the folks behind the cameras about Marvel’s on-screen future, but what about the characters?
One question for the filmmakers has been to figure out how Jon Favreau’s tech-based Iron Man can work together with the mystical Asgardian God of Thunder, Thor? It’s easy in the comic books, but how will they adapt it into live-action and have it make sense? Marvel comic writer Brian Michael Bendis knows it can work – check out his thoughts on The Avengers after the jump.
Brian Bendis is one of the biggest names in the comics industry and is one of the folks responsible for the creation of the Ultimate Marvel Universe. MTV had a chance to speak to the artist and writer and get his thoughts on The Avengers film.
“My advice is, has been, and will be, that much like the comics, you look at movies like the ‘Oceans’ movies that have all these different flavors, you put the flavors together and you cook ’em… It absolutely can be done.
Look at ‘The Great Escape’ or other movies that have all these big elements to them, and even elements that don’t seem that they would fit can rub up against each other in a very excellent way… They really can create something you wouldn’t even imagine you had before.”
Bendis explained that by bringing in different types of characters to form unexpected teams or partnerships, you can often get something special and amazing out of it. It’s one of his favorite parts of writing team-up books like New Avengers and he gave an example of the relationship formed between Spider-Man and Luke Cage in the books.
“Having read the ‘Captain America’ movie script and the ‘Thor’ movie scripts and ‘Iron Man 2′ and everything, and seeing them all develop, nothing is more exciting to me than the ‘Avengers’ movie… It’s absolutely going to be something better than— different than—anything we’ve seen before.
I think the challenge is absolutely there… It’s an immense amount of work, but the payoff will be gigantic.”
I hope it all plays out right and everyone wins in the end. They’re really banking on Captain America and Thor’s solo outings not only winning over the fans, but bringing in a hefty profit. They can’t really have a weak link bringing down the team (in more ways than one) but I’m confident that because it’s in the hands of Marvel themselves as opposed to another studio, that we’ll all have our wishes come true.
As for having the different universes of the films mesh together, we heard from Branagh’s camp a while ago that his Thor movie will be based in science. What that means is anyone’s guess in terms of the movie but it will help make it more believable when our heroes join together to fight evil.
Before that happens though, we have the eagerly anticipated Iron Man 2 coming up next which also features a pretty big roster of characters. Could we be seeing our first look at Thor or Cap in that film? According to Iron Man director Jon Favreau’s Twitter, he met Thor director Kenneth Branagh last week and pumped him his work on the project. That project by the way, is the one I’m most looking forward to and I couldn’t be more excited to know that Branagh is helming it, especially knowing that he’s 100% in on the interconnectivity of the Marvel movies.
“Had lunch with Kenneth Branagh. Wonderful fellow. He’s going to do a great job on Thor.”
Thor’s star Chris Hemsworth screen-tested with Robert Downey Jr. and now with Favreau spending some time with Branagh, it’s very possible that there will be a Hemsworth cameo in Iron Man 2 which may help launch Thor’s debut the following summer. And let’s not forget the widely speculated but denied rumor that Ed Norton could make a guest appearance as Bruce Banner/Hulk.
Don’t be surprised to see something special from Iron Man 2 in terms of cameo appearances, each film from now on will tie-into or help seed the following projects. They’ll be taking advantage of every opportunity to cross-market and help establish the shared continuity in preparation for The Avengers.
Zak Penn is currently still writing the screenplay and trying to make it work with the stories of Iron Man, The First Avenger: Captain America and Thor. We still don’t know who will direct The Avengers but we do know that Jon Favreau won’t be. He’ll be producing the movie and no doubt be working on an Iron Man 3 around that time which works for me.
So, from all accounts, it seems that the scripts and stories are all coming together very nicely for Marvel’s slate of upcoming films and I hope those chosen to bring us The Avengers take advantage of the great work that’s been done so far. We have a lot to look forward to.
What do you want from The Avengers?
Iron Man 2 opens May 7, 2010, Thor opens May 20, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.