Louis Leterrier, the director behind last year’s The Incredible Hulk, made a lot of headlines in and around the time of its release by hinting at a Captain America cameo in the film as an “easter egg” that never really met our expectations. Now he’s at it again, this time talking about the major upcoming Marvel films, what he knows about them, what he’d like to work on, and what he’d like to do with The Avengers, given the chance.
In a Clash of the Titans set interview, LA Times journalist, Geoff Boucher, sat down with Letterier who wasn’t shy about revealing some of his ideas and thoughts on the upcoming slate of films in development at Marvel Studios. We’ve taken the best bits to discuss and share with you, and then we share what we think could be done with the eagerly anticipated Marvel team-up adventure.
Besides bringing the big Green man back to the silver screen, Leterrier also directed Transporter 2 and is currently working on the Clash of the Titans remake, which stars Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation, James Cameron’s Avatar). On set for the production of this movie, the cast and director conducted the usual interviews for the press where interview, Geoff Boucher extracted some great tidbits from the Paris-born director.
Only a part of the complete interview has been made available for the moment and luckily, it’s the segment that we’re most interested with: The superhero movie stuff! It begins with talk about the Hulk franchise where Leterrier was asked about his interest in working on the sequel to The Incredible Hulk that Marvel may be interested in developing in the future.
His answer was surprisingly “no.” He explained that he’s contracted to do another film with Marvel and says that when he’s done with Clash of the Titans, he’ll go to Marvel and say “Guys you need me? Is there something I can do?”
From Marvel’s perspective, I’d imagine they’d want him to do the sequel since he already started the rebooted franchise and did a solid job of it. From Leterrier’s perspective though, the movie was surrounded by controversy about Norton’s creative differences with the studio as well as challenges during production. And while it performed decently at the box-office, it wasn’t what some expected and it barely beat out Ang Lee’s version in terms of financial results.
“Hulk was such a challenge. It was to reboot something and follow [the Ang Lee-directed 2003 “Hulk”] movie that was absolutely adored by part of the fan population and then absolutely hated by another part. It was complicated for me. I wasn’t sure what to do with that history. I did my Hulk but it was not easy. If I do another Hulk film it will always be compared to the Ang Lee thing, and my first one … if I come back I’d love to do another superhero, something different that I can really put my touch on.”
So, if Leterrier does direct another Marvel flick, and if it’s not a Hulk sequel… then what could it be?
Of course, The Avengers is brought up next. And of course Leterrier says he’d love to do it.
Here’s where it gets interesting. After explaining some of the films he would and would not like to do (he would have liked to do Iron Man, Captain America and a different Fantastic Four movie but didn’t want to do Thor, even though he’s a fan of the latest Thor comics), he went on to talk about the Captain America movie and his ultimate dream project…
On the subject of Joe Johnston’s Captain America origins film, he’s seen some of the early work on it and had this to say about it:
“I have seen some of the design work they’re doing for Captain America and it looks amazing. It’s a period piece and it’s like “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and with more gadgets.”
Geoff Boucher then pointed out that Johnston was selected by Marvel for the gig for exactly that reason – he had done art direction for the first Indiana Jones movie and directed The Rocketeer. Leterrier continued:
“Yes, exactly, so it’s “Raiders” meets “Rocketeer” and “Saving Private Ryan.” It’s going to be so cool.”
Leterrier’s certainly excited about the Marvel franchise. Earlier, he praised Marvel President of Production, Kevin Feige, for being great to work with along with all the folks at Marvel, and he’s a big reader of the comics.
“You know, you asked about my dream, I’ll tell you my real dream: To work with Joe Johnston and Kenneth Branagh and Jon Favreau and make like a triptych. We do four movies. We release them one a month for the summer. Or even every two weeks or three weeks. And the whole summer would be Avengers summer. So we do it the way they make television shows. One story arc but told in installments by different directors. So all of the directors that touch part of the Avengers world would do a part; we could make the movies shorter, maybe less than an hour and a half, and we use the same sets and save Marvel money. I would love to sit around a table with all of them a kick around the story. That’s my dream.”
Woah! Slow down, buddy. Four Avengers movies?
I think Zak Penn is having enough trouble writing one Avengers screenplay as it is.
As crazy an idea as this is, it would be pretty amazing to see that happen. Leterrier is on to something though and it’s not a bad idea to have two (or more?) films shot in one long shoot to save big time on expenses. More importantly, it would allow them the ability to tell a longer, more fleshed-out Avengers story than they can with a single movie overloaded with characters – which is the current plan as far as we know.
Why not do two back-to-back Avengers films? The market can sure as hell support it, if this summer and last are any indicator. With the many many more comic book films coming out in the next three years, it’s great time window to do something like that. Let’s also not forget that Marvel Studios hopes to increase its production capacity in the not so distant future to possibly support up to four major feature films per year.
If all of these Marvel films currently in development are leading to the grand goal of The Avengers team-up film, arguably one of the most anticipated films imaginable, they should be capitalizing on this.
That being said, Leterrier’s explanation may be a little much. It would be far too complex to tell one story in parts like this, on this large a scale, having different directors do each part. Just being able to get them all together for a long period of time, with their own busy schedules for other projects is almost impossibility.
The more realistic scenario would be to have one director helm the film as normal on a long shoot, and break it into parts – Similar to what was done with Kill Bill, Lord of the Rings, the Matrix sequels and the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. They’d also have to be full-length films. There’s no way that short, less-than-90-minutes movies would work. We want full feature films done right.
This is a very interesting concept and the only issues I see with it are the financing and scheduling. The more I think about it, why wouldn’t Marvel do more than one? They could maintain their current schedule by having the first installment come out in 2012, and have the second part the following year. All of the key players are signed to multi-picture contracts, so Marvel may have something up their sleeves not dissimilar to this idea…
The fanbase and moviegoers everywhere have proven their willingness to pay for these films and we all know we’re all be paying to see the Iron Man sequels, Captain America, Thor and many more installments after that, why not more of them all working together? As I said above, it would allow for so much more characterization, a much greater plot and development of the villain(s), and we’d all get more of what we want, all while Marvel saves on production costs by filming them together.
Hell, I’d pay to see Ed Norton, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Sam L, and whoever plays Captain America sitting down in character and playing cards together for an hour talking about what they did that week. It’s an no brainer.
Don’t be surprised if we get more than one Avengers film. For the moment, I’m more concerned on who will be playing Captain America and when we’ll find out. It’s planned to come out not long after Thor, and Brannagh’s team has pulled in much of their cast already, yet nothing on The First Avenger: Captain America yet while major things are happening in his comic series. Expect something on that soon.
How do you think the Marvel films should play out – more crossovers and episodic story-telling like the comics, or more solo films after the Avengers? And who would you like to helm this epic project?
The Avengers, as it is currently planned, is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.
Source: Los Angeles Times