It may have taken a few years, but horror movie fans got a treat this summer with The Cabin in the Woods, co-written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. While discussing the movie's Blu-Ray release this month, Goddard, who also occupied the director's chair for the film, opened up about the challenges the pair faced during the low-budget production. Inevitably, Goddard was asked about the current "Phase 2" Marvel movie projects Whedon is overseeing, and which superhero he would personally want to bring to the big screen.
Considering the amount of talent (rumored and confirmed) in the running for Marvel's expanded slate of planned projects, it's not exactly shocking to hear that Goddard would "love" to have the chance to direct any of those announced. But given the strong ties between the Buffy veterans, and Goddard's increasingly impressive Hollywood credentials, could he be what's needed to get some troubled Marvel projects moving?
Goddard's exact words on the subject came during an interview with ShockTillYouDrop, where - aside from categorizing his and Whedon's work as a case of "guerrilla filmmaking" - Goddard was asked which Marvel superhero he would most love to adapt. Potentially a throwaway question (now that his friend and writing partner is playing 'Godfather' to the Marvel universe) Goddard's response speaks for itself:
[laughs] What Marvel character would I not love to get on? That's an easier question to answer. I would love any of it and I love Marvel, Joss and what they're doing. It's all about finding the right fit. Directing...in order to do your job right, you have to find ways to make it personal, and if we can find the right fit, then I would love to do it.
The comments are by no means a sign that any talks are in progress, or whether Goddard would even be able to find time for a directing job at the moment. Having received accolades for his writing on TV shows like Lost, Alias, Angel and the aforementioned Buffy the Vampire Slayer's later seasons - not to mention Cloverfield and this year's Cabin - Goddard has put the last few years to good use. Currently working on the sequel to Cloverfield and adapting the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's Robopocalypse, if Goddard's name were brought up internally at Marvel, he'd have no shortage of possible supporters - Damon Lindelof, J.J. Abrams, Spielberg and, of course, Whedon.
For those who haven't been keeping up to date on the current slate of Marvel film adaptations, suffice to say that there has never been a better time to have Joss Whedon's stamp of approval. Entrusted with overseeing the Marvel universe for the next three years, Whedon has a great deal of clout when it comes to pursuing talent he may or may not have worked with in the past. Marvel has already made it clear that they're interested in relying on the right names, not necessarily the most well-known filmmakers to tell the best stories possible. James Gunn's twisted and quirky sensibility will be shown in Guardians of the Galaxy; Edgar Wright is being entrusted with doing Ant-Man justice before a lead has been cast; and the Russo brothers, directors of cult-TV series Community, are taking over Captain America 2. Goddard's name may have seemed out of place among the likes of Favreau, Branagh and Johnston a few years ago, but times are clearly changing.
Matching a director or writer to a given comic book property is an inexact science, with even the most successful instances deemed as 'sure things' only through hindsight. Hiring Joss Whedon (primarily a TV talent) to helm the largest superhero movie to date was a massive risk at the time. And while Gunn and Wright may be similarly quirky, don't expect Marvel's Kevin Feige to hand over a major property to a director with only one project under their belt. Feige has confirmed that several new projects are still in the works, and despite how much we'd like to think that Runaways is going to become a reality sooner rather than later, no updates are forthcoming. But that is one project that Goddard might be able to do wonders with.
Brian K. Vaughan's exploration of super-powered teenagers rebelling against villainous parents may seem like a strong enough cinematic property in its own right (strong enough for Whedon to contribute a story arc), but for whatever reason, it has had trouble getting off the ground. The film was sidetracked in the wake of The Avengers, but with 'Phase Two' quickly approaching, now might be the time to convince Marvel that a smaller, less expensive film in the hands of a writer experienced with ensemble casts (and "guerrilla filmmaking") would be the right path to pursue. That's nothing against Peter Sollett - the last director attached to Runaways - but Goddard and Whedon's interest could be the push needed to get the film into production.
For now we'll wait and see, since both Whedon and Goddard have their hands full. Do you agree with our pairing of Goddard with Runaways, or think another film would be right up the director's alley? If a film isn't in the cards, there's still a chance that Goddard's writing could contribute to the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
Source: Shock Till You Drop
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