Everybody loves Mark Millar, right? The famous comic book writer behind Civil War, The Ultimates, Kick-Ass, Wanted and The Authority. Of course, “famous” and “comic book writer” may be a contradiction in terms, but clearly there’s some kind of faith there if 20th Century Fox is willing to but Millar in charge of steering the studio’s next slate of Marvel-based properties.
The announcement that Millar was hired as consultant on the next X-Men and Fantastic Four films came last week, but now Millar is talking about what that role will entail with the podcast Word Balloon. To get the obvious stuff out of the way first, Millar points out that while Fox doesn’t have the best track record with superhero movies (*cough*Elektra*cough*), he does point out there have been some success, and even (*gasp*) some innovation…
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.
But on to the new stuff. And Millar says that the team working on development of the Marvel films at Fox are dedicated to bringing out the best on the big screen:
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.
So what does that mean for the upcoming slate including X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Wolverine and the rebooted Fantastic Four? Millar was a tad vague on specifics:
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!
So everything’s fine, no need to worry. Forgive us Mark, but we the fans will be skeptical till we see the final results on screen.