Thursday, December 16, 2010

House Of Bad Ideas Continues To Throw Money Away

SOURCE: Jon Favreau Won’t Direct Iron Man 3.

One informed source hears that [Favreau] was frustrated with Marvel’s urge to stuff more of their in-house heroes into the next film in the wake of The Avengers. In a recent interview with MTV News, Favreau explained that based on his conversations with Marvel Studios executives, he had no clarity as to what a third Iron Man film would even be about. “In theory, Iron Man 3 is going to be a sequel or continuation of Thor, Hulk, Captain America and Avengers,” said Favreau at the time, “This whole world … I have no idea what it is. I don’t think they do either, from conversations I’ve had with those guys.”

This comes as no surprise. Critics who liked the first Iron Man movie for offering a sophisticated morality play about a flawed man's efforts to change himself for the better and do good in an increasingly hostile world tore apart the second movie, which sacrificed a lot of the Tony Stark character moments for totally unrelated (and, in some cases, confusing) scenes meant to set up the next batch of Marvel Comics movies.

The problem is that while we now have technology that allows us to make live-action movies that look just like comic books, the people calling the shots at Marvel don't seem to realize that you can't write a movie like a comic book.

Comics are built on the cliff-hanger. The "And so the world is safe for now... but for how long?" moment at the end. Movies, by contrast, have to have some degree of closure. You cannot make a multi-million dollar film that is made up of sneak-peaks of "Next Year's Storyline" and expect it to please anyone other than the action movie fans who are more concerned with cool visuals and Scarlet Johansson's perfect butt-cheeks encased in black leather.

Which, now that I think of it, is the stereotype of the average male comic reader.

My point in all of this is that it seems remarkably short-sighted on Marvel's part to give the axe to a talented director who is a fan of the material simply because he feels having a coherent story is more important than promoting The Next Big Thing. And I ain't talking Ben Grimm.

The sad thing is... we've seen this story before. And we already know how this drama is going to play out.

It happened in Spider-Man 3, when Marvel forced Sam Raimi to shoe-horn Venom into the movie when he didn't want to. To Rami's credit, I think he rebelled and all the stuff the Venom fans complained about (i.e. the symbiote awakening Peter's love of dance and piano playing, muscleman Eddie Brock being played by skinny Topher Grace, dying like a punk) was done specifically to highlight just what a ridiculous character Venom is.

It happened with X-3: The Last Stand when Bryan Singer left and Marvel got a director who was willing to cram in more mutants and put Halle Berry front and center. And what did we wind up with? A sprawling mess with lots of characters we hardly knew and didn't care about, doing things that were barely understood and the realization that Monsters Ball was the fluke, not Catwoman.

And I don't want to say that Marvel Comics tends to encourage the employment of sycophants who will toe the company line over creative and talented artists with a proven track record of creating quality material... but how else can you explain that their habit of letting talented directors like Singer, Raimi and Favreau go free while putting someone like Jeph Loeb in charge of the development of all of their TV properties.

Jeph Loeb who, in case you needed reminding, was responsible for most of the storyline of Season 3 of Heroes and was fired because of "execs' frustration with the creative direction of the show" and "hefty budget overruns... that are going well beyond its already sizable $4 million per-seg pricetag".

Which, given how cheap Marvel is apparently becoming, can't end well for Loeb.


  1. One note: The only bright light at the end of the IRon Man 3 tunnel. Robert Downey Jr has director approval.

  2. I didn't realize they kept jacking it up at number 3. Maybe they need to not reboot Fantastic Four and let Fox make part 3, it might work in reverse.

  3. Yeah, but at this point even getting him back may be rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  4. Hmm... cast Kristen Bell instead of Alba... it JUST MIGHT WORK!

  5. She was the only person I had a problem with. I thought Julian could have been fine as Doom, it was the direction and script that screwed him. Iain did what he could as Reed, and Torch and Thing were perfectly cast. Even Amy Adams as Sue, or just some one motherly.

  6. It really doesn't have to include any of the other movies, I don't know how they got it into their heads that it does.

  7. Yeah. They didn't seem to put any thought into casting sue past "Hot Blonde".

  8. Because Marvel is blinded by dollar signs and thinks they can somehow run the movies like they run their comics - with half-finished story-hooks that will force a person who wants to see Iron Man to go see Captain America to get the rest of the story... then go see Thor to get the NEXT hook.
    Because that TOTALLY makes much more sense than just trusting the movie makers to create a quality product that can stand on its' own merits...

  9. I love the idea of making the worlds all connect, having that vibe is great. But it needs to be seemless and not shoved in our faces. And you shouldn't need to see Iron Man 3, Thor 2, and Ant-man vs. the Marriage Counselor to understand Captain America 2.
    Hmmm, Hank Pym played by De Niro, and he can hang out with Billy Crystal.

  10. They didn't even think blonde.. they just thought Hot. 'We can put a wig on Alba..'
    and hmmm Kristen Bell. When I played Sue, I wanted Monica Potter.. though she'd probably be a tad too old for her now. pity.

  11. I'd almost understand if they had a definite story in line. Like, say Star Wars or even the Matrix who knew that they could only do a trilogy, is Marvel just going to crisscross until they become unprofitable and then have to reboot? That's just half-assing it.

  12. They didn't even think blonde really.

  13. Eh... probably if they're doing a retooled origin.
    As for why Kristen Bell... I was thinking they were probably going to do something more like Ultimate Fantastic Four, where Sue was more of a girl genius who can actually keep up with Reed than a motherly type. Bell could totally run with that take on Sue.

  14. is Marvel just going to crisscross until they become unprofitable and then have to reboot? That's just half-assing it.
    And this is different from how they have been running their comics lately... how?

  15. Indeed. See above.
    "Hot. 'We can put a wig on Alba..'" sums it up, really.

  16. Exactly. It seems that rather than having the seamless stories Stan Lee wrote where you'd have a story centering around one hero and then the other characters just happen to show up (i.e. Namor comes to Matt Murdock seeking legal representation on the surface world, kinda thing), it would be one thing.
    Everything being proposed at the moment seems to be much closer to Dan Slott or John Byrne stopping the action to have She Hulk wink at the 4th Wall and say "Hey Kids! Buy She Hulk #17!"

  17. Because rather than reboot, they leave the original series running and create a new book in a new universe.
    And that's why everyone's heads hurt.