There are successful comic book movies being made by a variety of studios but there’s no denying that the biggest success is being seen by Marvel Studios. With the record breaking release of “The Avengers” eclipsing even “The Dark Knight” there is no doubt that Marvel is at the top of the pack. However other studios are still doing what they can. Sony still has Spider-Man, Warner Bros. has all of the DC comic characters and Fox controls a number of key Marvel Comics characters like the “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four.” Fox is hoping to up its game by bringing in a comic book veteran to help oversee its upcoming comic book film slate.
An official press release revealed that Fox is bringing in comic book writer Mark Millar to help them get the most out of their comic book properties. It’s an interesting move, and one clearly motivated by Marvel’s success. Since Marvel Studios is directly linked to Marvel Comics there is plenty of cross over and potential input for the movies from the comic book side, and it would appear Fox sees that as part of the key to Marvel’s dominance. By contrast Warner Bros. has been much more filmmaker driven, with “The Dark Knight Rises” director Christopher Nolan serving as a producer on the upcoming “Man of Steel” rather than relying on input from actual comic book talent. While Warner Bros. had great success with Batman it’s been floundering with other properties, a fate the Fox is keen to avoid.
Millar is in some ways a natural choice as he has some experience with film. Or rather he has experience in seeing his own work adapted to film. He was the writer and creator of the comic books that spawned the films “Wanted” and “Kick-Ass,” the latter of which has a sequel currently filming. So Millar, in addition to understanding what works in comics, has a certain amount of knowledge of the adaptation process. However it’s worth noting that both of the previously mentioned films underwent rather drastic changes from Millar’s original works, which might indicate that the writer’s instincts aren’t always cinema friendly.
The exact level of input that Millar will have over Fox’s comic book properties is unclear. However it’s likely to be mostly advisory. It’s very doubtful that it will be anything like Joss Whedon helping to orchestrate “Phase 2” of Marvel’s superhero films. Rather Fox will have a go-to person on hand when it comes to figuring out how best to approach comic book movies. Whether or not Millar will be involved enough to actually be credited as a producer on any future or current projects remains to be seen.