In the cinematographic universes market, the undisputed winner is Marvel Studios, launched in 2008 with Iron Man – El Hombre de Hierro – 93% With more than 25 feature films released and several series on Disney Plus, the franchise is the envy of other Hollywood studios who want to make it big too. What has been the key to success? Definitely a part has been the respect of its creatives towards the original comics, however, one of the company’s producers revealed that he prefers that the writers they hire are not Marvel fans.
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nate mooreproducer of several successful films and series such as Captain America: Civil War – 90%, Falcon and the Winter Soldier – 97% and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – 88% were on The Ringer’s The Town podcast and talked about their experience at Marvel Studios. When asked if there was some kind of “boot camp” or something similar for creatives to know everything they need to know about the job, Moore said there isn’t, but added that he prefers it when they’re not comic book fans ( via Bounding Into Comics):
One thing that I think is interesting, and I would say specifically for writers, is that a lot of times we’ve hosted writers who love Marvel, and that’s always a red flag to me. I don’t want them to already have a pre-existing idea of what it is, because they grew up with comics and that’s what they want to recreate. I want someone who is tough on the material, who can say ‘What is this? I think there’s a movie here, but maybe we should look at it this way.’
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A clear example of this is Jac Schaeffer, the writer of the WandaVision series – 95%, who revealed in an interview that he did not know who Mephisto was, a character that fans believed would be the true villain of the show. His statement alarmed many fans of the franchise, who found it unacceptable for a writer to adapt material he doesn’t know well enough.
This shouldn’t make us think that all the writers they hire are ignorant on the subject, as several of the writers and directors who have worked at Marvel Studios are fans of the original comics and have a great deal of knowledge. Examples abound, but let’s remember Nia DaCosta, director of The Marvels, who declared herself a “comic nerd”; and James Gunn, a connoisseur of Marvel and DC alike, who in addition to having read a lot, loves the ninth art.
Despite what comic book fans may say about the decisions that producers make in terms of writers, most fans of movies and series have no problem with the licensing that is made with respect to comics. The clearest case is that of Namor, a character who was drastically modified to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and went from being a generic superhero to becoming a Mayan mutant protecting their indigenous underwater civilization. Many fans of the original character may have been offended and upset by the change, but the vast majority welcomed Tenoch Huerta (Güeros – 94%, Narcos: Mexico – 100%, Mexican Gangster – 86%) on paper.
Examples are plentiful, the two highest grossing movies from Marvel Studios, Avengers: Infinity War – 79% and Avengers: Endgame – 95%, are very different from the comics that inspired them, and that has not meant that the result disappoints, quite the opposite. In fact, the directors of both films, the Russo brothers, said they did not understand the fans who wanted faithful adaptations of the comics.
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