Neil Calloway asks whether making movies for Marvel is what directors want…
David Fincher has become the latest director to stick his oar in and have a slight pop at Marvel studios. Nothing surprising there, it’s sort of his job to fly the flag for grown up drama and it’s certainly his job to get the word out about his new Netflix show. It won’t harm Marvel Studios at all; at the moment it looks like nothing will damage that juggernaut.
It’s sort of what indie film-makers do now; slag off comic book movies, and retain the moral high ground in a way that only a man who used to direct Paula Abdul and Madonna videos can. Of course, there’s a reason we should listen to David Fincher when he talks about young directors and the dangers they face when helming a big film; he’s been there. Possibly more than anyone, Fincher knows what it’s like when things go wrong for a young director who has been entrusted with a massive franchise film, or rather, as was the case when he directed Alien 3, not really trusted at all.
The thing is, nobody wants to make small films that are fêted by the few but not seen by the many. They want to make Jaws, Lord of the Rings and Ghostbusters. You don’t see kids wearing Hunt for the Wilderpeople t-shirts, do you?
From David Fincher, it’s not a giant leap to Steven Soderbergh – both 1990s indie darlings who have dabbled in TV, and I can’t be the only one who sometimes gets them mixed up in my head. This week, we had the other side of the coin to Fincher from Soderbergh, when he released his 1984 rejection letter from LucasFilm; years before Sex, Lies, and Videotape made Soderbergh (and helped make Sundance, too), he didn’t want to make indie films for small studios, he wanted to work for the people who made Star Wars and Indiana Jones (Soderbergh has a black and white, silent version of Raiders of the Lost Ark on his website, the only sound being the score from The Social Network).
Fincher is probably right – it’s not exactly going to be great making a Marvel movie; you have to fit in the Stan Lee cameo, the ever increasing cast of characters, twelve post credit scenes and make sure it connects to the other films in the series, but it’s also probably the biggest opportunity a director can get nowadays.
Neil Calloway is a pub quiz extraordinaire and Top Gun obsessive. Check back here every Sunday for future instalments.