Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada has a great little conversation with comicbookresourses about Marvel's upcoming films. Specifically about 'Thor' and some 'Iron Man 2' stuff. He is relating to us some of his experiences in getting to the point where these movies currently are.
Here is where Quesada talks about the day he spent with 'Thor' director Kenneth Branagh.
It was one of the highlights of my time here at Marvel because not only did Branagh sit there and give you the story beat for beat, he and [Marvel Studios head] Kevin Feige formed a great team. It was performance art. Kevin would give us the establishment of the shot and the situation: "Here we are. We're in (take your pick of location). And here's Odin and he's coming up to (pick a character)." And then Kenneth would come in and give you the color commentary. "Odin has an air of majesty to him" and he'd act out the Odin part or the Thor part. So we sat there and literally got a three-hour one-man show from Kenneth Branagh. It was fantastic. People pay a lot of money for that kind of performance by one of the world's greatest living actors.
And of course, he's got that great, charming British accent, so it makes it all go down easy too. [laughs] He could have said anything, and we would have said, "Yeah. Make that." He has such a passion for the material, and he's sitting there describing things from the Kirby run and things from the Simonson run, citing places where the mythology conflicted in Marvel history and how we're going to streamline it. It was just fascinating to watch.
As much as this may sadden Kenneth, he reminded me a lot of Mark Millar. He has a very charming, yet mischievous manner about him that makes him instantly likable.
Wow. A 3-hour meeting! It must have been great pitch to be able to keep the attention of everyone for that long! It would be great to know what exactly is on Branagh's mind for this movie. One thing that Quesada points out is that the story is very character driven. He then goes on to talk about a little get together he had with Jon Favreau to discuss Iron Man about 3 years ago.
Favreau is really, really intense and very cerebral. I remember having a dinner at Comic-Con, I want to say three years ago, where he just grabbed me. It was a dinner for CAA, the talent agency. He introduced himself to me, put his hand on my shoulder, sat me down at a table, and we just sat there and talked. We almost skipped dinner. About two hours later, someone tapped Jon on the shoulder, one of his friends who said, "You know you're not being very social. We're all here." [laughs] And we just sat there and talked Iron Man, and he wanted to know who he is and why Tony Stark does what he does. That was really key to Favreau: why put on the suit and try to do good things? It was a much tougher question once he defeats the Iron Monger, gets his tech and his company back...why continue doing this? What does Tony Stark stand for?
In essence, the thing I never revealed about that conversation in the past is that Jon was looking for these answers because he was already thinking ahead, he was thinking about "Iron Man 2."
See, it doesn't quite work on film that he goes and stops a little lady from getting mugged. While that may be an ancillary part of it, when you have that suit of armor, the world's greatest weapon, the story has to be bigger, and your reason for being has to be bigger. But at the same time, it has to be small and streamlined enough that an audience can grab hold of it. Favreau is all about that. And at the same time, where do Tony's allegiances lie? It was almost the same kind of questions we had during "Civil War." So time with Favreau is sort of spent quietly huddling and talking about a character's reason for doing what he does. Again, that's also a part of that Marvel formula.
Of course Favreau knew there was going to be a sequel! Ya gotta think ahead with a character like this, there is a huge story to tell, much bigger than one movie. Make sure you head on over to CBR to read the rest of the interview because it is a great and interesting interview.
I can't wait for these movies to come out! I am really getting pumped up for Thor though.