Millar to Consult On X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR Film Franchises

And now a change in the direction of the Marvel movies from Twentieth Century Fox.

Today, Twentieth Century Fox announced that it has tapped Mark Millar to serve as a creative consultant on its Marvel Comics properties. According to the press release, Millar will help guide the continuing success of the X-Men family of titles (including Wolverine) as well as a revamped Fantastic Four movie franchise.

“We are excited to be working with Mark,,” said Twentieth Century Fox production president Emma Watts in the press release. “In addition to his groundbreaking Marvel work, he is simply one of the most original voices in comics today and will be an invaluable resource to us and to our filmmakers as we look for fresh opportunities to innovate within our shared Marvel universe.”

Currently, Twentieth Century Fox has three movies in development based on movie rights acquired from Marvel; The Wolverine with actor Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold; X-Men: Days Of Future Past with director Matthew Vaughn; and a reboot of Fantastic Four with director Josh Trank. Curiously, there was no mention of Daredevil, which Twentieth Century Fox also owns the rights to but will expire in October 2012 if no film is made. There was no mention of Deadpool, which was formally announced in April 2011 with first-time director Tim Miller.

Millar made his name in comic books with works like The Authority, The Ultimates and his creator-owned successes Kick-Ass and Wanted. Back in June 2011 however, Millar officially quit working for Marvel’s comic division and work-for-hire in general to focus strictly on creator-owned endeavors. But during his time writing comics at Marvel, he wrote both the Fantastic Four and the X-Men on multiple occasions, from the well-received “Old Man Logan” arc of Wolverine to a twelve-issue run on Fantastic Four. Interestingly enough, his work on The Ultimates with artist Bryan Hitch is considered by some to be the unofficial first draft of Marvel’s in-house movie plans from Iron Man to this past summer’s Avengers movie; in fact, it was Millar and Hitch who first cast Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in The Ultimates comic years before his debut in the role in the first Iron Man movie.

“As someone who has spent his entire life obsessed with both comic-books and movies, this is essentially my dream gig as it’s a unique combination of both,” Millar is quoted in the press resale. “I spent ten years working at Marvel and am really happy with the work I did on the comic side of things so the idea of working with these characters now in a brand new medium is enormously exciting for me. I really like the Fox team, love this bold new direction they have for their franchises and am proud to be working alongside some of modern cinema’s biggest talents.”

Look for Millar to take a role similar to Marvel’s Creative Committee which served in an advisory capacity on their movies. With both The Wolverine and X-Men: Days of Future Past already well underway, it’s my estimation that Millar’s first big challenge is working with Chronicle director Josh Trank on revitalizing the flagging Fantastic Four flagship.

Here is the full press release:

Marking an expanded commitment to some of its most important franchises, Twentieth Century Fox has brought on comics superstar Mark Millar to serve as a creative consultant on the studio’s upcoming projects based on Marvel Comics properties.

Millar wrote several celebrated Marvel books such as The Ultimates, Civil War and Wolverine: Old Man Logan, before moving on to found Millarworld (millarworld.tv), where he continues to develop existing film franchise titles Wanted and Kick-Ass, as well as newer comic properties The Secret Service, Superior, and Nemesis — the latter also in development at Fox. Millar will work with Fox on developing new avenues for its “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” tentpoles.

Commented TCF production president Emma Watts: “We are excited to be working with Mark. In addition to his groundbreaking Marvel work, he is simply one of the most original voices in comics today and will be an invaluable resource to us and to our filmmakers as we look for fresh opportunities to innovate within our shared Marvel universe.”

Upcoming for the studio is THE WOLVERINE, starring Hugh Jackman, directed by James Mangold; X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, helmed by Matthew Vaughn; and a reboot of “FANTASTIC FOUR, to be directed by Josh Trank (Chronicle).

“As someone who has spent his entire life obsessed with both comic-books and movies, this is essentially my dream gig as it’s a unique combination of both,” stated Millar. “I spent ten years working at Marvel and am really happy with the work I did on the comic side of things so the idea of working with these characters now in a brand new medium is enormously exciting for me. I really like the Fox team, love this bold new direction they have for their franchises and am proud to be working alongside some of modern cinema’s biggest talents. James Mangold is incredible, Matthew Vaughn’s one of my closest pals and Josh Trank gave us, in my opinion, one of the greatest superhero movies of the last decade with Chronicle. The invitation to join this crew was maybe the coolest phone-call I’ve ever had.”

Comments

  1. kennyg kennyg says:

    I wonder if this will help his creator-owned books make a quicker leap to the big screen? Could have been part of the deal…

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      A quicker leap? Can you make a quicker leap than having a film already in pre-production before the comic hits the stands? If he moves any quicker he’ll be writing comic adaptations to his own movies.

  2. This sounds rather ominous.

  3. Smasher says:

    As bold and as calculated a move Fox could make.

  4. OliverTwist OliverTwist says:

    Out of curiosity ,whom do any of you think may be a better choice to consult on these new films, or do you think Mark is the perfect choice?

    • Smasher says:

      Think of Millar as a free-agent.

      Bendis, Aaron, Brubaker, and Hickman are all under-contract with Marvel. It seems highly unlikely that any of them would (or could) accept a deal like this. Same would go with DC’s scribes.

      Take our the current crop of writers from DC/Marvel you’re left with a lot of comic book talent but Millar is in distinctly qualified having written both Fantastic Four and X-Men comics.

      Sure we could go old school and argue that John Byrne would be the most qualified given his runs on both titles but he doesn’t have the Hollywood connections that Millar does.

      It’s kind of a slam dunk.

  5. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I want to be a consultant.

  6. lifesend lifesend says:

    So within the decade we’ll have an X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover film? Written and/or directed by Mark Millar? I can see it already and it is glorious.

  7. cosmo cosmo says:

    Hmmm, does this mean the next round of films will have an increased level of sensational violence for the sake of shock over story? Just checking . . .

    • My thoughts exactly! No doubt he’ll want R-rated extended extreme editions on BD/DVD, just so they can throw in all the unnecessarily aggressive language and rape.

  8. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    I guess this is good news. I haven’t been especially fond of Millar’s recent stuff, but I certainly enjoyed his work on both Ultimates and Ultimate X-Men, so this could be a good thing.

    Personally, I’d like to pry the X-Men properties away from Fox/Singer ASAP and reboot the whole damn thing into the Marvel Studios line. But since that won’t happen anytime soon, I’ll settle for an actual comic book writer looking over their shoulders. Could be worse.

  9. ChrisG ChrisG says:

    Apparently MIllar keeps trying to promote a darker FF. He wants Doctor Doom to inseminate Sue with Johnny’s seed. The public would never understand and they can’t just abort the pregnancy because Dr. D also shoved a mini bomb up there. (It’ll explode if they try an abortion.) Also, Ben’s gay.

  10. vadamowens vadamowens says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about Millar being one of the ‘most original voices in comics’. I’ve read most of his work and though I enjoy it, ‘pushing the envelope’ isn’t something I would classify as ‘original’.

  11. Grandturk says:

    Never been a fan.