20th Century Fox appoints Mark Millar as consultant on all their Marvel comic properties

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If Joss Whedon is the King of the Geeks, then Mark Millar has to be the Duke or Sheriff or whatever high courtly position that this badly thought out analogy allows.

While some comic fans feel that the Scottish writer tends to write shock purely for shock’s sake, there’s no denying that when he’s good, he’s great. And when he’s great, it usually gets turned into a blockbuster movie: Kick-Ass, Wanted, the soon to be developed Nemesis and not to mention that all the current incarnations of Marvel Studios’ own comic book movies all borrow quite heavily from his version of the Avengers, The Ultimates.

And now he might just be the comic man to restore some credibility to Fox’s line of Marvel movies.

While Fox’s first X-Men movie is considered by many to be the start of the current comic book movie craze, and their last (slightly) rebooted X-Men film, X-Men: First Class, was probably their best work yet, with the critical and commercial success to prove it, everything else in between ranged from okay-ish to “Please, dear God, make the pain stop”. And it seems that a lack of a plan for their Marvel properties has now resulted in them losing their Daredevil film rights.

So with Marvel Studios recently roping Whedon in for an exclusive contract where he will act as consultant on all their projects, Fox has decided to do the same with Millar, to hopefully right the ship. And by “right” I mean “make” and by “the ship” I mean “enough money to fill a harbour”. Here’s the 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).

Here’s what Millar hmself had to say about the appointment:

“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. 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.”

I think this is a great move, especially if the rumours and my fanboy ramblings turn out to be true with regards to Fox having their two X-Men franchises do a crossover. The main reason why Marvel has been so successful with their cinematic endeavours, was because they had a singular vision in the form of Marvel Studios exec Kevin Feige driving this whole process. He’s now being helped out on the creative side by Joss Whedon, so that should theoretically just go from strength to strength.

Hopefully Millar will be able to do the same over on Fox, especially for Fantastic Four, considering how great his 2008 run on that comic book was.

Last Updated: September 28, 2012

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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