Creative freedom or directorial shackles? Depending on who you ask, taking on a big budget blockbuster is either the chance to try some exciting things with lots of money and big effects teams, or finding yourself in constant meetings with executives who have an endless series of conflicting notes serving various needs. For director Alan Taylor, who cut his teeth on TV with “Game Of Thrones,” “The Sopranos,” “Mad Men,” “Deadwood” and more, his leap to tentpole movies with Marvel‘s “Thor: The Dark World” was fine…until shooting wrapped.
“I’ve done two [blockbuster movies; the other being this week’s ‘Terminator Genisys‘] and I’ve learned that you don’t make a $170 million movie with someone else’s money and not have to collaborate a lot,” Taylor told Uproxx. “The Marvel experience was particularly wrenching because I was sort of given absolute freedom while we were shooting, and then in post it turned into a different movie. So, that is something I hope never to repeat and don’t wish upon anybody else. [‘Terminator Genisys’] was not like that. The story we started telling is essentially the story we finished and are bringing out into the world. But there was a lot of collaboration, as there is going to be on something this big.”
Taylor’s comments are made all the more interesting given Kevin Feige’s recent assertion that directors are able to make their mark on Marvel movies.
“Look at the movies. ‘Iron Man‘ and ‘Iron Man 2‘ are as Jon Favreau films as you can see. Kenneth Branagh has his stamp all over ‘Thor.’ ‘Captain America: First Avenger‘ is very much a Joe Johnston film. The greatest example of that, look at ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ with James Gunn,” Feige stated earlier this month.
Though perhaps it is telling that Taylor’s name wasn’t mentioned (nor Shane Black‘s for that matter). And while rumors have swirled recently that Branagh is being eyed to return for “Thor: Ragnarok,” Feige has dismissed that talk. “Not true. I don’t know where that came from,” he told Collider.
I’d be intrigued to know what Marvel wanted from “Thor: The Dark World” that Taylor objected to once the movie hit post-production, but as we’ve long learned, these movies evolve almost until the day they’re released. One only has to look at this year’s “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” where Joss Whedon had wanted to put Captain Marvel in the final shot of the film, only to be overruled by Feige with Scarlet Witch standing in instead.
Do you think directors need to lower their expectations about working on Marvel movies? Do we really want to clamor for people like Ava DuVernay to get Marvel gigs if they are only going to have to compromise to the needs of the MCU? Let us know below.