Ahead of the fall release of “The Sopranos” prequel movie “The Many Saints of Newark,” director Alan Taylor spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about how returning to HBO’s mafia franchise relit his filmmaking spark after it was demolished by back-to-back critical duds “Thor: The Dark World” and “Terminator: Genisys.” While Taylor earned acclaim and an Emmy Award for his work on television (“The Sopranos,” “Game of Thrones,” and more), his career nosedived after he failed to make a successful jump to feature filmmaking. Taylor’s “Thor: The Dark World” is widely considered among fans to be the worst movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“I had lost the will to make movies,” Taylor said about enduring Marvel and “Terminator” fan backlash over the years. “I lost the will to live as a director. I’m not blaming any person for that. The process was not good for me. So I came out of it having to rediscover the joy of filmmaking.”
Taylor directed several episodes of “The Sopranos” during its run, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for the sixth season entry “Kennedy and Heidi.” While Taylor knows “The Sopranos” like the back of his hand, his negative experience with fandoms after “Thor: The Dark World” and “Terminator: Genisys” made him hesitant to return to the world of the HBO drama series.
“Having been through the Marvel and ‘Terminator’ experience, I know that when you are coping with a fan base, they’re very forceful,” Taylor said. “They have strong opinions, and it makes a huge difference whether you win them over or not.”
Taylor has been vocal in the past about how the version of “Thor: The Dark World” that was released in theaters was not the movie he set out to make. The director now told THR, “The version I had started off with had more childlike wonder; there was this imagery of children, which started the whole thing. There was a slightly more magical quality. There was weird stuff going on back on Earth because of the convergence that allowed for some of these magical realism things. And there were major plot differences that were inverted in the cutting room and with additional photography — people [such as Loki] who had died were not dead, people who had broken up were back together again. I think I would like my version.”
Taylor will get his moviemaking comeback when Warner Bros. releases “The Many Saints of Newark” in theaters and on HBO Max starting October 1.