The Marvel Cinematic Universe did not release a film from a female director until 2019, when Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s “Captain Marvel” first hit theaters. But in an alternate corner of the multiverse, the first female-helmed film from Marvel Studios may have come two years earlier, had Elizabeth Banks wound up directing Chris Hemsworth in 2017’s “Thor: Ragnarok.”
Banks, whose third directorial effort “Cocaine Bear” releases later this month, revealed that she was “really interested” in directing the superhero flick in a new cover story with Variety. Banks told the publication that the movie attracted her attention because of Marvel’s plans to take the character of Thor into a zanier, more light-heartened in his third lead outing.
“I have an attraction to the sensibility,” she said. “That character being funny and knowing how good Chris is at making fun of himself, that’s my vibe.”
Banks further said that she “believes” a call was made to Marvel about her pitching her take on the film to the studio, but ultimately, “nothing ever happened.”
“No one called me [back],” Banks said.
Although the opportunity didn’t pan out, Banks doesn’t have hard feelings toward Marvel or “Thor: Ragnarok’s” eventual director Taika Waititi, saying that the New Zealand filmmaker “rightfully” got the job.
Banks’ brushes with superhero films don’t just stop at Marvel. She further revealed that she had a pitch for a movie starring the DC Comics character Catwoman “a while ago.” When asked if she’s talked to new DC Studios co-chief James Gunn, who directed her in 2006’s “Slither,” Banks said she doesn’t believe her pitch will work with the current direction Gunn and Peter Safran are taking the studio.
“I don’t think it’ll fit into the mandate right now,” Banks said. “But maybe someday.”
Had Banks ended up “Ragnarok’s” director, the film would have been her second directorial feature, after 2015’s “Pitch Perfect 2.” The “Hunger Games” actor later directed 2019’s “Charlie Angels,” a reboot of the female-led action series with Kristen Stewart leading the cast.
Banks doesn’t seem to have any plans for making her superhero debut in the future, telling Variety that “Ragnarok” was the last big franchise movie she had an interest in pursuing. The star said she wanted to make films that carried her own signature style, and that “Cocaine Bear” helped her further hone her directorial voice.
“I can’t do someone else’s vision,” she said. “I really want to bring my sensibility to things.”
“Cocaine Bear,” an R-rated thriller comedy about a bear that goes on a rampage after ingesting a bag full of cocaine, will release in theaters on February 24. Keri Russell leads the cast of the film, which also includes O’Shea Jackson Jr., Christian Convery, Alden Ehrenreich, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Brooklynn Prince, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Kristofer Hivju, Hannah Hoekstra, and Margo Martindale.
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