By Todd Allen
Mark Millar continues his migration to the world of film. Millar is now a “creative consultant” to 20th Century Fox. As you may recall, Fox still has the rights the X-Men, Fantastic Four and (probably) the Silver Surfer. Fox is currently making a new Wolverine movie, has Matthew Vaughn on tap for X-Men: Days of Future Past and is eyeing a Fantastic Four reboot with director Josh Trank. Millar’s a pretty good fit for that, especially in terms of a corporate resume.The Marvel movie universe owes a lot to Millar’s work with the Ultimate universe. Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury is pure Millar. Black Widow in the Avengers? More of a Millar point of emphasis from Ultimates than the Bendis run. Avengers as a function of SHIELD? Millar. Plus he’s had some film success with Kick-Ass and Wanted.
Specifically with X-Men and Fanastic Four, Millar launched the Ultimate versions of both, although the initial arc was co-written with Brian Bendis and Millar came back for another run later in the title. In “normal” Marvel Univese, he’s had a couple notable runs on Wolverine with “Enemy of the State” and “Old Man Logan.” He also had a little over a year’s run on Fantastic Four, though that was probably his least well-received work at Marvel.
Success with the source material? Check. Work adapted to film? Check. Already used to working with Matthew Vaughn? Check.
The Hollywood Reporter has a couple quotes on the topic:
“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,” Fox production president Emma Watts said.
“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 added. “I spent 10 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.”
Millar has his feet very firmly planted in two worlds. He’s clearly developing his creator-owned comics as transmedia properties. He’s getting the films made. He’s got a multi-property consulting gig with a major studio, which will only make it easier to get films made.
Fox hasn’t had quite the same level of success as the Spider-Man / Iron Man / Avengers franchises, so we’ll see whether or not a more formal relationship with Millar can put them over the top.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.