2018 has been the biggest year yet for Marvel, celebrating their 10th anniversary, with the releases of Black Panther in February and Avengers: Infinity War in April. Marvel’s third and last film of the year, Ant-Man and The Wasp, is set to premiere in July. The first two films have been mega hits at the box office and Ant-Man and The Wasp is expected to follow suit. You would think a lot of filmmakers would be leaping at the opportunity to work on a Marvel film because of the proven and successful track record that Marvel has in delivering entertaining, emotional and suspense stories in the Cinematic Universe. You can count the Duplass Brothers among filmmakers who are not interested in working on a Marvel film.
In an interview with Vulture, while promoting their book called, Like Brothers, the Duplass brothers, Mark and Jay, described what their thought process was like when Marvel Studios approached them with a movie offer to direct. Mark explained what was presented on the table to them.
“Yes. There was a moment where Marvel was interested in us taking on one of their properties. It would have been a $150 to $180 million budget and about three years of our lives.”
Jay quickly added,”‘We own you.’ essentially”. While the Duplass brothers turned down the offer, Mark was quick to say that they felt honored that Marvel was interested in working with them.
“To be a little Sundance filmmaker tapped by Marvel felt incredible. But the amount of stuff we could make over those three years, the relationships we could forge with younger filmmakers [was too good to miss out on].”
After seeing the success that fellow Indie filmmaker, Ryan Coogler, received for his work on Black Panther, Mark admitted that they thought about the pressure of potentially taking on a Marvel film being too great.
“Ryan was also carrying sociopolitical weight on his shoulders with Black Panther. Unbelievable. And my God, he’s only 31 years old.”
Jay highlighted an important factor that played in their decisions to turn down Marvel and also declined to reveal what Marvel property they were offered had they accepted.
“The problem was, by the time Mark and I were making movies, we already had kids. We were changing diapers and making lunches so we couldn’t be the concubine of a studio at this stage in our lives. [So] It would be impolite to say.”
Perhaps when the Duplass Brothers reach a later stage in their lives and are more comfortable with their families, who knows, maybe Marvel will still have an offer on the table waiting for them. It might not be the same property that they were first offered, but knowing Marvel, they still have 80 years worth of characters and stories to tell and share. I’m sure Marvel could find something when the time is right. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a collaboration between the two groups in the future. In the meantime, the Duplass Brothers are simply more comfortable working on Indie film projects.
Would you want the Duplass Brothers to try, if they feel right in tackling a Marvel film, down the road? Be sure to tweet your thoughts @SuperBroMovies on Twitter!