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Marvel's Avengers Movie Might Be CGI or 3D?!

by
March 5, 2008
Source: Collider, IESB

Avengers

Let's not jump to conclusions just yet! Everything contained within is purely speculation and purely geek excitement at the extreme. Writer, producer, and director Zak Penn just finished an interview with Collider and shared with them some very juicy details on Marvel's supposed upcoming Avengers movie. While we can confirm what Zak Penn says, don't take any of the speculation surrounding what it means as fact - from this point forward it's all for the sake of discussion and consideration and not truth. With that being said, let's take a look at what Penn had to say about Avengers.

Zak PennNow to clarify why Zak Penn (pictured) is the right guy to tell us about the Avengers movie, he's been previously announced by Marvel as the writer attached to that film. Zak wrote the screenplays for X-Men 2, Elektra, and X-Men 3, so he is fairly experienced in the world of superheroes and actually mentions that Marvel consults him a lot on their films. His latest project is a poker film called The Grand (watch the trailer here) about a real-life poker tournament, but that's a story for another day.

When asked about if he would ever consider doing animated comic book movies (we think he meant like the recently released Justice League: The New Frontier, although Zak takes it differently), he replied with the following:

"Absolutely. It's not only something I've considered doing, but there's been the discussion about The Avengers doing some sort of next level… Whatever the next iteration of computer animation is after this, the next step after Beowulf, is something we would definitely conisder for that."

"And I actually think it's worth considering for a lot of movies, I think it's amazing. It has a tremendous amount of potential. And I love animated movies, and I've produced animated movies, and I wrote the original story for Antz. It would definitely interest me."

From what it sounds like, Zak is implying that the Avengers movie could (key word) become something like an animated movie that is the next level beyond Beowulf, which was a 3D CGI movie. As far as I can imagine, we're talking about very photorealistic CGI and motion capture, maybe along the lines of what James Cameron is doing with Avatar. Which brings up the question of whether they're holding off on an Avengers movie because they want the individual franchises to develop and the technology to advance to a point even beyond Avatar where they can really go all out.

When I imagine a technology like that being used for a movie like Avengers, I'm thinking about some of the most elaborate fight scenes ever shot while still being very life-like. There would (probably) be upwards of ten superheroes each with their own powers involved, so the only way to really make that work without giving this a $500 million+ budget would be to implement CGI or animated technology like Zak mentions. Does that make sense now?

That's as much speculation as I'll provide, because beyond that it's up to you to interpret what Zak meant. An Avengers movie would probably become one of the most ambitious comic book projects ever, which is why it's interesting to hear that this is the direction they're heading.

Zak goes on to say later in the interview that for the next six to eight months he's actually creating a TV show called "Section 8" as well as another unannounced Fox movie that he pitched from scratch before the strike. So from the sounds of it, an Avengers movie is still a very long way out, but we already knew that! And another note related to Avengers - Iron Man director Jon Favreau has previously said that he "might get to direct that Avengers movie", if Iron Man does well that is.

Update: IESB also posted a small quote from Zak Penn from the press conferences yesterday as well.

"The Avengers is a project in the future," says Penn, "That's the best way to put it until Iron Man and The Hulk come out. I haven't talked to Marvel about it in awhile because I think that the best way to do it is to put together a movie that uses all the characters and so they probably want to see how the movies do and figure that out first."

The Avengers movie really is a project that everyone loves to talk about. It's such an enormous idea that would be a dream come true for every last comic book fan. There is just a lot to and we've got to get past all of the individual superhero movies first. We'll be sure to keep you updated on anything we hear and keep everyone dreaming until it actually goes into production.

What do you think about what Zak said and the idea of a CGI / animated Avengers movie?

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  • Yes, you are right that it is ambiguous enough that it COULD be 3D or it might not. So many animators use the term 3D to mean 2D but with background out of focus scenes (like in Ratatouille) - the use of Beowulf is interesting! It is enough for me to add to my list of rumored 3D movies though Alex. Thanks for the heads up!!
  • I don't think it will happen at all. The Avengers are not as popular as say, Batman or Superman or Justice League for studios to shell out such a big budget for such an ambitious project. I could see this happen with a bigger Superhero franchise however.
  • Zerge
    Everything would still hinge on a captivating storyline, (since Elektra and X-men 3 sucked pretty bad to my opinion and Zak's experience just showed how to off caracters) and I like the idea of a CGI Avengers, but for Excelsior's sake get a proper writer!!
  • Dusty
    WOOHOO ... Fantastic Four on steroids.... haha... well either way.. I am intrigued to see how it will develop and to see what technical advances Zak is referring to... good find Alex.
  • Alfredo
    when I read the title i thought it would be a terrible idea to do motion capture and make it a 3D movie. But as i read further, it completely makes sense. How else could you pull off insane fx and fight scenes and a bunch of super-powered characters without spending a massive amount of money? Very very interesting
  • Sumit
    I think a CG mocapped film could be amazing – can you imagine photorealistic copies of Robert Downey Jr and Ed Norton and whoever eventually plays Thor, Cap Am, Ant man etc together and to think if they stylised it say like an Alex Ross painting for instance. Think of the possibilities (rival studios and licensing permitting) cameos from Tobey Maguire as Spidey, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Jessica Alba as Sue Storm etc - where the characters look like the actors and have them voicing them but with modifications to make them more like the comic versions (like more faithful costumes, physiques). The set pieces could also be truly epic and large in scale. This probably would not be feasible in live action and using the original cast members – their salaries would be through the roof for one! (not too mention the production budget would have to be massive) and scheduling such a huge cats would be very difficult but mocap allows for far greater flexibility and much faster shooting times allowing big name stars to come in for a few days work which would normally take weeks in live action – this would probably attract the actors to the film as they would be able to participate but not spend too long (especially if they were cameoing or playing side characters) and without the hassles of make up and costumes! Of course this al; relies on motion capture being refined and improved – Beowulf looked good in places and not so good in others, but seeing as Avengers would be at least 5 years away assuming they are doing Captain America and Thor and Ant Man first and the likes of Avatar and Tintin and Robert Zemeckis’ Christmas Carol in the interim then no doubt the techniques would have improved and would look great by the time the film was started.
  • Henry Pym
    No Way!! A balance between CGI and on-set reality is what works best. A la the Spider-Man and X-Men trilogies, which by the way, are the most well-done films based on comics. All the others (Daredevil, Hulk I, and Punisher, who sucks anyway) are sub par and rather dissapointing to the legions of fans who have grown to love these stories over the last 60 years!! Those damn picture-in-picture, comic book screen shots done with the first Hulk are a creative disaster. We can get that view in the books themselves. Onscreen it's annoying. Bottom line, get Norton, Downey Jr., Toby Maguire (I think Spider-Man was an Avenger at some point), and whoever (Brad Pitt) to play Thor. Use CGI sparingly.
  • Ryan
    i dont know guys i just saw iron man and it was amazing i deff prefer the way that was. there are too many movies that do all cgi but the ones that can perfectly balance live action with it are the best. and you can't take robert downy jr off the screen he is too great. to have it all computer animated would just take away from that.
  • Sam
    XMEN 3 sucked balls!! And destroyed the story! It was just a money maker and didn't care about true fans. Period. And elecktra??? please God tell me your kidding. Sam
  • Ryan B.
    I'm guessing some of you haven't seen Beowulf. Making the movie CGI can add allot of capability to the film. Most of the action is created with it anyway (suit getting assembled in Iron Man, other obvious 3D effects), you might as well make the characters and environments with it too. And if they can make it 'the next level' like they say they can, It may be the most photorealistic CGI film... ever. Seeing as technology is upgrading exponentially, I wouldn't be surprised if his proposal was true. As far as Thor, I would really hate to see Brad Pitt take the role, mainly because it's boring seeing the same actors in every single movie and already knowing their personality. It was the introduction to a new one that made Iron Man much better than it could've been.
  • E.D.
    I have to say I'm kindof iffy on the whole CGI thing, I think they could pull it off. However they need a writer better suited to the superhero genre, because pulling off an Avengers movie will be difficult at best, and he's already proven he has trouble juggling a large cast in a script.
  • Seany Boy
    i hope to god that they don't make any CGI films. cause then its like watching a cartoon. when i sit and watch a Marvel movie i want to see real live people to make it seem like the things in the comics could actually happen. that's what makes the films so enjoyable, real people! CGI would be a HUGE mistake!!!!
  • Jericho Cane
    I just got back from seeing the new HULK. I just wanna say its fucking amazing. If you haven't seen it i suggest you go asap. I would honestly put the new hulk with or maybe even a little above the new iron man movie. But i feel if you go all cgi with it you'll ruin the picture. CGI is amazing hell if it wasn't for CGI Hulk wouldn't even be made nor would any of the other marvel or for that matter comic movies. So yes use CGI but most deffinetly use sparingly. I also think it would really take away from the great work they've done on hulk and iron man. Anyways go watch hulk and iron man if you haven't.
  • AJLIONHART
    The new hulk and ironman movies set the benchmark and standard for what marvel movies should be like although i have to say the spiderman movies were also good BUT what the hell happened to the xmen movies!. As a reader of the comics and have done for years i found that the last xmen movie was a joke killing off cyclops at the start and killing prof x? i hate when movies dont stay true to the comics. i think we all agree that an avengers movie would be awesome but if its not done to the standard of the better movies i would rather it didnt happen. Plus does anyone agree that brad pit hasnt really impressed in a movie since fight club i found him abit wooden in troy and mr and mrs smith, with captain america being one of marvels leading characters would he be the right choice when you look at the performances of robert downey jr and edward norton?. I just pray that we continue to get these great movies and dont go the way the batman movies went before batman begins which was pure cheese. MARVEL FOREVER!!!!!!!!!
  • Stevens Godsy
    No the Avengers are not as popular as the Justice league, but the characters that are involved in the Avengers are just as popular as any DC superhero. That's why Marvel is going to play those and get fans loving them so that they want to go see an Avengers movie. Batman is my favorite superhero. Period. He just is. But I'm a Marvel fan for the most part. I've never really been that into Superman or Wonder Woman or any of the like. So an Avengers movie for someone like me would just be Orgasmic. Not to say that I wouldn't go see a Justice League movie if it came out, which I have heard rumors about. Besides, you can't say that it's not going happen because all of that's true. Tony Stark(Robert Downey Jr.) makes a cameo to tell the General about "the new team he's putting together"in the new Hulk movie which, by the way, is a trillion times better than the first lame-ass attempt. The story-line is better and the Huilk doesn't look like he's made out of Play-Dough. SHIELD is also alluded to in Iron Man which, for those of you who don't know, is basically headquarters for the Avengers. And at the very end of the credits in Iron Man, Tony Stark walks inot his house and is greeted by who else but Nick Fury(played by Samual L. Jackson), the leader of SHIELD, and says "I am Iron Man. Do you think you're the only superhero in the world? Mr Stark, you've become part of a bigger universe. You just know it yet." To which Stark replies, "Who the hell are you?" Fury promptly answers with, "Nick Fury. Director of SHIELD. I'm here to talk to you about the Avenger initiative." OHHHHH!!!!!! But I digress, my point is that they've commited. There's no way they cannot make an Avengers movie now. It's going to happen. My heart's already pounding and I'm loving it more than a fat kid loves cake. SCHWING!
  • scuba
    ryan your a total wanker. the avengers are 10 times better than the shity justice league. it will happen just look at the endings of the hulk and iron man.
  • Anon
    No, no, no, no, no! It can't be animated.
  • Lazyboy
    no that would be gay dont make it animated just get the real people and make the movie
  • Stuart
    Avengers is a ready made box office success. All marvel can do is either cash in or blow it. Mighty Avengers = Cash in Ultimate Avengers = Blow it Destroy lots of big buildings and property in grand style superhuman violence = Cash in Whaste Money on CGI relating to Shield technology = Blow it Give Nick Fury a starring role = Blow it

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