Marvel's Joe Quesada Talks Iron Man 2 and Thor Directors
If you read comics, you already know who Joe Quesada is, I don't need to introduce him. But for everyone else, Quesada is the Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, the head honcho, you could say. Every week he writes a column on Comic Book Resources called Cup O' Joe. In this week's piece, he talks about two big upcoming movies - Iron Man 2 and Thor. Not only is it great to hear Quesada's feelings on Iron Man director Jon Favreau and Thor director Kenneth Branagh, but he tells a few great stories that should make everyone feel like both of those franchises are really in the best hands. So from here, I'll just let Quesada tell the stories.
The first story is about Kenneth Branagh and how he gave him a "three hour pitch" for the Thor movie.
We had one big creative meeting with the Marvel Creative Committee, which now works on all of our movies and I have the honor to be a part of. We sat with Kenneth and discussed the "Thor" movie and the overarching story of what that's going to be, just to give our input before anything was put down to paper by screenwriters.
And it was one of the highlights of my time here at Marvel because not only did Branagh sit there and give you the story beat for beat, he and [Marvel Studios head] Kevin Feige formed a great team. It was performance art. Kevin would give us the establishment of the shot and the situation: "Here we are. We're in (take your pick of location). And here's Odin and he’s coming up to (pick a character)." And then Kenneth would come in and give you the color commentary. "Odin has an air of majesty to him" and he'd act out the Odin part or the Thor part. So we sat there and literally got a three-hour one-man show from Kenneth Branagh. It was fantastic. People pay a lot of money for that kind of performance by one of the world’s greatest living actors.
Next up, Quesada talks about Jon Favreau and how he wanted to learn more about Tony Stark's reasons.
We just sat there and talked Iron Man, and he wanted to know who he is and why Tony Stark does what he does. That was really key to Favreau: why put on the suit and try to do good things? It was a much tougher question once he defeats the Iron Monger, gets his tech and his company back…why continue doing this? What does Tony Stark stand for?
In essence, the thing I never revealed about that conversation in the past is that Jon was looking for these answers because he was already thinking ahead, he was thinking about "Iron Man 2."
See, it doesn't quite work on film that he goes and stops a little lady from getting mugged. While that may be an ancillary part of it, when you have that suit of armor, the world’s greatest weapon, the story has to be bigger, and your reason for being has to be bigger. But at the same time, it has to be small and streamlined enough that an audience can grab hold of it. Favreau is all about that. And at the same time, where do Tony's allegiances lie? It was almost the same kind of questions we had during "Civil War." So time with Favreau is sort of spent quietly huddling and talking about a character's reason for doing what he does. Again, that's also a part of that Marvel formula.
The only Marvel Studios movie we've seen so far is Iron Man and I'll argue that the reason why it was so great was because of Favreau. His passion and dedication to the character and Marvel ideals is what helped make it such a great movie in the end. And I think this is just further proof that Quesada, and therefore also Marvel, believes in these directors. They know they found the right guys when they hired Favreau and Branagh (and hopefully Joe Johnston for Captain America as well). Everything he says just makes me feel so much more confident in both of them. All this right before Comic-Con! I can't wait to be in San Diego.