Sam Mendes Turned Down The Opportunity To Helm MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS

Sam Mendes Turned Down The Opportunity To Helm MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS

Skyfall director Sam Mendes reveals that he received a package from Marvel offering him the opportunity to pitch his take on The Avengers. Why did he turn it down? Well, you can find out about that and how he feels about being compared to Christopher Nolan after the jump!

Talking to Moviefone recent in order to promote the release of Skyfall in North America this Friday, Sam Mendes has revealed that he was one of who knows how many directors to be offered the opportunity to pitch his take on Marvel's The Avengers. However, it doesn't sound as if he ever even considered it. Why? Well...

"With a lot of these movies, the date’s announced before anything exists, let alone a script. The funniest letter I got -- they were sending [a packet for] 'The Avengers,' right? For directors to pitch -- and I got a package, which was full of comic books, but no treatment; there was no script. But the cover letter said 'Marvel’s 'Avengers' will be released on May 3, 2012' or whatever it was. That was the first sentence of the cover letter. Not, 'We have the pleasure of enclosing the materials..." or "Here is the script for...' But the release date. That was the first sentence."

So, it sounds as if that was enough to put Mendes off from even pitching his take on Earth's Mightiest Heroes to Marvel! Shame. While the studio is renowned for being secretive, it's strange that they didn't even include Zak Penn's first draft of the screenplay (before Joss Whedon ultimately rewrote it when he signed up to direct). Regardless, this isn't Mendes' only brush with the superhero genre as he's recently found himself compared to Christopher Nolan; the filmmaker who of course brought us The Dark Knight Trilogy.

"Well, he’s the man, isn’t he? I think he’s amazing. This movie would not have been possible, I think, at least in the way that it is, without 'The Dark Knight.' We’re living in a world now where movies are either tiny or huge and there’s nothing in the middle. I mean, the movies that I made for ten years, I can’t make those anymore. I couldn’t make 'American Beauty,' I couldn’t make 'Road to Perdition'; they just don’t make those films. [Nolan] showed that you could make an A movie -- that is a world class movie, that has in it some sense of reaction, reflection of the world that we live in -- without being ponderous or po-faced or take itself too serious. And it had great acting, and I mean that. I mean, Heath Ledger, that is a great performance. That was a game changer for me, as an audience member. I just thought, 'Wow. That’s a proper movie.'"

Daniel Craig is back as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 in SKYFALL™, the 23rd adventure in the longest-running film franchise of all time. In SKYFALL, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. The film is from Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Directed by Sam Mendes. Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Written by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and John Logan.


Daniel Craig as James Bond
Javier Bardem as ?????
Judi Dench as M
Ralph Fiennes as ?????
Albert Finney as ?????
Naomie Harris as Eve
Bérénice Marlohe as Sévérine
Ben Whishaw as Q

RELEASE DATE: October 26th, 2012 (UK) November 9th, 2012 (US)

Posted By:
Josh Wilding
Member Since 3/13/2009
Filed Under "Avengers" 11/7/2012 Source: Moviefone
DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
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toco89 - 11/7/2012, 11:17 AM
And y'all were celebrating because you got Whedon. I'm waiting for someone to say Whedon's a better director, or that Avengers was a better film.

GoILL - 11/7/2012, 11:20 AM
When this article makes main the fun will commence.
SageMode - 11/7/2012, 11:35 AM
It went to the best director for the job.
TheAmazingSpiderMan47 - 11/7/2012, 11:39 AM
i wonder how long it takes before someone calls him a nolanite ...
toco89 - 11/7/2012, 11:40 AM
I wonder how many GOOD directors actually answered the call. I'd love to see a list.
SageMode - 11/7/2012, 11:43 AM

Nah, Mendes didn't come off as being a prick or hack of why he didn't accept the job.
ATrueHero1987 - 11/7/2012, 11:43 AM
Strange, every since an Avengers movie was announced(back in 2005) the only name I ever heard Marvel(specially Avi Arad, Stan Lee, and Kevin Feige) they were interested to direct was Joss Whedon. Interesting...
ATrueHero1987 - 11/7/2012, 11:44 AM
Now i'm waiting for you-know-who to turn this into something else...
jimpinto24 - 11/7/2012, 11:49 AM
Shame! Sam Mendas would have been a good choice to helm The Avengers. Sam Mendas is my pick for the Batman reboot in 2016. And I agree on what he said about Heath Ledger. Heath gave an amazing performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight.
SageMode - 11/7/2012, 11:49 AM

I think I know who "that" person is...........
TheStranger - 11/7/2012, 11:53 AM
It looks like everything worked out fine...
SageMode - 11/7/2012, 11:55 AM

Mendes would be an awesome director for the Batman reboot.

And have Tahmoh Penikett as Bruce Wayne/Batman

UrbanKnight - 11/7/2012, 11:57 AM
That's right bitches!
ATrueHero1987 - 11/7/2012, 11:59 AM
@Cipher & SageMode- It's only a matter of time...
jessepostal - 11/7/2012, 12:00 PM
Title is pretty misleading, it's like an aol headline or national inquirer, 3 headed baby found in uterus of 15 year old boy :)
GoILL - 11/7/2012, 12:01 PM

Tymminator - 11/7/2012, 12:02 PM
Avengers was awesome and Weadon was the perfect guy for it. What Mendes said really doesn't change that. If for some reason that "proves" something for you, you're dreaming.

It would be nice to live in a CBM world wear CBM fans could be fans of both Avengers and The Dark Knight, but apparently that's an island I live on with few others.

It's all good though, I want all the damn "nolanites" and "marvelites" off my damn lawn.
BRUHHHHHHHHHH - 11/7/2012, 12:03 PM
53, LOL.

I seldom comment in this site, even though i visit it religiously. But Grif's comments were always hysterical. And people's reactions.

Anyway, I didn't care who directed Avengers, as long as it wasn't Uwe Boll, Ang Lee or [frick]ing McG.
UrbanKnight - 11/7/2012, 12:05 PM
Mendez for Batman reboot!
Crazy he never crossed my mind before as I didn't think cbm were his thing. He is a great filmmaker, and he has done a "graphic novel"movie before, Road To Perdition. Duh!? Wtf was I thinking?
He is perfect! Look like he is also great with action, bring it Mendez!
He's as close to Nolan we can get, might even top him!!?
hatrick3 - 11/7/2012, 12:07 PM
What we got from Whedon was pretty damn good. No sense bemoaning what might have been.
GoILL - 11/7/2012, 12:07 PM

Amen dude, i'm totally with you on that loved Avengers and Marvel's whole Phase One as well as the whole Dark Knight Trilogy. I'm not a wonderer fan at all but it's kinda [frick]ed up that he gets shit for being annoying when there are dudes just as annoying on the other side that don't get the same treatment.
Fogs - 11/7/2012, 12:08 PM
Whedon was better for this specific project, hands down.
CPBuff22 - 11/7/2012, 12:09 PM
NO ONE could have done with Avengers what Joss did. Also no one could have done with Batman what Nolan did. The difference is that two of the three Batman movies were SHIT!
thewonderer - 11/7/2012, 12:11 PM
I loved the Avengers but I really don't think Whedon was the best beyond doubt.

For one Brad Bird freaking nailed the team dynamic and he would make a better Avengers I'm sure
toco89 - 11/7/2012, 12:12 PM
Some of y'all are adement about your points.
ATrueHero1987 - 11/7/2012, 12:15 PM
I am ready to see Skyfall though. It looks like it will be better than Casino Royale & I love that movie.
Minghagz - 11/7/2012, 12:29 PM
I'm happy with the way it turned out. Great movie! But I wouldn't mind seeing how he would have handled it. I'm sure it would have been just as badass!
UrbanKnight - 11/7/2012, 12:33 PM
Fyi I was rubbing it in The Dark Knight haters faces before they start talking shit, which I knew they would. Not putting down The Avengers which I own.

I thought you'd know me by now big dog?

It's immature, yes, but it's MENDEZ raving about Nolan's The Dark Knight! IM a big fan of Mendez. I Apologize for the misunderstanding.

Btw Mendez woulda been great for The Avengers but Whedon is the shit tho. Glad he took helm.
toco89 - 11/7/2012, 12:38 PM
Robert Downey Jr. IS Tony Stark. They are either gonna leave it alone after his run and persue other characters(by that time the CBM craze will have lost too much steam for a reboot, and replacing RDJ is no small feat), or they are gonna wait a LONG time before rebooting.

Of course they could try to do it right away, but they're probably not since RDJ is by far their biggest headliner, not easily forgotten.


AC1 - 11/7/2012, 12:40 PM
@toco I wouldn't say Whedon's better than Mendes, but I'd say he's better suited to most superhero films, especially those which are tonally similar to Avengers
UrbanKnight - 11/7/2012, 12:47 PM
Yeah. Well, almost, praising wildly.
rockerdude22 - 11/7/2012, 12:52 PM
Mendes would have made an awesome movie too, but Joss was the perfect guy for the job!

That being said, can't wait to see Skyfall. Looks really good!
UrbanKnight - 11/7/2012, 12:52 PM
Whatever man. If Nolan had NEVER directed a HUGELY successful Batman film you'd be praising him like Fincher or Mendez. If not more.
TheFox - 11/7/2012, 12:59 PM
Well... good.

This is one of those interesting situations where you hear that a great filmmaker was going to work on a project, and you know deep down that the filmmaker would have tanked the movie right out the gate. I don't want to sound like a dick about this, but while Mendes is a phenomenal director, he just was not the right choice for a film like The Avengers. And without a doubt, Joss Whedon ABSOLUTELY WAS.

Frankly, I can't think o0f a person in the WORLD who would have been better suited to The Avengers than Whedon. He is a fun, witty writer who can handle large ensemble casts and has a phenomenal sense of pathos and comic timing. That is EXACTLY what that movie needed. Mendes, on the other hand, is a much more serious, introspective director. He would do a hell of a job on a solo hero movie with a serious bent (say, Batman, Punisher, or Daredevil), but on a tentpole team movie like The Avengers, his sensibilities just wouldn't mesh with the material.

We, as fans, received the best of all possible worlds with Whedon's take on Marvel's premiere superteam. And while it's fun to hear about the things that might have been, I don't think ANY of us would seriously have preferred another take on the material.

Now let's just hope the sequel lives up to the first one, shall we?

grabass - 11/7/2012, 1:17 PM
fück grif and all the knob gobblers hanging on his nuts.

Skyfall was the shit! and Mendes should direct black panther
PapaEmeritus - 11/7/2012, 1:19 PM
Oh boy... another talented director went to Marvel's fanatics blacklist.
Funny how Marvel fundamentalists call 'nolanites' the worst kind of fans, but they're just the same. LOL

Cutting the crap, about the topic - yeah, Mendes would be great directing a CBM, just don't know which one fits on his profile.
UrbanKnight - 11/7/2012, 1:20 PM
Like I said, what... ever.

Btw it's actually not surprising at all, that Mendez is "hugging on Nolan's nuttsack".
They are both virtuoso filmmakers.
Durf - 11/7/2012, 1:21 PM
Interesting, but we ended up with the best guy for the job, so I think we're ok. Not sure that Mendez' style would fit the Avengers, but I guess we will never know.

@Tymminator: Amen brother, amen
rockerdude22 - 11/7/2012, 1:27 PM
According to Nolan fanboys, Marvel fans are worse. According to Marvel fanboys, Nolan fans are worse.


So please, stop trying to prove that one fan-base is better or worse than the other.

If you disagree with my assessment, then you have a bias towards one of the fan-bases. I think I've said my peace, now.
GoILL - 11/7/2012, 1:32 PM
@rockerdude22 and cipher

Well said dudes.
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