Mark Millar Shares His Thoughts On THE ULTIMATES Influence On MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS
The comic book writer looks back on creating The Ultimates with Bryan Hitch and shares his thoughts on the hit series influencing everything from the look of Nick Fury to the tone of Joss Whedon's superhero ensemble.
In an interview with New Empress Magazine, Mark Millar has looked back on the creation of The Ultimates and the role that the two volumes of the series have had in shaping Marvel Studios and Joss Whedon's vision of Earth's Mightiest Heroes on the big screen in The Avengers. Of course, one of the most notable influences was the casting of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, although the film takes many other inspirations from the series as well. You can check out the Q&A in full by clicking on the link below, but here's what Millar had to say about the links between the two.
"The Ultimates was the book I wanted to write when I started at Marvel eleven years ago, but the Avengers characters were regarded by management as less commercial than the X-Men and so they offered me Ultimate X-Men instead. The idea was to re-invent their characters for a modern audience and X-Men launched at number one so they trusted me with the Avengers revamp. Even so, they still tried to talk me into a Wolverine book instead as Cap, Thor, Iron Man and Hulk were all, in the company’s eyes, a little less cool."
"But I always loved them and used what capital I had at the company to push this through and Editor In Chief Joe Quesada was very supportive of me. I told him I wanted Bryan Hitch on art, even though Bryan had just signed with another company, and they moved Heaven and Earth to get him on the project. We really just took all the elements that made The Avengers hard for a mainstream audience to accept and streamlined all the characters into a single book, bringing them under the command of Nick Fury to pull the whole thing together. I’d wanted more ethnically diverse characters in the line and made Nick Fury black, but it was Bryan who came up with the genius idea of Samuel L Jackson to be the face of the character’s reinvention."
"Our first storyline was basically Independence Day with superheroes and we took the Chitauri aliens from the David Icke books and made them the bad guys, Loki being the the villain from our second book. Kevin Fiege (who runs Marvel Studios) was a big fan of the books and told us it made him realise an Avengers movie could actually be a lot simpler than they’d thought and so they used book one and the ending to book two as the template for the movie, which is enormously flattering. People have suggested we should feel ripped off, but we don’t own these characters. All we did was give them a lick of paint and come up with a story and the visuals. These are Marvel-owned characters and I have my own little empire with Millarworld so I’m genuinely just pleased to see all this on the big screen and wish them nothing but the best with it."
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Ramanoff/Black Widow
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson
Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill
Tom Hiddleston as Loki
RELEASE DATE: April 26th, 2012. (UK) May 4th, 2012. (US)
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