EXCLUSIVE: TOTAL RECALL Director Len Wiseman Reveals Why He Didn't Helm IRON MAN

Total Recall director Len Wiseman says that he worked with Marvel Studios on Iron Man (2008) before he walked away from the project for reasons he reveals right here. He also confirms that he has actually spoken to the studio since!

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By Josh Wilding - 8/21/2012
Before the London Premiere of Total Recall last week, I had the opportunity to put some of my questions to director Len Wiseman. While the majority of the interview (which will be posted here on CBM on August 28th; a day before the remake is released in UK cinemas) focuses on the movie which stars Colin Farrell (Fright Night, Jessica Biel (The A-Team), Kate Beckinsale (Underworld) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Wiseman finished by dropping a surprising revelation about his relationship with Marvel Studios. You see, it turns out that he came very close to helming Iron Man back in 2008 before Jon Favreau (Cowboys & Aliens) took the job.

"Oh man, superheroes... You know, I think a lot of the superheroes that I would be interested in, a lot of them have been done. I was involved with Iron Man for about seven months after Underworld 2. I was involved with Marvel and Iron Man, and I was really excited about that one and honestly, I think at that time, there was a concern that I was too dark of a director because I had only directed a few movies, and at that time, I'd only directed Underworld and Underworld 2. And Underworld 2 was very violent, very gory, very dark and I think it freaked them out a little bit that I was too dark of a director. It wasn't until after Die Hard 4.0 came out, which is a much lighter tone, much more fun, that Marvel called me up again..."


It's interesting to wonder what exactly Marvel called him up about after the release of Die Hard 4.0, especially as at that point, filming on Iron Man would have been well underway. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time to find out more, but if the studio have considered him for one of their major blockbusters in the past, it's not hard to imagine that they might just call him up again when "Phase 3" rolls around. Would you have liked to see Len Wiseman take on Iron Man? Be sure to sound off with your thoughts in the usual place, and check back here next week for the interview in full (as well as my review of Total Recall).






Total Recall is an action thriller about reality and memory, inspired anew by the famous short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" by Philip K. Dick. Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he's got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life - real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police - controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), the leader of the free world - Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate.


STARRING:

Colin Farrell as Douglas Quaid
Jessica Biel as Melina
Kate Beckinsale as Lori
Bill Nighy as Kuato
Bryan Cranston as Vilos Cohaagen
John Cho as McClane

RELEASE DATE: Out Now (US). August 29th, 2012 (UK).


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MovieMaster - 8/21/2012, 1:11 PM
Thank [frick] this didn't happen.
RorMachine - 8/21/2012, 1:18 PM
I think it freaked them out a little bit that I was too dark of a director.

Yes, yes that was it Len..
ABLEE337 - 8/21/2012, 1:19 PM
Looks like we dodged a bullet. Whew!!!
ATrueHero1987 - 8/21/2012, 1:22 PM
Thank godness! So I wonder what Marvel called him up for again??
rocky - 8/21/2012, 1:22 PM
They called to ask for the keys back, Marvel didn't want to change all the locks to The House of Ideas

This sounds like a guy living in denial, not the one in Egypt either
TruBeliever - 8/21/2012, 1:22 PM
Hey , it could have been Stephen Sommers Van Helsing or GI Joe .. those were horrid.
RedeyeJedi - 8/21/2012, 1:23 PM
We dodged a bullet on that one. I can't imagine what kind of horrid interpretation of Iron-Man we might have gotten.

thewonderer - 8/21/2012, 1:25 PM
Marvel godfathers all their directors....so obviously there wouldn't be many changes

But Favreau worked wonders, and the man has some talent. I loved Die Hard 4
NOID - 8/21/2012, 1:32 PM
Hmmm, yeah... good choice marvel... Not really a fan of anything he's done.

jazzman - 8/21/2012, 1:32 PM
Len Wiseman is a weak director thank good he did not do Iron Man
CaptainObvious - 8/21/2012, 1:34 PM
Yes, Mr. Wiseman. It's because your history of directing dark films that you didn't get the job. Even though Marvel is considering James Gunn to direct one of their movies, it has nothing to do with the dark tone of your films. I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say it was probably because he's- Gee, I don't know- a bad director.
CaptainAmerica31 - 8/21/2012, 1:42 PM
IM is Defiently one of the best CBMs to date.
LAXtremest - 8/21/2012, 1:49 PM
Well, I think we're all pretty happy with how that turned out.

Wow, things sure have been different around here the last couple days...
IIIAdamantiumIII - 8/21/2012, 2:19 PM
haters gonna hate
Ha1frican - 8/21/2012, 2:26 PM
UW1 UW2 and Total Recall were good, i could see him doing a Mrvel film but i think it needs to be someone darker. Think his tone would fit great with Daredevil
Ha1frican - 8/21/2012, 2:29 PM
Tht being said Favreau set the stage perfectly for the mCU and there isno way i would change that considering the results thus far
NorrinRaddical - 8/21/2012, 2:34 PM
anyone else laugh out loud at this interview?

"i'm too dark" !?!?
AlexDeLarge87 - 8/21/2012, 2:39 PM
Underworld and Underworld 3 arent the worst movies in the world. As a big werewolf fan i liked them. The next episodes were crap thou. Die Hard 4 was... ok. Lots of entertaining action but has nothing against the other episodes.
AlexDeLarge87 - 8/21/2012, 2:40 PM
I meant Underworld and Underworld 2... not three.
PapaMidnite - 8/21/2012, 2:42 PM
Thank the gods!!!! He is a weak director! "Too dark"?? PFFFF... right!

And @Grif, Die Hard 4 is SHIT! lol
80sFace - 8/21/2012, 2:51 PM
dodged a bullet!
BLACKTHORN - 8/21/2012, 2:58 PM
one of the worst filmmakers alive,
Jer3miah - 8/21/2012, 3:00 PM
Aw, too bad. Dark directors are awesome. Wiseman's no Tim BUrton, but he's definitely a good director.
SimyJo - 8/21/2012, 3:13 PM
Slightly less interested in Les Wiseman than the embroidery on my toilet-mat.
jimoakley666 - 8/21/2012, 3:19 PM
For [frick]'s sake, this bloke is a proper hack!
blackagar94 - 8/21/2012, 3:34 PM
He should direct Daredevil, that's all !
nuclearpriest - 8/21/2012, 3:37 PM
Incontrovertible proof that not only does God exist but apparently he's also a big Iron Man fan.
SCURVYDOG619 - 8/21/2012, 3:41 PM
If Wiseman tried to get Kate Beckinsale-you know,his wife[lucky sod...]-in Iron Man playing Pepper...

Yeah,I know,dodged bullet...
GoILL - 8/21/2012, 4:38 PM
Judging from the reception of Total Recall it's a good thing he didn't.
Unas - 8/21/2012, 4:46 PM
Thank god!
JohnTom88 - 8/21/2012, 4:57 PM
Marvel still got "Werewolf by Night" movie rights so he's definitely still in the contact list.


patriautism - 8/21/2012, 6:09 PM

Len Wiseman and Dane cook probably went to the same douche training seminar.
The Underworld films are a guilty pleasure of mine, and it doesn't hurt that he always cast his hot ass wife in a lead role, but it is definitely a good thing he "was too dark" for Iron Man.
Vital - 8/21/2012, 7:23 PM
Am I the only person who really really liked Live Free and Die Hard?
JumpinJehosaphat - 8/21/2012, 7:25 PM
@grif - Brother, your tastes are hard to nail down. You're a mystery wrapped in a riddle....
weaponx123 - 8/21/2012, 8:33 PM
Im stoked he is producing The Darkness movie and I hope he ends up directing it too because he would be perfect for it.
DCjohnny - 8/21/2012, 8:49 PM
if dark he is looking foe.... direct a DC comic movie....
UrbanKnight - 8/21/2012, 10:05 PM
Riiiiiiiiiiiigttt.
GUNSMITH - 8/22/2012, 2:50 AM
I COULD SEE HIM DO GHOST RIDER.
bababoozer - 8/22/2012, 2:52 AM
He didn't do it because they wouldn't hire his wife.
Montross - 8/22/2012, 9:29 AM
I guess I'm one of the few who likes Len Wiseman. I loved Die Hard 4.

I agree w/ Gunsmith in that I could see him make a decent Ghost Rider. I think he could handle a Punisher movie too, though w/ out Tom Jane it just wouldn't feel right.

If Marvel ever decided to reboot Blade, Wiseman would be their man.
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