I got to interview Mark Millar, the architect beyond all of the Marvel characters that are currently Fox properties – I.e. the X-Men and the Fantastic Four – in conjunction with Kick-Ass 2, the movie based on his comics. There will be more of this interview later, but I wanted to get this bit up first, considering all the talk about the upcoming X-Force movie – which it sounds like he still can't officially confirm (at least not until the Fox movie panel). It looks like we're talking about the original X-Force, including Cable and even Deadpool, who showed up in those early issues.
So here's an excerpt from the full interview, which will be published once there's time to transcribe it all.
CRAVE ONLINE: So, is your ultimate plan to turn the X-Men franchise into a standalone universe of different films that could crossover with each other, like X-Men, X-Force, X-Factor, like the comics always did?
MARK MILLAR: I have to be careful, because I've done all these NDAs and everything, but I think a crossover, as such, is not something that's immediately on the agenda, because you want to establish everything and see where we are then. I think the most important thing is to do an X-Force film that's as cool as Bryan Singer's X-Men was or Matthew Vaughn's X-Men First Class was. You won't care about them crossing over if you don't like them. The idea is to almost blind-carrot everything else and just do a stand alone, brilliant movie with each of these characters – and there's quite a lot of characters in the X-Men universe. Marvel created so many X-books because they made so much money back in the 90s. You've got about 600 characters there. Some of them are really, really good. Deadpool's good. Cable's good. There are a lot of really fun characters in there that could all become movies.
CRAVE ONLINE: So that's definitely the era you're concentrating on, and not the more recent 'covert hit squad' incarnation in Uncanny X-Force?
MILLAR: I can't officially say, but I think it's always wise to go back to the beginning of something. Marvel is very good like that, going back to the first issues and looking at what made it work. Don't look at number 650, look at number 1.
CRAVE ONLINE: Speaking of movie rumors, the Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm rumor floated a while back, and some perceptions of the Fantastic Four is that they might be a bit too white-bread. Was there any truth to that rumor, and is diversification a concern for the film?
MILLAR: To be honest, I don't know, I only read that stuff online and I haven't actually asked Josh [Trank, Fantastic Four director]. I meant to ask him. I think it would be tricky to have one member of the Storm family black and one white. Is he adopted? I don't know how you would play that.
CRAVE ONLINE: But are you open to something like that?
MILLAR: It just has to be good. I think that it's important sometimes to be beholden to the comics, because I think sometimes the comics is what makes it work. Marvel has been very clever like that. If you like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, you're going to like Marvel movies. But sometimes mixing up the ethnicities works. It worked with Sam Jackson when we did it in the Ultimates, it worked in the movies subsequently as well.
For reference, X-Force #1 looked like this.