It is a truth universally acknowledged that before Marvel Studios came along, comic book movies were pretty hit-and-miss. We had some good ones here and there, but creative control of the potential franchises were often clearly placed in the hands of those who didn't understand the source material or its ultimate appeal. Marvel Studios was founded by the company that had kept their superheroes alive and relevant for decades, so they had a pretty good idea of how to translate the characters to a cinematic medium. It's taken them a while, but 20th Century Fox – which still owns the rights to The Fantastic Four and The X-Men – has followed suit, hiring acclaimed comic book writer Mark Millar as a creative consultant on their upcoming superhero properties.
Millar's work on the comic book series The Ultimates was one of the most influential sources of the recent Avengers movie, and has lent his pen to runs on Fantastic Four, Ultimate X-Men, Wolverine and the massive Marvel crossover event Civil War. His creator-controlled comics Wanted and Kick-Ass were both adapted into motion pictures in the late 2000s. While it's too late for Millar to have much creative input over James Mangold's The Wolverine, which is already in production, he could heavily influence Josh Trank's upcoming Fantastic Four reboot and Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: Days of Future Past.
In a statement (via Coming Soon), Millar said the following about the career move: "As someone who spent his entire life obsessed with both comic-books and movies, this is essentially my dream gig as it's a unique combination of both. [...] I spent ten years working at Marvel and am really happy with the work I did on the comic side of things so the idea of working with these characters now in a brand new medium is enormously exciting for me. I really like the Fox team, love this bold new direction they have for their franchises and am proud to be working alongside some of modern cinema's biggest talents. James Mangold is incredible, Matthew Vaughn's one of my closest pals and Josh Trank gave us, in my opinion, one of the greatest superhero movies of the last decade with Chronicle. The invitation to join this crew was maybe the coolest phone-call I've ever had."
Fans of Mark Millar's comic book work – and there are many – will be heartened by this news but we encourage everyone to maintain a "wait and see" attitude. Geoff Johns was consulted on Warner Bros.' Green Lantern movie and it's safe to say that the movie didn't work out very well. Hopefully Fox knows Millar well enough to listen to his ideas and implement them for the best of the characters and franchises, and churn out more X-Men: First Classes than X-Men Origins: Wolverines.
CraveOnline will be back with more 20th Century Fox news after we take another trip to Millarworld.