While promoting the new Bond film Skyfall, director Sam Mendes mentioned that he had a chance to direct Marvel’s The Avengers.
Apparently when Marvel/Disney were looking for a director for what would end up being the monster that is now The Avengers, Skyfall director Sam Mendes was sent a packet including material that directors were to use to give a pitch to receive the directing job.
You’d think he’d be somewhat bitter after turning down an offer that went to director Joss Whedon and would go on to be the third highest grossing film of all time, but apparently Mendes has no ill will towards the decision. From an interview with Moviefone, the Skyfall director explains the reason he passed on Avengers:
“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.”
It appears as though Mendes wasn’t very impressed with the packet that Marvel sent to him, mentioning the fact that instead of sending him a partial script, they sent him comic books and a release date for The Avengers instead. He goes on to say that he never even considered taking the job, although he says would go see it, but that he didn’t wish to direct.
No. I wasn’t interested. I mean, that’s not my world particularly. I’ll go see it, particularly with my kids, but I didn’t want to make it. But I was probably one of 50 that got sent it; they didn’t target me specifically.
It sounds as though he was simply one of the many directors that were being sent the packets and not exactly “targeted” by Marvel. Either way, it’s definitely interesting to hear what goes on behind-the-scenes when these huge films are in pre-production and how easily they could have been an entirely different film based on which director decided to bring Marvel their pitch.
We’re glad that Marvel ended up going with director Joss Whedon for Avengers, considering its success, but we’re happy to see both directors releasing great films. Sam Mendes’ next film Skyfall hits theaters this Friday, Nov. 9. The new Bond film has been getting rave reviews and we look forward to hearing from our readers after its weekend release. Check out the trailer for Skyfall.