X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer has revealed that he thinks The Avengers’ success is only due to Iron Man and that the battle between Marvel and Fox is “unhealthy.”
For someone who says the superhero fighting between Marvel and Fox is unhealthy, X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer seems to want to fan the flames of the comic book battle between the two studios.
During an interview with SciFiNow Singer discusses the battle between Marvel and Fox and has quite a lot to say about the success of both studios. Singer says, “It’s not healthy for us. I’ll tell you why: they’re both comic books and at some point you can expand the universes, that’s where the comparison ends.”
Clearly he’s not interested in any Marvel comparisons.
When asked about The Avengers’ success, Singer says that Iron Man is the main (read only) reason for its success. The director says, “The Marvel universes – particularly Avengers and Iron Man – are… and it sounds defensive, and it is defensive, but only because people make comparisons between X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Avengers, which is ludicrous.”
He continues to explain why The Avengers was successful, saying, “The Avengers is a mash-up of massive single character franchises of incredibly familiar characters and Iron Man. And did I mention Iron Man? Oh, and by the way – Iron Man.”
Woah… Singer seems adamant that Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr. are the main reason that The Avengers was so successful. The film pulled in $1.5 billion at the box office back in 2012 and Marvel has had major successes since then with Iron Man 3 ($1.2 billion) and most recently Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($703 million).
There’s no doubt that the success of Iron Man via Robert Downey Jr. is an integral part of why The Avengers and subsequent films have been successful financially, but Singer seems to believe that it’s only because Iron Man was made the center of the film’s premise. This is also odd considering he’s made Hugh Jackman and The Wolverine the center of X-Men: days of Future Past, despite the story originally being centered around Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page).
The Avengers actually gave its lesser known members quite a fairly equal amount of screentime when looking at the data. Captain America had the most screentime with 37:42, Iron Man had 37:01, Black Widow had 33:35, Bruce Banner had 28:03 (including his time as Hulk), Thor had 25:52 and then it drops to 12:44 for Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye.
So Black Widow was just behind Iron Man in terms of screentime, despite Robert Downey Jr. having two films being released with him at the center prior to The Avengers, while Scarlett Johansson only had a brief stint in the less than popular Iron Man 2.
There’s also been rumors that Scarlett Johansson is currently in talks to sign on for a Black Widow solo film, which would be the first female driven comic book film to be released during the new age of Marvel under the guidance of Kevin Feige and Joss Whedon.
Singer continues discussing Marvel’s comic book films, saying, “They are huge, colossal franchises that are peppered with all these other characters that are, again, extremely famous and so yes, Fox will at some point synergise [X-Men] characters and that process is slowly beginning, but it’s very different than taking movies that gross close to a billion dollars and then pushing them together into these giant broad movies.”
We’re not quite sure about his point here as X-Men: Days of Future Past, which hits theaters this Friday, is essentially doing the same thing that The Avengers did. It’s building upon multiple films and combining the actors from the previous X-Men films which effectively started the trend of tentpole comic book movies.
He then douses the fire with fuel when speaking about Marvel’s success, saying, “If you want to give me Robert Downey Jr in a metal suit and have him join the X-Men, then yes, let’s go head-to-head [with Marvel Studios].”
Singer isn’t particularly fond of the comparisons being made between Marvel’s The Avengers and his film X-Men: Days of Future Past, but fans of both sides appear to feel that they are similar in the sense that there are many popular superheroes being lumped together into one film, with one incredibly popular character (Iron Man in Avengers and Wolverine in X-Men: DOFP) being at the center of each film.
“[They’re] very different universes,” Singer says. “The appeal is different and to try and do the same thing… this in an ‘inbetweequel’, ok, of two ensemble films, Avengers and the Marvel movies are individual franchises based on major characters that’s why there are some Marvel characters in Avengers that don’t have their own movie, because I don’t know if they had their own movie anyone would be that interested.”
An interesting note is that Singer introduced Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but The Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon has also decided to introduce Quicksilver in his sequel. This doesn’t help the argument that the universes are entirely different when two filmmakers want to use the same characters in separate films.
Singer then says Marvel’s success is mostly due to the majority of their superheroes becoming household names. He says, “We’re the bastard stepchild of the comic-book universe, you can go to my mom and she knows who Captain America is but you try and explain to her who Deadpool is?”
It’s interesting to hear the director’s thoughts on the subject and as fans of both studios we’re surprised that there’s actually this much discussion going on behind-the-scenes. They’re certainly different types of films, with their only similarities being that they come from Marvel comics and include characters with superhuman abilities.
The director needn’t worry too much though, as X-Men: Days of Future Past currently holds a 95% on RottenTomatoes and is tracking to pull in $125+ million at the box office this weekend.
What do you think of Bryan Singer’s thoughts on the battle between studios who share Marvel superheroes?