INTERVIEW: "Fantastic Four" EP On Character-Driven Approach, Sequel Plans
Comic Books, Film
Marvel Comics Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada stopped by the CBR Tiki Room high above the show floor at New York Comic Con 2012 for an update on all things Marvel — including Joss Whedon’s “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” the return of Clark Gregg to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Quesada’s recent appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and more.
On the return of Clark Gregg in Joss Whedon’s “S.H.I.E.L.D.”: “He plays Agent Coulson. I really can’t tell too much more than that because I’d be revealing too much of the show’s structure, but we’re thrilled to build the show around him. First of all, aside from being an amazing actor, Clark is one of the sweetest guys you’d ever encounter. We cast him as Agent Coulson in the ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ cartoon and we got his permission to do his likeness and of course, he voices the character. You’ve just never seen anybody who’s so happy to have this character that’s built around him and he’ part of this mythology. My best moment is when I said to him, ‘Hey Clark, you’re going to be in the comics, too. Coulson is going to be int eh Marvel Universe.’ And he literally melted, it was like fanboy glee.”
On “S.H.I.E.L.D.”: “We have incredibly high hopes for the TV show. I think Clark is obviously going to be a huge breakout star. Again, I read, I know what the show’s about and I think Marvel fans are going to be absolutely over the moon with it and those people who watched “The Avengers” movie — not many people who didn’t — are going to be incredibly happy with it and satisfied with it. Those who don’t know anything about “The Avengers” or the Marvel Universe are going to love it as well because it’s a very unique show that we’re creating.”
On the Marvel synergy across different types of media: “One of my main jobs at Marvel aside from being involved in all the creative aspects of Marvel … is making sure each division knows what each division is doing. It’s really, really hard for everyone to remember — you’re in the middle of doing a movie and it’s like, ‘Oh my God, I forgot to tell the guys in publishing to tell them what we’re doing.’ So really, I do that. I sit in a meeting with the publishing guys as we try to build the new concepts for next year. I say, ‘Well listen, just so you guys know, here’s what’s happening in the movies, here’s what’s happening in animation” — and we have the same kind of conversations in animation and the same kind of conversation with studios and now television as well. … The overall communication skills at Marvel are very tight, as tight as they can be with a company with our structure.”
On his “Jimmy Kimmel Live” appearance: “It turns out that Jimmy’s a huge comics fan and has been since he was a little kid. When they were discussing the bit, they said, ‘Jimmy wants to go in for a portfolio review.’ There wasn’t much of a script, there was just an outline explaining Jimmy still has all these drawings from the ages of 8 to 11. Not only was he drawing Marvel characters, but what we wanted to focus on were his own characters. He came in with reams of stuff. I think they only showed four or five pages on air. We filmed for about two hours. Just because you don’t know what’s going to be funny, Jimmy was holding the page and he was reading all the comics. There’s tons of stuff that wasn’t shown, but we’re commenting back and forth on his dialogue — and there’s a lot of funny stuff that didn’t make it.”