Quesada: Marvel Creators To Have More Input In Movies, Television.

Say what you will about his tenure as E-i-C, I dig Joe Quesada. The dude elevated the fucking game way back in the early 2000s. His run on Daredevil with Kevin Smith, his creation of Marvel Knights, his hand in the Ultimate line. He helped draw in huge names, ramped up a rivalry with DC which benefited both stables, and more. He’s been up and down since then, but the dude behind a renaissance (in my opinion) of the Marvel line deserves some credit.

In a new interview with Comic Book Resources, the new Chief Creative Officer of Marvel dropped some interesting thoughts. He spouted off about bringing Marvel creators more prominently into the movie and television projects.

Hit the jump for the deets.

When asked if there was a danger in leaving the comics branch of Marvel behind in lieu of the other mediums, Quesada hit the interview with:

Let me make this as perfectly clear as I can: Publishing is the life’s blood of what we do. While other areas of Marvel may make more revenue, I can’t think of a division that is more important to us right now. That’s not to say that Publishing doesn’t make a tremendous amount of revenue, it’s just that when you compare it to a major motion picture, it tends to get over shadowed. But from a consistency basis, it’s incredibly important, and from a content point of view, it is the end all, be all of what Marvel is.

Within our corporate structure, I always define Publishing as the hub. It is the “Idea Factory.” All of the great stories and ideas for Marvel are created within the hub and then spoke out to the other divisions. The stories and characters you will see in Marvel’s animation, television and movies, while altered to fit the medium they’re being presented in, will have all started in one way or another inside the pages of a Marvel Comic. Publishing is where all the ideas are generated, it’s the source & inspiration for every other aspect of Marvel. Sure, we can take ideas that were generated in Iron Man comics over the years and distill them into an Iron Man movie and generate significantly more revenue than the comic could, but ultimately that movie wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the comic book.

Quesada echoes something that has been hit upon by Warren Ellis and I’m sure other creators throughout the years. Comic books, at this point, are a factory for movie and television storylines. Quesada can say that comic books are the hub, but as he admits towards the end, movies are where the money is at. I’m glad that Quesada still sees Marvel Publishing as the point of emphasis, but realistically, how long can this last? Especially if revenue continues to decline throughout the years.

Can it be a hub when paper sales are dying, the comic book market is shrinking continuously?

If I’m negative in my response to the quote, it is with an appreciation for Quesada’s aim. Theoretically, the idea that comic books churn out the storylines that then garner mucho money in other mediums is awesome. It justifies the existence of the funny books. As long as they’re the source for the fodder that is then converted into food for the consumption in other avenues, its crucial! Right? Right. Maybe?

If comic books sales continue to decline, why can’t the storylines come from a different source? Say, thinkers paid to drum them up?


Also in the interview, Kiel Phegley askes Quesada what he’s most interested in, for Marvel in 2011. His take? Bringing creators into the creative process in the other mediums. Awesome.

There’s too much stuff to list, and so much of it is still in the developmental stages, so I wouldn’t be able to talk about it anyway. What I can say is that the things on my “To do” list extend way beyond 2011, just as they did on my list when it was only publishing. It’s an amazing new world here at Marvel, we have so many incredible doors that have opened up to us, but even I’m floored at how quickly and smoothly things are happening. Not a week goes by where I’m not floored by some new opportunity that has come our way. The toughest part for me is keeping it all bottled up inside.

But, the one thing I can talk about is what the future looks like for our creators. If you look down the line — and Dan Buckley’s been instrumental in this, as has been Alan Fine — you will see that more and more of our comic creators have been getting involved in the Marvel stuff outside of the comics world. And that’s as it should be. Back in the day, so many of us in the creative community would sit back and watch someone produce a TV show or a movie based on a comic book and see it flop miserably because those people didn’t understand what made those characters work. We’d sit there going, “Why didn’t they hire comic book people?” Well, that’s what Marvel is doing. Slowly but surly, you’ll be seeing names you recognize getting involved in other aspects of Marvel Entertainment. Just look at the “Ultimate Spider-Man” animated show we’re working on. The creative team consists of Brian Bendis, Paul Dini and Men of Action. We’ll be announcing some more stuff down the road, too, with more comic book folks. So stay tuned, it’s going to be fun.

I can’t be the only dork who has lamented the lack of creators’ hands in the movies and television process, can I? If Matt Fraction is guiding Tony Stark through his dopest stories in years, why shouldn’t he be involved with the scripting of the movies? He was, for Iron Man 2. I don’t know to what extent, but it was nice to see the process begin there. It seems natural that the people penning the stories at Quesada’s self-proclaimed Hub should be then helping to translate the stories into other mediums.

I acknowledge that there isn’t any guarantee that a comic book creator can transcend the boundaries of the mediums. Certainly some can, while certainly some can’t. Does penning a comic book guarantee you can pen a Fantastic Four script? No way. But it seems natural to me that the creators can participate on some level, to shepherd the essence of the characters into film and television. It’s dangerous to lay claim to an “essence”, since I’m one of those who thinks that characters should be allowed to breathe and take on different forms. But still, these people have crafted the characters. They can add something.

So I’m gladdened to see that they will be allowed to down the line.