Who would've thought back in 2008 that IRON MAN would be so successful as to effectively launch a handful of franchises, and an entire shared universe. Certainly Marvel had hoped it would happen, but I have to imagine that even they've been taken aback by the gargantuan success their film universe has become.
Needless to say, with 12 films now under their belt, and two more on the way this year alone, they've established something of a fraternity of actors who work within their universe. From Robert Downey Jr. to Mark Ruffalo, there sure is no shortage of talent they bring to the table. Marvel has been renowned for locking down actors for cheap, and locking them down for roughly half a million years and beyond. With that in mind, one has to wonder about the inner workings with a lot of these actors.
How often do they go into these deals expecting at some point to explode into their own franchise? In an interview with HeyUGuys, Anthony Mackie, who plays the Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, talked about the talent at Marvel, and how they tend to be more motivated by contributing to the universe than by contributing to their own individual success.
"There's a mutual respect and appreciation whenever somebody is introduced into the Marvel Universe and to the Marvel family. The great thing about it is no one in the Marvel Universe does the movies for the opportunity of having a spinoff or their own movie. They do it because we really enjoy and like these characters and love the solidarity of the group and the team. It's fun. It's fun to see where Falcon started when the first meeting I had with Marvel to where the Falcon is now."
One other thing Marvel is notorious for is its control. The man up top, Kevin Feige, has an overall vision of the where the franchise needs to go, and as a result, they've had to part ways with some great filmmakers in the past (Edgar Wright is probably the most notable). So what does this mean for actors? Are these guys merely coming in to show up on set, hit their marks, and say the words?
According to Mackie, the actors "definitely" have a decent amount of input on the direction the character may go in.
"Fortunately the Russo Brothers are very open to actors giving them feedback and input, because we play the characters. Chris Evans has been playing Cap for a long time, so he knows Cap extremely well. So a lot of times, they write the first draft of the script, send it to Chris, see what he thinks, and then from that they develop and build the character film by film."
Mackie didn't go into any details regarding if, say, his character goes completely off the deep end in the script, does he personally have any impact as more of a secondary character than Cap? That being said, given how workshopped the scripts are, one can imagine just how much more difficult things would get on set if every actor had equal weight in the creative process. Can you say "too many cooks?"
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR hits theaters on May 6, 2016.