Drew Goddard's star has been on the rise for a while. With scripts for hits like Cloverfield, World War Z, and The Cabin In The Woods, you could almost say that his success has come on the backs of surprises. Each of those films overcame things like small budgets, desolate release dates, negative buzz, and bankruptcy to become success stories. But with The Martian coming out next week, surrounded by a ton of positive buzz, his success this time around will be a surprise to no one. It's a big movie, with a major star (Matt Damon), and a beloved director (Ridley Scott). If The Martian opens strong, expect to hear Goddard's name a lot more frequently.
Yet, within our little fan community here, his name has already been pretty unavoidable. What with his shepherding of the adored Netflix series Marvel's Daredevil, to his work on the only exciting plan Sony had related to Spider-Man before they hit Reset and made a deal with Marvel (Sinister Six), we've kind of gotten used to his name popping up. In a talk with IGN, Goddard opened up a bit about all the different projects he's been linked to, and sheds some light on what we might expect when Daredevil returns next year.
When it comes to the adventures of Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, Goddard revealed the behind-the-scenes process and philosophy that would eventually give us such a dynamic TV series:
"I went into Marvel and talked to them about making it as a movie a couple of years ago, long after the Affleck movie. But what we all sort of realized is that, this movie doesn’t want to cost $200 million. The thing about Matt Murdock is, he’s not saving the world. He’s just keeping his corner clean. So it would feel wrong to have spaceships crashing in the middle of the city. But because of that, Marvel on the movie side is not in the business of making $25 million movies. They’re going big, as they should."
Goddard continued, emphasizing how Netflix made for a much better fit than a movie screen ever would in the current landscape:
"It felt that we’d have more freedom to make it on the small screen and make it more adult. Look, if we took the Netflix [show] and put it in theaters, it’s rated R. And they’re not doing R-rated movies. And we also got to really explore the character. I feel like Netflix was the best possible home for that, otherwise you’d end up with a watered down version."
On the folks who are now steering the Daredevil ship, and his hopes for Season 2:
"Yeah, I’m not running the show any more, Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez are, and they’re doing a phenomenal job. I get to go and play. All I can tell you is that if you liked Season 1, then Season 2 is going to blow your mind. They’re going big."
When it came to discussing sequels to his other hits, Cloverfield and World War Z, Goddard was frank. With the former, he says "there's no plan" in place but that it's something that they'd definitely like to explore in the future. With the latter, Goddard clarified that he will not be involved with a sequel to World War Z but that he's excited and will be "cheering from the sidelines" for it.
And what about Sinister Six? The writer-director made waves last week when he revealed that the movie, the way he wrote it, could still happen someday because it wasn't beholden to any particular Spider-Man continuity. So IGN tried to explore that idea a little further.
When Sinister Six is referred to as a "dream project," Goddard emphatically agrees:
"For sure. I’ve always wanted to do a Spider-Man project and to come at it slightly different just felt right for me. I was really excited about that one, but who knows what the future holds. The allure of Peter Parker is strong…"
After stating that he 100% agrees with Marvel's current approach, of taking Peter Parker back to high school, Goddard reminded us that his Sinister Six could still work down the line:
"It’s a long game. It could still happen. It’s certainly not going to happen soon… but I’ve learned, look, Cabin in the Woods, we went into bankruptcy and had to stay on the shelf for a couple of years. It’s OK."
When I covered his comments last week, I questioned whether or not Marvel would ever green light a film that was almost entirely standalone. Goddard had said his film wasn't going to be tied to a specific mythology or set of rules. It'd just be this one-off Spider-Man adventure. I questioned it because Marvel has notoriously tried to make everything interconnected, as if each film is just a small piece in one enormous puzzle. Goddard was asked the same thing, about whether a movie like his could work within Marvel's philosophy.
"And the truth is, you can always adapt to fit what’s working. Marvel’s best movies are the ones that stand on their own, but also connect. You can do both."
Lastly, of the notable parts of his in-depth interview, Goddard addressed the perceived similarities between the two "S.S."-initialed super-villain team ups that were at one point in simultaneous development: Sinister Six vs Suicide Squad.
"I got a really good piece of advice when I was just starting out as a screenwriter, which was, whatever you’re working on, you will hear about three other things at the exact same time that sound exactly like your project – but don’t worry about it, because otherwise you’ll never get anything done. And I just always trust that we’ll make it unique. Things have cosmetic similarities.
"The Martian is a great example. I turned the first draft of this screenplay in the day Gravity opened and we all thought we were dead. Then we watched the movie, and I think Gravity is incredible, but we were like, ‘Oh, we’re different.’ And then Interstellar opened the day we started shooting… you keep having these moments that could stop you. But make your project unique and it’s fine."
One thing he says that would definitely set the films apart is how different he and director David Ayer are as filmmakers. While he says he absolutely loves Ayer's films, he thinks Suicide Squad will be so different from what Sinister Six would be that both projects could absolutely co-exist.
Goddard definitely covered a ton of ground, and he's likely to be given many more times to shine in the spotlight in the immediate future- with The Martian being bandied about as something truly special. In an age where most major films have two, three, four, sometimes six different writers attached to a project, Goddard is listed is the sole writer for this movie. He wrote the script based on Andy Weir's novel, and the pre-release buzz is huge so far.
The Martian comes out on Friday.