There is no shortage of superhero movies that need directors right now, given that seemingly every studio has at least several of them in development. There is no question that Marvel Studios is still the king of the comic book movie world, and they have a knack for giving up-and-coming directors a shot at the big time. It turns out that Fede Alvarez, director of the Evil Dead remake, was one of those directors at one point, but he passed on the opportunity.
Screen Rant did a set visit on Alvarez's latest movie Don't Breathe, which is coming out next month. During the course of their interview with the director, he revealed that he was at one point in talks to direct a Marvel movie, but he ultimately passed on the opportunity. When asked if he would be interested in taking on a movie in a major franchise, here is what he had to say.
"No. Look. A lot of those movies are cool and audiences are going and watching them. It's just as a director it's harder to have your vision in those, if you go and do a Marvel movie... At some point we were in conversations and... they already figured it out. They've figured out the style. They've figured out the way they shoot them. They've figured out the colors, the humor. What would I do? I enjoy a lot more freedom than that. I don't know. Eventually I might. And it depends on probably the characters in the stories. But just something about my job as a director that I really enjoy is creating my own thing. It's trying to do my own style when I shoot it and set the tone myself... Evil Dead was a challenge in that aspect."
It is no secret that Marvel Studios has a very specific vision for their cinematic universe, and that has led to some filmmakers departing projects with the studio. Edgar Wright famously left Ant-Man months before filming after developing the project, and Patty Jenkins departed Thor: The Dark World due to "creative differences." Joss Whedon also seemed to be reasonably burnt out on all of the interconnectivity at the end of his work on Avengers: Age of Ultron.
It is interesting that Alvarez passed on a franchise project, given that his breakout movie was a remake of a franchise movie. Granted, he was clearly able to execute his vision, given that the final product was very different from the Sam Raimi version of Evil Dead. Given the timeline, it seems likely that Alvarez was probably approached to direct Doctor Strange. Marvel was looking to fill the director's chair for that movie around the time that he finished up his work on Evil Dead. The job ultimately went to director Scott Derrickson, also a horror director, who seems to share a similar sensibility to Alvarez. Marvel has a specific vision, so it is easy to imagine if the job went to Derrickson, that Doctor Strange was likely the project Alvarez passed on.
Marvel has plucked a lot of directors out of relative obscurity to direct their movies. James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy, Taika Waititi for Thor: Ragnarok and the aforementioned Derrickson for Doctor Strange. It seems like Alvarez could have been one of those guys, but he decided to take a different route, which is admirable, considering he wanted to be true to his art and vision as a filmmaker. We'll have to see how that pans out for him when Don't Breathe hits theaters on August 26.