The Duplass brothers have joined the increasing number of talented filmmakers who have turned down a gig directing a Marvel movie. Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass have been quite prolific in recent years, having produced a number movies such as Creep, Safety Not Guaranteed and Jeff Who Lives at Home through their Duplass Brothers Productions banner, as well as writing and creating shows like Togetherness and Room 104 for HBO. As writers, producers, directors and actors, the guys have proven themselves to be very capable. With that, Marvel Studios tried to lock them down for a movie, but they turned it down.
Mark and Jay Duplass made the reveal during a recent interview. They wouldn't say exactly which movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe they were offered, but Mark Duplass says, "There was a moment where Marvel was interested in us taking on one of their properties. It would have been a $150 to $180 million budget and about three years of our lives." As tremendous as that opportunity may have been, they both decided it best to continue down their path and take on several projects, as opposed to one gigantic blockbuster. Mark Duplass added this.
"To be a little Sundance filmmaker tapped by Marvel felt incredible. But the amount of stuff we could make over those three years, the relationships we could forge with younger filmmakers..."
Jay Duplass added, "We'd have to give that all up." Ultimately, it worked out for them, as they signed a four-picture deal with Netflix in 2015 and recently announced a new agreement with them for another four movies. They also talked a bit about the intense pressure of taking on a project like an MCU movie. "[Ryan Coogler] was also carrying sociopolitical weight on his shoulders with Black Panther. Unbelievable. And my God, he's only 31 years old." Mark Duplass said. Jay Duplass also discussed the practical issues they would have faced, since they both have families to worry about.
"The problem was, by the time Mark and I were making movies, we already had kids. We were changing diapers and making lunches, so we couldn't be the concubine of a studio at this stage in our lives."
Other notable filmmakers such as Fede Alvarez (Don't Breathe) and Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time) passed up the opportunity to take on an MCU movie. On the flipside, Marvel studios has made household names of other filmmakers such as Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) and James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy). Marvel Studios wound up working out quite well for them, and maybe it would have for the Duplass brothers as well, but the duo had other priorities in mind.
As for what this movie could have been? One of the more likely projects seems to be Spider-Man: Homecoming, given the timing of it and the fact that it may have lined up best with their sensibilities. Ultimately, Homecoming put Cop Car director Jon Watts on the map. We may never know what movie it was, but who knows? Maybe Marvel will circle back to them someday for a project in Phase 4. This news comes to us courtesy of Vulture.