As if it wasn’t obvious enough from simply watching any of the studio’s post-Infinity War output, producer Nate Moore has revealed that he believes the key to Marvel Studios’ success is hiring writers who are “out” of the comic book culture over anyone who loves the source material.
Moore, whose career has seen him serve as a producer for such Marvel Cinematic Universe entries as Captain America: Civil War, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and most recently Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, shared his insight into Marvel Studios’ hiring philosophy during an appearance on the November 16th episode of The Ringer’s The Town podcast.
Speaking with host Matthew Belloni about his general experience working for the Disney subsidiary [time stamp 17:00], Moore was eventually asked if there was “some kind of a ‘Marvel bootcamp’ or something that you do with these filmmakers to ingratiate them into this world and knowing all the things that they need to know,” to which the producer confirmed “not really.”
Noting that some Marvel writers grew up reading and collecting comics, such as Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, Moore told Belloni, “one thing I think is interesting, and specifically for writers I would say, is that a lot of times we’re pitched writers who love Marvel, and to me that’s always a red flag.”
“I don’t want you to already have a pre-existing idea of what it is, because you grew up with the comics and that’s what you want to recreate,” he explained. “I want someone who’s going to be hard on the material, who can go ‘What is this? I think there’s a movie here. but maybe we should be looking at it in this way'”
Offering up an example of what he was looking for in prospective writers, Moore then pointed to Captain America trilogy writers “Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who weren’t comic guys coming up, but were like ‘Wait, Captain America…this seems a bit weird. What if we kinda looked at it in this way?’
“And they weren’t married to anything nothing was sacrosanct,” recalled the producer.
“I think that’s important to be able to go ‘Look, the source material is great, and I love it and comics work great in the medium they were built in, but that’s not a direct, one-to-one translation to the best version of the movie,” he asserted. “And sometimes it takes someone who’s out of the culture to go ‘Hey, I know you think it should be this, but maybe it should be this other thing!'”
Turning to provide further support for his argument, Moore then put forth Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder director David Cohen as “a great example of that too, [because he was like] ‘Hey I know Thor traditionally is a bit stiff, a bit Shakespearean but what if you tweaked it? What if you tweaked the tone completely?'”
“The tone of Ragnarok is all Taika because he wasn’t married to Thor on the page,” concluded the producer, believing himself to be complimenting the director rather than hitting the nail on the head as to why many fans have been turned off by Waititi’s take on the God of Thunder. “I haven’t read every Thor book, I have read a lot – I couldn’t tell you of a run that is tonally anything like Ragnarok.”
Marvel Studios’ latest film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is now playing in theaters.