There’s no real surprise to learn of the limited creative freedom that can be experienced when directing a studio-run blockbuster. More money means more investor control, naturally, but there aren’t many directors that have spoken up about the negative aspects of working under the hugely successful brand that is Marvel.
In an interview with Uproxx, director Alan Taylor talked about his experience directing the MCU’s second Thor film, Thor: The Dark World. His most recent directorial effort is Terminator Genisys, another big budget film, but he said this one’s been a much smoother ride in comparison.
“I’ve done two [blockbusters] and I’ve learned that you don’t make a $170 million movie with someone else’s money and not have to collaborate a lot,” Taylor, also known for Game of Thrones, said.
“The Marvel experience was particularly wrenching because I was sort of given absolute freedom while we were shooting, and then in post it turned into a different movie. So, that is something I hope never to repeat and don’t wish upon anybody else.”
Taylor said, while a film of the size of Terminator Genisys inevitably calls for a lot of collaboration, the difference here was the end result.
“The story we started telling is essentially the story we finished and are bringing out into the world,” Taylor said.
Interestingly, Patty Jenkins had been attached to direct Thor: The Dark World before Taylor; “creative differences” put an end to that.
Playing ball with execs, producers, and general studio big wigs seems to be the nature of the beast with bigger films. Some directors were born to work the field, negotiating this way and that way, trying their best to make everyone happy while getting even a tiny bit of what they envisioned on screen; while other directors find it a little harder to work under the scrutiny and control that comes with big budget projects.
Ultimately, a studio like Marvel has established itself as quite the working machine over these successful years, with each huge hit further justifying their right to control projects their way.