Deadpool fever is most certainly sweeping the nation, with the unconventional superhero adventure taking in a record-breaking $135 million at the box office, the highest opening weekend for any R-rated movie, and any movie in the storied history of 20th Century Fox. One of the many things that’s so unique about this movie is that the creative team of director Tim Miller and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick stayed on the project the entire time, with the movie marking Tim Miller‘s feature directing debut. Earlier today, Marvel‘s Joe Quesada took to his Tumblr page to congratulate the entire Deadpool team, while also shedding light on how he worked with the director on an obscure project that helped give birth to 2008’s Iron Man. Here’s what Joe Quesada had to say below.
“Most people may not know or even remember but close to 10 years ago Tim Miller and I worked on a Marvel project together. As we at Marvel began plans on the first Iron Man movie our focus group research showed that we had some serious awareness issues with the character, especially amongst kids. One of the major takeaways was that kids who had zero knowledge of the character had no interest in him because they thought he was a robot. But when they found out that there was someone in the suit suddenly interest went off the charts and they wanted to know all about him and who could build no less kick ass in such awesome armor. Information like that helped us sculpt a plan to build awareness way in advance of the movie. In early 2007 Iron Man assigned a small group of us to create what would eventually be called Iron Man Advertorials: Three animated shorts with a simple clean story that would introduce Iron Man to younger viewers using our two most recognizable characters at the time as bait.”
The shorts featured Spider-Man battling a massive robot in the streets of New York, when he calls on his friend Tony Stark/Iron Man to give him a helping hand. The Marvel executive added that their “marching orders” were to “Clearly demonstrate that there was a man inside the armor,” “show off his wide range of cool powers and “position him clearly as a hero on the same level as Spidey and Hulk by having those characters show how cool they perceive him to be and valued him as a peer.” After bringing the director and his team from Blur Studios on, Joe Quesada had nothing but praise for their work.
“We also felt that if we really wanted to grab kids attention we needed to go high level CGI and Marvel gave us the budget to do it. This was a huge vote of confidence at that time because things were still tight in those days. That’s where Tim and the incredible team at Blur came in and knocked this assignment out of the park. Working with Tim was a joy (you’d have trouble finding a nicer more creative guy) and immediately his love of all things Marvel and comics was evident. He took the scripts and created beautifully visceral action scenes while never forgetting to keep things lighthearted with the classic Marvel sense of humor running throughout. Considering how long ago these were created and how far computer graphics have come, I think the shorts hold up pretty darn well and what always makes me smile when I watch them are the little bits and pieces that would later come to influence certain moments in our films. See if you can spot them. What’s also fun to see is how even back then Tim’s wonderful and mad cap directorial skill was clearly evident.”
As you can see in the short films below, there are certain aspects this story that ended up being used in future Marvel Cinematic Universe movies like Marvel’s The Avengers, long before the MCU was even born. What do you think about Tim Miller‘s work on these Iron Man Advertorials? Do you think the MCU should have hired him for one of their movies before he signed on to make Deadpool? Chime in with your thoughts below.