Louis Leterrier: “In the beginning at Marvel Studios, there was Jon Favreau, Edgar Wright and me”

Louis Leterrier:
Marvel Studios/Abaca

The director of The Incredible Hulk recounts in Première the birth of the MCU.

Back on Netflix from May 6 thanks to Far from the ring roadFollowing the other side of the ring-road‘ with Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte, Louis Leterrier gave a long interview to First to talk about his busy career. At 48, the French director has built it mainly internationally, just as comfortable at the controls of blockbusters (The Transporter, Elusive) than to the staging of series (Dark Crystal, Lupine). They tell us in particular about their experience at Marvel, during the production of The Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton, when Kevin Feige’s MCU was in its infancy. At the same time, Jon Favreau, aka Happy Hogan, was preparing the first Iron Manand Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) was planing on Ant Manwhich he eventually abandoned.

Summary of Premiere n°529: The Three Musketeers, Eva Green, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Doctor Strange 2, Robert Eggers…

Was it this lack of interest in tapes that prompted you to leave EuropaCorp, when you could have made films there for twenty years?

If I had stayed there, I probably would have done that yes, Taken 3 and The Transporter 5… I was very happy to do these kinds of films at one point, but that wasn’t what really interested me. I was 26, I was learning the trade… One fine day, I started looking for an agent in France to find me other projects, but no one wanted to represent me. I discovered that when you are at Besson, everyone avoids you. It woke me up a bit and I said to myself that I had to go to where the cinema I loved was being made. So I went to the States to see the Marvel people and ask them if they would be interested in starting a studio. It was the beginnings of the MCU… And for me, it was suddenly an opportunity to get out of a system – even though I got along very well with Luc and the people of Europa… I so do my Hulk there, my first American film… These days, a director of superhero films can only deal with comedy scenes. A second team focuses on the action while another handles the special effects. And even if in the end you supervise the whole thing, it’s not really the same. Me at the time, I did everything, action, comedy, scenes with special effects. Old fashioned.

You really contributed to the launch of the Marvel studio?

Yes yes. Basically, in the creative office, there was Jon Favreau, Edgar Wright and me. It was really the three of us, in a very small work room. We were even all present together at Comic-Con to announce the thing and the room, already not very big, was only half full. Kevin Feige was already around but, at the time, he was simply Avi Arad’s right-hand man [fondateur de Marvel Studios]. Marvel Studios was an SME.

They called you back afterwards Hulk ?

Yes, we saw each other often afterwards. We discussed together Guardians of the Galaxy. They offered me Thor also… It’s been a long time since we spoke with the people of Marvel, but we exchanged regularly. I like to keep in touch and, to tell the truth, I have no enemies in this environment. Even at Sony after the case Grimsby, I haven’t developed any enmity with anyone… And that’s also why I come back to shoot in France: I’m always keen to broaden my horizons. I want to make French films, American films, English films… I’m shooting in Chicago, then I’m going to do a project in Africa. I walk what.

The full interview with Louis Leterrier can be found on newsstands or in our online store.

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