Prior to Avengers: Infinity War dominating theaters in 2018, Jim Starlin, who was responsible for the Infinity War comic series, had doubts about how the film would play out thanks to the disappointment of the Justice League a year earlier. That movie ended up being a mishmash of two different visions which resulted in a lukewarm reception from critics and fans, and four years later saw original director Zack Snyder given free rein to restore his original plan to full glory. As it turned out, any such fears about Infinity War need not have worried anyone, but Starlin told ComicBook.com that he had no way of telling which way the movie would go before it hit cinemas.
“I did have a few bad moments just before the Infinity War [release],” Jim Starlin said. “I had been down to the set for the cameo shoot, and had sat and talked with the two screen writers, Markus and McFeely and quite a bit with Joe Russo. In Infinity War, they had had a half hour that they had to cut which was going to be Thanos’s back story.”
“There was going to be a half hour without the Avengers, apparently. So, I thought, ‘That’s pretty cool.’ Then I was on a plane and I watched the Justice League movie, and they just sort of threw Steppenwolf in there at the end, and he does his thing. All in all, it was kind of a bad movie. So about a month or so before the Infinity War came out Russo said… Let me know that they had to cut the half hour of Thanos. All I could think of was, ‘Oh my god, that’s going to make it into the Justice League movie.’”
The idea of his creation being ruined led him to compare it to another DC outing, the 60s Batman TV series, which gave the public a certain perception of the character until Tim Burton brought his version of the Dark Knight to cinemas almost three decades later.
“I suddenly had Bob Kane on my mind all the time, because back in the ’60s they did this really bad Batman,” Starlin explained. “It was very campy. It was the antithesis of what Bob had created. But he was getting a piece of it, with his residuals with all the Batman stuff. He had made a pretty good deal that others hadn’t, so I imagined him having to go on interviews and saying, ‘I love it.’ I thought, ‘I’m going to be in the same damn position. I’m going to have to go the interviews and go, Oh yeah, I love it. It’s great. That’s terrific. Then the heart going, Oh, it’s a piece of sh-t!’ So I’m in line for the premiere and going in there and practicing, ‘I love it. I love it. I love it.’ Three minutes into the movie, even before the Hulk shows up, I’m going, ‘Hey, I’m not going to have any trouble with this at all. This is going to be one that I’m going to easily say I love it, and mean it.’ It has held true. I have been the luckiest cartoonist out there. Three, four times up to bat, if you include the Infinity Gauntlet, and they’ve hit it out of the park with my characters every time.”
It is hard to believe now that there could ever have been any doubt about the success of Infinity War, and in fact any of the Marvel Studio movies of the last decade. With Marvel TV shows dominating Disney+ viewing figures and Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe almost upon us, it is unlikely that the original creators of future Marvel comic arc adaptations will have similar fears. This news first appeared at ComicBook.com.
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