Stephen Colbert and George Lucas are sitting opposite each other having an intense conversation. The setting is the Tribeca Film Festival. The topic is Howard the Duck. "You can’t put a dwarf in a duck suit and make it work," Lucas said. The technology, he explained just wasn’t up to snuff at the time of the 1986 original. However, with the current advances in technology, the executive producer of Howard the Duck believes Marvel is going to bring back this property and do it right.
As he told Colbert,
Technically, Howard the Duck has already been introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. James Gunn unveiled a CGI version of the character in the post-credits scene in Guardians of the Galaxy. As Benicio Del Toro’s The Collector sits and sulks on top of the ruins of his once famous collection of intergalactic items and species, he looks over to scowl at Howard the Duck sipping a cocktail.
The question every Marvelite probably thought at one point or another was, "Is this Marvel’s way of announcing future movie plans for the character?" Those suspicions were put to rest when Marvel announced a new comic series for Howard. Gunn even revealed during press rounds for the film that he tossed a number of ideas around for the post-credits scene until one of the film’s editors, Fred Raskin, suggested doing a Howard the Duck cameo. Thinking it was a hilarious addition to an already hilarious film, they pitched it to Kevin Feige, and the rest is history. Lucas, however, thinks there’s more to it than that.
He pointed out that, with the original, he didn’t believe the character could receive a proper film adaptation with the current state of technology. Earlier in the conversation, he remarked, "The thing about art is that it’s based on technology." And he echoed these sentiments in speaking about Howard the Duck. "They said it couldn’t be done, and they were right," he joked.
Now, though, the game has changed. CGI and digital technology lowers the price in most respects, compared to practical effects. More importantly, these developments allow special effects artists to essentially create whatever they want. As he said, "When you have a digital duck, you can do anything."
Marvel already has a busy slate on the docket for Phase 3. After Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War will herald in the arrivals of solo films for Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and The Inhumans, all leading up to the two-part Avengers: Infinity War. A film for Howard the Duck, of all characters, doesn't fit into this universe so well. But perhaps afterwards, when the hype of the MCU has concluded, this could be a possibility.
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