The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of those behemoths that many directors get to make their mark on, while at the same time making bank and sprucing up their resume. However, that's only if you can handle the restrictions and guidelines that come with the keys to the MCU's sprawling universe. For Fede Alvarez, the director of the Evil Dead remake, and this summer's Don't Breathe, the freedom of making smaller scale films is just too good for him to ever trade it in for something as narrow as a Marvel film.
Alvarez had a conversation recently with Screen Rant, in which he discussed the fact that he was approached to direct a Marvel Studios film himself, more than likely due to his success with Evil Dead back in 2013. However, he passed up the chance to make said unspecified film, and justified his reasoning with the following rationale:
A lot of those movies are cool and audiences are going and watching them. It's just as a director it's harder to have your vision in those, if you go and do a Marvel movie... At some point we were in conversations and... they already figured it out. They've figured out the style. They've figured out the way they shoot them. They've figured out the colors, the humor. What would I do? I enjoy a lot more freedom than that. I don't know. Eventually I might. And it depends on probably the characters in the stories. But just something about my job as a director that I really enjoy is creating my own thing. It's trying to do my own style when I shoot it and set the tone myself... Evil Dead was a challenge in that aspect.
Once you get past the thoughts of how cool it must be to work for Marvel Studios and become a part of their daily workings, the criticisms that Alvarez has raised are quite valid. For every story about how The Russo Brothers loved working on Captain America: Civil War, there's always a story about how Patty Jenkins quit Thor: The Dark World, or how Edgar Wright had Ant-Man re-written behind his back, to cancel it out. You don't get to have a big ticket franchise that works as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe without a plan, and a structure that guides that plan to fruition.
Now it's a little difficult to try and figure out which Marvel Cinematic Universe entry that Fede Alvarez was being offered, but if we were to guess, based on the quote above and the time frame the offer was assumed to go out, we'd say Ant-Man was it. The specific mentions of the colors and humor involved in the film-making process, as well as the fact that Evil Dead was released in 2013, have us theorizing that Alvarez had the opportunity to replace Edgar Wright when he exited the complicated film.
To make a Marvel Studios film requires the ability to not only make a fantastic movie, but to do so in a way that fits with the Marvel Studios brand. While it's still an honor to be invited to do so, it isn't a canvas that allows a lot of personal freedoms when it comes to the interpretation of the stories at hand. So while Fede Alvarez is perfectly at home delivering a horror-thriller like Don't Breathe, don't expect his name to come up on any shortlists over at Marvel Studios any time soon.
Which would be perfectly fine with us, as the world can always use another unique storytelling voice able to tell a story as out there as Don't Breathe. We look forward to catching that film in theaters, when it's released on August 26th.