It's well-known how much some comic fans can be sticklers when it comes to film adaptations of their favorite comics. There's a vocal contingent of folks that demand 100% faithfulness when studios try to bring beloved storylines to the big screen. Of course, with modern rights contracts, this can often pose a bit of an issue. In the most immediate sense, we can see this with Marvel Studios' forthcoming "Captain America: Civil War" and Fox's planned "Wolverine 3" films.
"Civil War" shares a title and general plot with Mark Millar's classic 2006-2007 crossover series, while rumors persist that "Wolverine 3" will be loosely based on Millar's "Old Man Logan". (Even though the "Old Man Logan" rumors have apparently been debunked, it's hard to get over Hugh Jackman's Comic-Con announcement.) The problem is that the former heavily features The Fantastic Four, whom Fox currently owns the film rights too, while the latter sees an aged Wolverine traveling cross-country with a blind Hawkeye, battling Red Skull and the Hulk, all of whom fall under Marvel Studio's banner. But as Millar himself said in a new interview with IGN, (via ComicBook), this isn't necessarily an issue.
"The important thing really is the superhero registration act," Millar said regarding "Civil War." "It's nothing to do with secret identities. Weirdly, people get hung up on secret identities but as I was writing that book, I was thinking about superheroes having to expose their identities as they all get brought under government registration. And I said to Marvel, 'Who's got a secret identity?' They said, 'No one. There's basically Spider-Man and that's about it.' Even Daredevil had given up his secret identity. So I made it about something else, and what it's about is that Iron Man feels that anyone who's walking around with a nuclear reactor on their back, or whatever all these superheroes have, they should be working for the government in some way."
He went on, "And it's sensible when you think about it, it totally makes sense. You have a license, you make sure this guy's okay, he doesn't have a criminal record and all this stuff. And it's sensible that Captain America is against it because he comes from a simpler time and he thinks superheroes should be autonomous and not be involved in politics. So it's an ideological argument between the two. That's all that matters; that's all that 'Civil War' is."
He also added that having the number of characters featured in the comic appear on screen could get overwhelming for casual movie goers. "They can handle maybe eight characters, 10 characters on screen. 'Avengers 2' almost had that problem where there were so many characters it was hard to keep up. So if you have 30 characters fighting, people are gonna get lost."
Elsewhere in the sit-down, Millar addressed the third Wolverine film, though he stopped short of confirming that it would indeed be based on "Old Man Logan." He did say, however, that characters like Hawkeye, Hulk, and Red Skull are "not important to the story... Basically Wolverine doing the road movie is the important thing and he has a friend with him. But that friend could be Cyclops and he could be blind by the fact that his ruby-quartz visor is broken and he has to keep his eyes closed the whole time and everything, but still insists on driving the car they're crossing America with. There's lots of stuff. Instead of the Hulk, you could have the Blob or something."
He said he sees how in a cinematic universe, keeping it within the X-Men universe makes a lot of sense. "Comic fans are different from the mainstream world. I know this stuff backwards because I've lived my whole life loving this stuff, but most people don't know all the minutia and everything so I think keeping it simplified and keeping it generally X-Men universe is a smarter thing to do cinematically."
We'll see if the studios can faithfully pull off these comic-to-screen transfers when "Captain America: Civil War" opens on May 6, 2016, and whatever "Wolverine 3" becomes bows on March 3, 2017.