Bring­ing leg­ends to life

> A Mar­vel in­sider shares what goes on be­hind the scenes when tak­ing char­ac­ters from the pages of comic books to the sil­ver screen

The Sun (Malaysia) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

busi­ness de­vel­op­ment & brand man­age­ment at Mar­vel.

Ce­bul­ski has worked for the com­pany since 2002 in var­i­ous roles, in­clud­ing ed­i­tor, writer and se­nior vice pres­i­dent of cre­ative and cre­ator de­vel­op­ment.

He cur­rently spear­heads ef­forts to fur­ther man­age and de­velop Mar­vel’s brand in Asia.

When asked if superhero fa­tigue has set in among au­di­ences dur­ing a re­cent tele-con­fer­ence in­ter­view, Ce­bul­ski said: “No, I don’t think so. [But] I would be ly­ing if I say that we are un­aware of that feel­ing.

“In Mar­vel, we never look at things [go­ing on around us]. We don’t fo­cus on what our com­peti­tors are do­ing. We just fo­cus on our fu­ture.

“We have a his­tory of pro­duc­ing great con­tent. Great char­ac­ters which we have, and great cre­ators which we hire, equals great con­tent. We stick to that for­mula and we will be suc­cess­ful.

“It has worked for us for over 75 years with comics, and it has worked well for us for over 10 years [with films].

“The way I look at Mar­vel movies is that they may be superhero films, but in many ways, they are also genre films.

“You have Cap­tain Amer­ica: Win­ter Sol­dier which is a spy thriller, and Guardians of the Galaxy which is a sci-fi movie, and you have Ant-Man which is a ro­man­tic-com­edy and fam­ily film, and you have Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War which was a true superhero block­buster.

“The movie is not al­ways about the superhero. Just like in the comic books, it is about the hu­man spirit.”

What about the fact that Dr Strange is not as fa­mil­iar as other iconic Mar­vel char­ac­ters?

“Well, we have Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, so that helps!” Ce­bul­ski laughed. “His pop­u­lar­ity can­not be de­nied.”

Still gung ho about the superhero fran­chise for Mar­vel, Ce­bul­ski added: “[Mar­vel Stu­dios pres­i­dent] Kevin Feige and his team have done a fine job of tak­ing the Mar­vel char­ac­ters and boil­ing them down, find­ing their ori­gin story, and find­ing that hu­man­ity that peo­ple can re­late to.

“Peo­ple for­get that Iron Man wasn’t one of our most pop­u­lar char­ac­ters in the early 2000s. But just by choos­ing a great direc­tor, a good ac­tor and a good cast, and telling a story with heart that peo­ple can re­late to – that was the [foun­da­tion] that Kevin and his peo­ple [set].”

Ce­bul­ski said that peo­ple were also scep­ti­cal when Mar­vel wanted to make Guardians of the Galaxy.

“They asked: ‘You want to make a movie about a racoon and a tree?’ But it was one of the big­gest block­busters of that year.

“We are do­ing the same thing with Dr Strange. Ad­mit­tedly even in the comic books, he has been a bit of a back­ground char­ac­ter.

“Now we are putting him in the fore­front. [We] are pulling ev­ery­thing out of Dr Strange to break him down and then build him back up for movie au­di­ences.

“Dr Strange may be dif­fer­ent in the be­gin­ning but he will find peace, and the in­ner hero within him­self to make him a bet­ter per­son.

“It is this jour­ney that will ap­peal to au­di­ences, and they will see he [is] an im­por­tant hero in the Mar­vel uni­verse.”

(top) Ce­bul­ski … still gung ho about Mar­vel’s superhero fran­chise with such movies as (from far left) Dr Strange; Guardians of the Galaxy; and Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War.

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