Why comic book writer Mark Millar believes he can compete with Marvel Studios


marvel ultimates

From Marvel's "Ultimates" by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch.

It's obvious the Marvel universe has been engulfing our moviegoing experience. The latest film from Marvel Studios, "Avengers: Age of Ultron," has made over $1.3 billion worldwide, and it seems they aren't slowing down with titles like "Ant-Man" and "Captain America: Civil War" on the horizon.

But Mark Millar - who is responsible for penning the comics based on hit films "Wanted," "Kick-Ass," "Kingsman: The Secret Service" (out on Blu-ray/DVD June 9), and a creative consultant at Fox for their slate of comic adaptations - isn't concerned.

In fact, he calls Marvel's climb to greatness in the last few years "inspiring."

"I started at Marvel December of 2000," said Millar, who at the time was working on the "Ultimate X-Men" comic, among others. "When I came in the company was literally coming out of bankruptcy and it was a mess. But that's a very good time to come into a company because they want to take risks and what I realized is I saw something built from nothing."

fantastic four

20th Century Fox

Millar hopes to use that pull-up-from-the-bootstrap mentality to get his comic adaptations like "Nemesis," "War Heroes," and "Chrononauts" off the ground at various studios. As well as the comic adaptations at Fox he's consulting on the upcoming "Fantastic Four," "Deadpool," and "X-Men: Apocalypse." (Yes, these are all Marvel properties. Why does Fox have the rights to use them and not Marvel Studios? It's a bit complicated, but here's a chart that explains which studios own Marvel characters.)

"My plan is to really have a very diverse range of franchises, whether it's spy movies or superheroes or science fiction or horror," he said. "My plan is to have 25 of these franchises over the next five to ten years."

Mark Millar Headshot


That may sound like a lot of comic book adaptations, but the way Millar sees it, Marvel hasn't monopolized the market. Instead, it has caused audiences to have such an appetite for comic book adaptations that there's a need for more.

"Comics are kind of like novels now where they will always be adapted," he said. "The superhero thing may burn out in five years time and come back again later. But what's nice now is that comics can be about anything and feel like their own thing. The weird thing is back in 2004 when I sold the rights to 'Wanted' I remember the guys at Universal saying they felt this whole superhero movie thing could go bust and weirdly it has just kept going and going. It's a very exciting time."

NOW WATCH: Here's what 'Game of Thrones' stars look like in real life