Tony Scott to direct NEMESIS for Fox

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2010080713071 Tony Scott to direct NEMESIS for Fox

You could learn a lot from Mark Millar. Seriously. Not content to let his movie option deal announcement go live and get covered everywhere, he got a full three days of publicity out of it! And made such a big deal of it that Bleeding Cool literally wouldn’t sleep until they scooped Deadline on the news — which everyone we talked to seems to have known for days. So a big deal becomes a Bigger Deal. That is how you market it, Mark Millar, and we salute you.

Anyway the actual news is that Fox has purchased NEMESIS, by Millar and Steve McNiven, as a directing vehicle for Tony Scott — director of things like TOP GUN and TRUE ROMANCE — with Scott Free set to produce.

You know, here’s another way Mark Millar is smart. With two books he owned made into DVD staple movies, he knows sticking with full ownership is the only way to fly. NEMESIS came out via Icon, Marvel’s imprint for important people. This story of a reverse Batman — a vigilante billionaire who sets out to avenge his parents against the cop who put them away — doesn’t sound all that different from tons of other comic book superhero twists, but it’s just the way he sold it. Or as one pal of ours put it,” Mark Millar is the Stan Lee of today.”

201008071307 Tony Scott to direct NEMESIS for Fox
Millar delivers his “couldn’t be happier” speech on his message board:

Bryan Hitch and I would reference Tony on a weekly basis when we were doing The Ultimates. Our dream was an Ultimates movie with Scott directing because he can do the character work and the intensity, but also handle scale and action like practically no other. The idea of a him helming a superhero movie had us giddy and here he is directing the one Steve McNiven and I created. We found out last Friday night and managed to keep a secret from all but a few of our closest friends and family. But this is the call I had a couple of weeks back, which I described as the most exciting of my career; Tony on the blower chatting about how he wanted to shoot certain scenes if we gave him the rights. He was buzzing about it, describing Steve as the best comic book artist he’s seen in over twenty years. We talked casting, we talked budget (and we’re talking way more than Wanted and Kick-Ass put together here in terms of money for him to play with) and we talked with Fox about making this into a major franchise, something they’re really going to invest their time and energy into.

As you can imagine, I’m more than excited. Steve is delirious and this puts our books instantly in an entirely different league in Hollywood terms.


Mark Millar, winner of the week.

Comments

  1. Odds on the movie being out before the 4 issue mini actually finishes?

    He was already cutting it WAY too close with Kick Ass.

  2. Some of the best stories ever published are the ones that everyone knew – but noone wrote down.

    Hell, gravity was around ages before Newton. As Douglas Adams writes “it even works on weekends”

  3. Synsidar says:

    Millar deserves credit for self-marketing skills, but is what he’s producing worth marketing to anyone?

    The premise of NEMESIS — an evil Batman — is so simple that it discourages someone wanting complexity from seeing or reading it. And by basing the idea on Batman, he focuses unfavorable attention on the hero: “Nemesis is psychotic and evil, and if he’s Batman in reverse — then Batman is psychotic and good! Hey, neat!” Neat to people who don’t mind having characters described completely.

    Douglas Wolk, reviewing NEMESIS #1, identified it as a movie pitch in the form of a comic book. I wonder if he predicted how soon NEMESIS would become a movie project.

    I don’t begrudge Millar the money, but art isn’t about making money.

    SRS

  4. Tom Spurgeon says:

    Scott is always developing a ton of properties and I don’t think he’s cracked into blockbuster territory as a director since 1998. If the film turns out to be really good, that’s one thing, and Scott can be an excellent director, but it’s ridiculous to pretend this is huge news and everyone should know better. Mark should give anyone who puts this kind of bullshit on their site a cut of his profits.

    The only three lessons that Mark Millar teaches is that 1) he’s hilarious, 2) don’t ever take him seriously, 3) the vast majority of people that cover the film and comics to film industries have an endless appetite for regurgitating nonsense and this can be worked to your advantage.

    I look forward to Mark Millar being declared the week’s winner six months from now when he goes on a two-week hunger strike before announcing that Nemesis has cast the only actor he’s ever seen in the role: Christian Slater.

  5. I’d be curious if, given that he “would reference Tony [Scott] on a weekly basis” when working on THE ULTIMATES if anyone can find a single reference to Millar’s admiration of Scott’s oeuvre anywhere in his public statements prior to yesterday.

    And am I the only one who keeps tripping over “Scott Free set to produce”? I keep getting this mental picture of Mister Miracle, Big Barda and Oberon on the movie set, the Female Furies crashing the set, etc.

  6. “I don’t begrudge Millar the money, but art isn’t about making money.”

    Who said he’s out to make art? Mark Millar has always been about sniffing up as much Hollywood scratch as his figurative sinus cavity can hold.

  7. briguyx says:

    In case you didn’t know, Scott Free is a company, not a person.

    I don’t know about “Nemesis” as a franchise though. Can the big bad villain keep on coming back? A lot rides on how the mini-series ends…

  8. Scott Free is a company. And yet I too see Darkseid in a corner office of a rival studio looking backed by the Furies to take out production.

    Millar is about movie money and self-promotion first. He always has been and he always will be. Anything else after the fact, like making art, is chicken scratch.

    Lance Roger Axt
    The AudioComics Company

  9. Oh, and I almost forgot: movie money, self promotion and using the “c” word every chance he gets. Those wacky Scotsmen!

    Lance Roger Axt
    The AudioComics Company

  10. “Millar is about movie money and self-promotion first. He always has been and he always will be. Anything else after the fact, like making art, is chicken scratch.”

    You know, I met the man and had the pleasure of talking to him when he was writing Superman Adventures and stuff for 2000 AD. I’ve also been reading his work ever since, and I can tell you the man IS an artists. He went many years being disrespected and going hungry to do what he loves, which is telling GREAT stories, with no promise of success anywhere in sight for the longest time. If the man wants to say crazy shit and make some money then more power to him. He earned it, and his work has not suffered for it, only gotten better. I’m only sorry to see just how many people’s heads that has gone over.

  11. ” Mark Millar teaches is that 1) he’s hilarious, 2) don’t ever take him seriously,”

    Millar has a sense of humor. The fanboys who read his work don’t. It’s that simple…

    No, you know what? Millar has become very hit and miss. He has good concepts but his execution falters midway through some of his work. Then there are things I wish he never wrote. Take his Wolverine run, for example. That’s like one of the most uninspired runs I’ve ever seen by him. Millar can do good work but only when he’s working on characters he’s passionate about. It’s really obvious when he’s doing something for a paycheck.

    SRS: Professional Art is absolutely about making money. Millar has set the golden standard for how to do market one’s work. Try not to begrude his success because of some preconceived notions that artists aren’t suppose to be good at selling their work. If you’re going to be a critic, critique the actual work, like I did. Yes, a lot of Millar’s independent work is made to be developed for film. That’s his business model. He’s made no secret of that.

  12. Millar’s a genius marketing guy, no doubt about it. Now what was it Bill Hicks said about people in marketing and advertising…?

    ;)

  13. Joe S. Walker says:

    This post is simply a piece of moral cowardice. And how did Kick-Ass become a “staple DVD movie” when it hasn’t yet been put out on DVD?

  14. >>This story of a reverse Batman…doesn’t sound all that different from tons of other comic book superhero twists, but it’s just the way he sold it. Or as one pal of ours put it,” Mark Millar is the Stan Lee of today.”

    That suggests the only thing that made Stan Lee notable was how he promoted his comics. Not what I’d call a great observation.

  15. Not a fan. His work is contrived, not original — a tweaked retread of someone else’s creativity — and screams of marketing ploy.

    Sorry. Pass.

  16. Joe S. Walker, you’ve turned into an insulting wingding of late. Let’s take a time-out.

  17. I feel I should point out to those who make the “no original ideas” argument, that there are no original ideas, anymore. There haven’t been since the days of Aristotle. There are only artists who speak their minds though these ideas. Some do it better than others. The ones with more interesting points of view stand out, like Mark Millar. If you don’t like his point of view, focus on something you do like. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my experiences in the world of entertainment and fandom (and my own brief bouts of insanity… and you know what I mean Heidi) it’s that whether you focus on what you like or what you don’t like, that’s what you’re going to get. If you don’t like Millar, go somewhere where you can talk about what you do like.

  18. Tom Spurgeon says:

    Can someone please post what opinions we can and can’t have/express higher in the thread next time? Or in the actual post? I feel stupid for not following the rules.

  19. Just be yourself Tom, you’re doing fine. I’m available for hugs if you need one. ;o)

  20. Synsidar says:

    How many types of writing are there? There are writing to impress, writing to manipulate, writing to pander, writing to entertain, and writing to express a point of view. An artist’s writing combines aspects of entertainment, intellect, and point of view. A non-artist writes to manipulate and to pander. Pushing buttons is manipulation, pandering, or both. An artist exploits the strengths of the format he’s working in. A non-artist who’s only seeking to provoke reactions produces material that has no strengths in any format.

    Writing to impress and writing to entertain aren’t mutually exclusive goals, but someone who writes for a literary magazine isn’t writing for the same audience as someone who writes a mystery. IMO, writing to entertain assumes that the writer wants to display some creativity and originality, because using a formula that’s been used countless times before doesn’t entertain people who are tired of seeing it, and certainly doesn’t impress anyone.

    What types of writing does Millar employ?

    SRS

  21. Lilian Sarah says:

    “He went many years being disrespected and going hungry to do what he loves, which is telling GREAT stories, with no promise of success anywhere in sight for the longest time.”

    bwahahahahahahahaha

    GREAT stories

    bwahahahahahahahaha

  22. Genius Jones says:

    “Some of the best stories ever published are the ones that everyone knew – but noone wrote down.”

    While that can be true, DC has been telling the “What If Batman Was Evil?” story for half of a century; they just call him Owlman instead of Nemesis.

  23. Lilian, go read his River Run arc on Swamp Thing.

  24. Genius, I was referring to Heidi’s comment “which everyone we talked to seems to have known for days.”

  25. Genius Jones says:

    Ah, okay. I misinterpreted that.

  26. Kevin Hynes says:

    More power to him, why not? Millar is hit and miss with me, but a Tony Scott superhero flick (complete with his brand of action and smoke filled rooms) sounds like it could be at least fun.

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