Since becoming a member of Marvel Studios all the way in which again in Part One, Andy Park has been part of the crew that brings the Marvel Cinematic Universe to life. A veteran of the comics and online game industries, Park has spent the final decade among the many ranks of Marvel Studios’ artwork crew, serving to outline the appears for a number of the twenty first century’s most generally seen and influential movie collection.
As Part 4 wraps up and the superhero universe costs forward in direction of the subsequent installments within the Avengers franchise, Park’s designs proceed to set the stage for the universe — most just lately when his idea artwork for the upcoming Thunderbolts confirmed the movie’s solid. Throughout an interview with CBR to commemorate Thor: Love and Thunder’s launch on DVD and Blu-Ray on Sept. 27, Marvel Studios Director of Visible Improvement Andy Park sat down to debate his historical past with the studio. He dove into balancing the comedian artwork that evokes movies with the visions of the quite a few filmmakers who’ve labored throughout the MCU and what he believes is the true secret to the MCU’s success.
CBR: Andy, you have been part of the MCU for thus lengthy now. What has it been like, out of your perspective, seeing this studio develop so far as it has?
Andy Park: It is [wild]. I have been right here for 12 and a half years. The primary movie I did for Marvel Studios was Captain America: The First Avenger, and I did a bit of bit on Thor. I grew up within the Eighties studying Marvel comedian books nearly solely. Then I bear in mind watching, simply as a fan within the theaters, watching the primary Iron Man movie. From there, that was the profession objective. I wished to work on Marvel movies. I did not anticipate that I would get to work on it so quickly after I watched Iron Man, simply two years later.
On the time I received employed, [it was] particularly to start out engaged on Avengers, however that was such an experiment. Can you could have a film with seven important characters? It appeared unattainable, proper? It appears humorous to say that now, but when that one fails, then I’d [have] needed to search for one other job, however that one blew up. It was one of many highest-grossing films of all time. 12 years later, we’re right here with Avengers: Endgame and nearly 30 tasks out… I’d by no means have guessed it.
Alongside the road, you had been at all times sort of like, “Okay, that is the place it is gonna finish.” Like, Ant-Man, I used to be like that most likely has received to be the top of the street, or once they introduced Guardians of the Galaxy — you realize, nobody is aware of or cares in regards to the Guardians. Then it got here out, and it blew up and so forth and so forth. So yeah, it has been superb. It has been superb. I am nonetheless pinching myself on daily basis that I get to work right here and contribute.
You take a look at the Avengers and all their disparate parts unified in a single crew, and also you take a look at your paintings for Thunderbolts that was unveiled at D23 — how do you discover the steadiness between unifying distinctive characters from completely different corners however have them nonetheless gel inside this shared universe visually?
Yeah, I imply, I feel we had been speaking about that with my different visible growth artists. I have been right here for over a decade, and there is not been a day that I have been bored. All throughout the board, all of the artists say the identical factor, versus… I used to work in video video games on the God of Struggle collection, which was a lot enjoyable, however I used to be there for 5 years engaged on Greek mythology. By the third yr, I used to be like, “Oh my gosh, I want to attract one thing else.” As an artist, you want selection. That is why I’ve by no means been bored right here. That is why we have by no means been bored right here.
Despite the fact that we’re within the superhero style, just about what Marvel is doing is that they’re doing each completely different kind of style. It simply occurs to be superhero characters. That is their sort of philosophy and their considering, and I feel that speaks to their success. That is why it is a lot enjoyable as a result of you may have so many disparate characters which are… Thor becoming a member of in with the Guardians of the Galaxy or Captain America, however therein lies the enjoyable once they be a part of up. While you noticed Scott Lang meet Captain America, after which you could have that enjoyable second.
[Audiences] did not understand how a lot we wanted that, and that is what the primary Avengers introduced us. So many disparate characters that had been like, how can a god like Thor exist with somebody like Tony Stark, who was so science-based? Then you definitely see it, and you are like, “Oh, my gosh, that is sort of superb.” Then, after all, Endgame. Then the long run is vibrant. This final section, we’re introducing so many new characters, and I am positive, at some point, we’re gonna see them work together with one another once more, so therein lies the enjoyable.
You and your crew have an apparently complicated problem when creating the visuals for a few of these movies, particularly those which are pulling from particular comics and panels. You are, in essence, facilitating a director’s interpretation of an artist’s conception. How do you discover the steadiness between the supply materials and the director’s explicit imaginative and prescient?
That is the problem of the job as a result of we’re making an attempt to fulfill all of these checkboxes, proper? The very first thing we’re at all times going to do is go to the supply materials, take a look at the a long time and a long time of inspiration from all the artists, from the creators of those characters. So lots of them, from Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, however then there’s plenty of fashionable interpretation for contemporary artists. So we’re gonna at all times look there, however we’re not simply decoding that and making it lifelike. Then we take a look at the script. We take a look at the story. Now we have conversations with the filmmakers, from the producers to the administrators and the writers.
Our important job is to interpret that story, take a look at the inspiration — how will we meld these issues? Inside that, there’s a wide range from one thing that is very comedian correct, sort of one-to-one, to one thing that is generally very removed from the comics. There’s at all times gonna be nods to the comedian, however it will possibly get fairly far. So we do all of that, between myself and all of the visible growth artists. It is as much as the administrators and the producers and the filmmakers to resolve the place on the size do they wish to go. So there are occasions once they decide one thing that is very comedian correct, however there’s additionally instances once they’ve gone all the way in which farther away. In order that’s our job, to present them these choices for the place they land, after which from there, they may say, “Oh, you sort of like this from right here, properly, right here.”
Then we sort of fine-tune and fine-tune. In order that’s why to get one character design that you simply see on display screen, just below design sense, it often takes at the least a month, however it often takes months, only for that design. Then the costume designer has to go and make it for actual. There’s that entire factor in itself, with plenty of collaboration and determining methods to get that to look good on an actual individual.
Now, I’ve received to convey it up — I’m so excited to see Blade and to see how Blade works inside this universe. As not solely a Marvel artistic however a Marvel fan your self, what’s it wish to play with these distinctive corners of the universe and discover methods to suit vampires into the shared universe?
Yeah, I feel that is… why we have been right here for thus lengthy, and why we’re by no means bored, and that there is not a day that goes by that we’re bored right here as a result of we get to only play with all of the completely different genres. There’s so many instances when Kevin Feige or the producers come to us and say, “We’ll be introducing this character or this no matter to this movie or this storyline,” and there is at all times that preliminary response you could have of, “Oh, I love that, however how is that gonna work?”
You at all times have that second. “How’s Guardians of the Galaxy gonna work?” You talked about how Blade was going [to] work on this world that we have created this MCU. Clearly, I am not going to let you know how it should work, however that is the historical past of Marvel Studios — in all these films and Disney+ reveals at this level, we have sort of gotten to a spot the place you sort of can do something, proper? There is a method — there is a logic that may make [anything] work. I feel that is the code that Kevin Feige has actually cracked as a result of up to now, [it] has at all times been… You are able to do like an X-Males movie, like what Fox has executed, however that is by itself. Then you are able to do the Spider-Man movie, however it’s by itself. However nobody actually tried to attempt to merge these two issues.
That is what Marvel has been doing since 2008. So I am excited to see how they are going to convey that different nook in. Each film that comes out, you are including one other nook to the world that’s the MCU. So we received the cosmic, we received the bottom stage, we’re including so many issues. Now we have the multiverse. We’ll be getting [Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania]. So there’s like simply including corners in all places to get a full image of what’s this world, [what] is MCU. It is precisely what the comics wish to do. You will have all these completely different storylines which are very completely different. The Iron Man story may be very completely different than, like, a cosmic story. They’re nonetheless all in the identical universe. So we’re simply doing that.
Catch Andy Park’s work in Thor: Love and Thunder, accessible now on DVD and Blu-Ray.