Marvel needs to let Mel Gibson direct Iron Man 4
Marvel doesn’t really need any help or advice. They probably have the most duplicated franchise model in Hollywood with every series from Jack Ryan to Jason Bourne trying to copy what they did with their superheroes. But if they have one area they need to do something different with, it’s Iron Man, and not because the franchise is flailing, but because it’s their longest running franchise and when you get to the fourth film in a franchise, you have to do something different and breathe new life into it.
That’s where Mel Gibson comes in. So let’s address the elephant in the room when it comes to Mel Gibson; in the past, he has sometimes been a bigoted, anti-Semitic drunk that likes to bash people in Hollywood. Not exactly a great career path for someone that actually works in Hollywood. But would you say his past transgressions are worse than having a massive drug addiction? There’s no excuse for hate, especially these days, but I’d like to think there is a place for forgiveness and Mel Gibson has done his time on the outside of Hollywood for a several years now. So let’s move past his stupid comments and give him another shot.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s get back to Iron Man. Mel Gibson would be incredible behind the camera of a major blockbuster. We all know how great BRAVEHEART is, but his resume runs deeper than that. THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE was his first outing as a director and that showed some sentimentality and heart, even if it had some other problems. He followed that up with BRAVEHEART, then did THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST and regardless of your religious views, Passion was an extremely well directed film that made a story everyone knew intense and suspenseful. But the best example of why he’d work well with a Marvel film is actually APOCALYPTO. His weirdest endeavor actually shows his ability to mix action, intrigue and passion, all within a very specific setting. That’s something that would serve him well in the Marvel universe. Love him or hate him, forgive him or not, Mel Gibson is an extremely talented director with a great vision. That’s something the Marvel universe needs.
The other reason to give Mel Gibson a chance is Robert Downey Jr. Downey has been very vocal about wanting to help out Mel Gibson and in an interview with Deadline, he was asked about the prospect of Mel directing IRON MAN 4 and he said “Why not, that movie would be bananas”. And yeah, that’s a throw away line that you shouldn’t read too much into, but it’s also a sign that Downey would be more into doing another Iron Man movie if Mel were involved. And for those that don’t remember, Downey won the American Cinematheque Award in 2011 and chose Mel Gibson to present it. During that acceptance Downey turned to the audience and told them “you should forgive him and let him work…”, sandwiched between pleas for forgiveness and understanding. Basically, the two are friends and have been since AIR AMERICA, so the two of them working together just makes sense.
Although it’s true that Robert Downey Jr. has not signed on for IRON MAN 4 and has been coy about the prospect in interviews, we all know it’s going to happen. There’s too much money involved for it not to and he has signed on for THE AVENGERS 3, giving him time to do another IRON MAN movie between Avengers films. At this point, RDJ can command all sorts of things, even from Marvel. He’s the reason Shane Black did IRON MAN 3 and if he asked for it, Mel Gibson could do IRON MAN 4. We just need Marvel to buy off on it.