The Marvel Cinematic Universe comes up with amazing storylines, fight and action sequences, visual effects, and tearjerkers. Careers have been made and broken on the MCU anvil, as several actors have shot to superstardom while still others have fallen behind in the superhero universe (read: Terrence Howard). The trend plays out similarly for directors, producers, writers, and any and all behind-the-scene players of the movies.
Elizabeth Banks is a gifted artist and talented director, but, as it turns out, she fell short of adding an MCU title to her achievements.
Elizabeth Banks had wanted to direct Thor: Ragnarok
It had come to light a little earlier this year that Banks had wanted to direct Thor: Ragnarok (2017). The movie was the third in the Thor franchise and featured Chris Hemsworth‘s Thor in a groundbreaking movie. Banks had revealed in an interview that she had wanted to direct the movie but did not get to do so. Instead, Marvel signed up Kiwi director Taika Waititi to direct the movie, which ended up being starkly different from the previous Thor movies, and also established itself as the best of them all on popular grounds.
While Banks believes “a call was made” to Marvel, she said, “No one called me [back]… Taika Waititi got the job. Rightfully so.”
Read more: “No one called me”: Charlie’s Angels Director Elizabeth Banks Regretted Losing ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Project To Taika Waititi
Taika Waititi also ended up directing Thor: Love and Thunder
Banks’ love for the character of Thor was unmistakable, as she believed she could provide a new take on the character. In fact, she was keen on busting stereotypes along the way and would have become the first woman at the head of a Marvel movie if she had made it through.
“I definitely wanted to make something muscular and masculine. I wanted to break down some of the mythology around what kinds of movies women are interested in making. For some bizarre reason, there are still executives in Hollywood who are like, ‘I don’t know if women can do technical stuff.’ There are literally people who are like, ‘Women don’t like math.’ It just persists.”
However, Marvel overlooked Elizabeth Banks‘s enthusiasm and gave the go-ahead to Waititi to direct Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) too, on the back of his tremendous success with Ragnarok. Although Love and Thunder did not receive the response Marvel would have liked, it did make interesting inroads into the MCU and introduced Lady Thor (Natalie Portman) from the comics.
What’s next for Elizabeth Banks?
Banks seems to have moved to Plan B. A foray into the MCU deemed difficult, she has expressed her wish to be with the DCU instead, and work alongside top dog James Gunn. In an interview with ScreenRant, she stated her desire to do so while complimenting the kinds of characters DC has.
“That stable of characters are epic, and that’s what I care about. I would love to do anything [with James Gunn]”
She went so far as to say that she’d be happy to work with him anywhere, “not even DC”, necessarily.
Elizabeth Banks (Cocaine Bear) says she would love to direct a #DCU movie:
"They have incredible characters. That stable of characters is epic, and that's what I care about. I would love to do anything."
What could you see her direct? pic.twitter.com/rto2wP3dxL
— Home of DCU (@homeofdcu) February 17, 2023
Read more: “Maybe someday”: Spider-Man Star Elizabeth Banks Wants To Jump Ship To DCU for Catwoman Movie
As of now, Banks has an interesting prospect coming her way: she is directing and co-producing Cocaine Bear(2023), set to launch this year. She has confessed that it is a “ginormous risk” to her career and might even end it but has gone ahead with the idea of the comedy-horror flick, which features a black bear who ingested a duffel bag full of cocaine.
Cocaine Bear comes out on 24 February 2023.