Mark Millar
Millar smiling
Millar at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, 2 October 2010
Born (1969-12-24) 24 December 1969 (age 54)
Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK
NationalityBritish
Area(s)Writer
Notable works

Mark Millar MBE (/ˈmɪlər/; born 24 December 1969) is a Scottish comic book writer, known for his work on The Authority, the Ultimates, Marvel Knights Spider-Man, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Civil War, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Wanted, Chrononauts, Superior and Kick-Ass, the latter seven of which have been, or are planned to be, adapted into feature films.

His DC Comics work includes Superman: Red Son. At Marvel Comics he created The Ultimates, selected by Time magazine as the comic book of the decade, and described by screenwriter Zak Penn as a major inspiration for The Avengers movie.[2] Millar also created Wolverine: Old Man Logan and Civil War, two of Marvel's biggest-selling graphic novels; the Civil War crossover storyline was the basis for the Captain America: Civil War film and Old Man Logan was the inspiration for Fox's Logan film.

Millar has been an executive producer on all of his films, and for four years worked as a creative consultant to Fox Studios on their Marvel slate of films. In 2017, Netflix bought Millar's comic line, Millarworld, which Millar and his wife Lucy will continue to run; publishing new comics and adapting them for other media.

Early life

Millar was born 24 December 1969[3] in Coatbridge, Scotland. His parents were also born in Coatbridge, and Millar spent the first half of his life in the town's Townhead area, attending St Ambrose High.[4] He has four older brothers,[1][5] and one older sister, who are 22, 20, 18, 16 and 14 years older than him, respectively.[5] His brother Bobby, who today works at a special needs school,[6] introduced him to comics at age 4 while attending university by taking him to shops and purchasing them for him. Still learning to read, Millar's first comic was the seminal The Amazing Spider-Man #121 (1973), which featured the death of Gwen Stacy. He purchased a Superman comic that day as well.[5] Black and white reprinted comics purchased by his brothers for him would follow, cementing his interest in the medium[1] so much that Millar drew a spider web across his face with indelible marker that his parents were unable to scrub off in time for his First Communion photo a week later.[5] Millar has named Alan Moore and Frank Miller as the two biggest influences on his career, characterizing them as "my Mum and Dad." Other writers he names as influences include Grant Morrison, Peter Milligan, Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis. More recent writers that have impressed him include Jason Aaron and Scott Snyder.[1]

Millar's mother died of a heart attack at age 64, when Millar was 14, and his father died four years later, aged 65.[5] Although Millar enjoyed drawing comics, he was not permitted to go to art school because his family frowned upon such endeavours as a waste of time for the academic Millar, who studied subjects like chemistry, physics and advanced maths. He initially planned to be a doctor, and subsequently decided that becoming an economist would be a viable alternate plan, but later decided that he "couldn't quite hack it" in that occupation.[1] He attended Glasgow University to study politics and economics, but dropped out after his father's death left him without the money to pay his living expenses.[5]

Career

1980s–1990s work

When Millar was 18, he interviewed writer Grant Morrison, who was doing his first major American work on Animal Man, for a fanzine. When he told Morrison that he wanted to be both a writer and an artist, Morrison suggested that he focus on one of those career paths, as it was very hard to be successful at both, which Millar cites as the best advice he has received.[1]

Millar's first job as a comic book writer came when he was still in high school, writing Trident's Saviour with Daniel Vallely providing art. Saviour combined elements of religion, satire and superhero action. During the 1990s, Millar worked on titles such as 2000 AD,[7] Sonic the Comic and Crisis. In 1993, Millar, Grant Morrison and John Smith created a controversial eight-week run on 2000 AD called The Summer Offensive. It was during this run that Millar and Morrison wrote their first major story together, Big Dave.[8]

Millar's British work brought him to the attention of DC Comics, and in 1994 he started working on his first American comic, Swamp Thing. The first four issues of Millar's run were co-written by Grant Morrison,[9] allowing Millar to settle into the title. Although his work brought some critical acclaim to the ailing title, the book's sales were still low enough to warrant cancellation by the publisher. From there, Millar spent time working on various DC titles, often co-writing with or under the patronage of Morrison as in the cases of his work on JLA, The Flash and Aztek: The Ultimate Man,[10] and working on unsuccessful pitches for the publisher.

Marvel and DC career

Millar signing a copy of Superman: Red Son at Midtown Comics in Manhattan

In 2000, Millar replaced Warren Ellis on The Authority for DC's Wildstorm imprint.[9][11] Millar announced his resignation from DC in 2001, though his miniseries Superman: Red Son was printed in 2003.[12]

In 2001, Millar launched Ultimate X-Men for Marvel Comics' Ultimate Marvel imprint.[13] The following year he collaborated with illustrator Bryan Hitch on The Ultimates, the Ultimate imprint's equivalent of The Avengers.[9][14] Millar's work on The Ultimates was later adapted into two Marvel Animated Features[15][16] and the subsequent 2012 Hollywood box office smash Marvel's The Avengers.[17]

In 2006, Millar, joined by artist Steve McNiven, began writing the Marvel miniseries Civil War a seven-issue limited series revolving around the passing of Superhuman Registration Act as a result of the death and destruction unintentionally caused by superheroes and turned Captain America and Iron Man onto opposing sides,[18] the book formed the basis for the film Captain America: Civil War. In 2009 Millar wrote the dystopian "Old Man Logan" storyline, which appeared in the Wolverine series, and was set in a possible future in which Wolverine, having been traumatized by his murder of the X-Men (an event prompted by Mysterio's illusions), became a recluse, after which the United States government collapsed, and the country fell under the control of various supervillain enclaves. Needing rent money for his family's farm, Wolverine comes out of retirement when called upon by Hawkeye.[19]

Millar and his Wanted collaborator J. G. Jones at the Big Apple Convention, 2 October 2010

Millarworld

In 2004, Millar launched a creator-owned line called Millarworld that published independently owned comic-books, with ownership split 50/50 between Millar and the collaborating artist.[20] The first book under the Millarworld brand was Wanted, which subsequently became a Hollywood film in 2008 starring Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman. Millar created and wrote Kick-Ass in 2008, which was adapted into another Hollywood film for Millar in 2010. Other books published by Millarworld included Chosen, The Unfunnies, and War Heroes, which was distributed by different publishers.[21]

In 2010, Millar left his Marvel work-made-for-hire contract, committing full-time to Millarworld,[22] creating and writing Nemesis (2010), Superior (2010), Super Crooks (2012), Kingsman: Secret Service (2012), Kick-Ass 2 (2012), Hit-Girl (2012), Kick-Ass 3 (2013), Jupiter's Legacy (2013), Jupiter's Circle (2015), Starlight (2014), MPH (2012), Huck (2015), Chrononauts (2015), Empress (2016), Reborn (2016).

Millarworld enjoyed interest from Hollywood with Millar staying on as an executive producer on all adaptations. Nemesis was optioned by 20th Century Fox with Tony Scott attached to direct.[23] Superior was optioned by Fox with Matthew Vaughn on a producer.[24] Super Crooks and American Jesus were both optioned by Waypoint Entertainment.[25]

Kingsman: Secret Service, starring Colin Firth, was released in 2014.[26]

Lorenzo DiBonaventura took Jupiter's Legacy and Jupiter's Circle under his wing and started development in 2016.[27] On July 17, 2018, it was announced that Netflix had given a series order for a television adaptation of Jupiter's Legacy.[28] Starlight was optioned by 20th Century Fox.[29] Huck was picked up by Jeff Robinov's Studio 8.[30] Chrononauts is in development at Universal.[31]

Millarworld was purchased for an undisclosed sum by Netflix in August 2017, the first acquisition for Netflix and the third time in history, Millar noted, that a comic-book company has been purchased by a studio. Millar will also run Millarworld with his wife Lucy Millar, publishing new comics under the Netflix label, which will adapt them for film and television. Kick-Ass and Kingsman were not a part of the deal.[32][33][34]

Awards and accolades

In August 2011, Millar appeared in his native Coatbridge to unveil a superhero-themed steel archway beside the Monkland Canal that was created by sculptor Andy Scott, with help from the students at his alma mater, St Ambrose High School.[4] The six metre-high archway, which was inspired by Millar's work, depicts a superhero named Captain Coatbridge and two female superheroines, and was created as part of efforts to regenerate the canal.[35]

In June 2013, Millar was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to film and literature on the Queen's Honours Birthday list.[36][37][38]

Award nominations

Political views

Millar supports British withdrawal from the European Union.[43] Millar had previously supported Scottish independence, but has since expressed mixed opinions on the idea in regards to Brexit, stating on Twitter "Independence means even harder rule from EU. I'd possibly take the Jim Sillars type of indy, but not independence within vast, terrifying supra-national body that's breaking Southern Europe." He has also been critical the governing Scottish National Party's policies on education and freedom of speech.[44][45]

Bibliography

UK publishers

Trident

Fleetway

DC Comics/Vertigo

Marvel Comics

Icon Comics

Other US publishers

Feature films based on his works

Film adaptations of Mark Millar comics
Year Title Director(s) Studio(s) Based on Budget Box office Rotten Tomatoes
USD$
2008 Wanted Timur Bekmambetov Universal Studios Wanted by Millar and J. G. Jones $75 million $341,433,252 71%[46]
2010 Kick-Ass Matthew Vaughn Lionsgate Films
Universal Studios
Marv Films
Plan B Entertainment
Kick-Ass by Millar and John Romita Jr. $30 million $96,188,903 76%[47]
2013 Kick-Ass 2 Jeff Wadlow Universal Studios
Marv Films
Plan B Entertainment
Kick-Ass 2 and Hit-Girl by Millar and John Romita Jr. $28 million $60,795,985 29%[48]
2014 Kingsman: The Secret Service[49] Matthew Vaughn 20th Century Fox
Marv Films
Kingsman: The Secret Service by Millar and Dave Gibbons $81 million $413,998,123 [50] 73%[51]
2015 Fantastic Four[52] Josh Trank 20th Century Fox
Marvel Entertainment
Marv Films
Ultimate Fantastic Four by Millar, Brian Michael Bendis and Adam Kubert $120 million $167,750,924 [53] 9%[54]
2016 Captain America: Civil War[55] Anthony and Joe Russo Marvel Studios
Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Civil War by Millar and Steve McNiven $250 million $1.132 billion[56] 91%[57]
2017 Logan James Mangold 20th Century Fox
Marvel Entertainment
The Donner's Company
Old Man Logan by Millar and Steve McNiven $97 million $616.8 million[58] 93%
2017 Kingsman: The Golden Circle Matthew Vaughn 20th Century Fox
Marv Films
Kingsman: The Secret Service by Millar and Dave Gibbons $104 million $410.8 million 52%
2020 The King's Man

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "The Third Degree: Mark Millar". Jupiter's Legacy #1 (April 2013). p. 27 Image Comics.
  2. ^ "Assembling The Avengers for the Big Screen: Interview with Screenwriter Zak Penn". Script Magazine. New York City: F+W. 18 May 2012. Archived from the original on 20 August 2018. The Ultimates run by Mark Millar was very influential on The Avengers.
  3. ^ Brissenden, Rachelle (Editor) (May 2000). "Voice of Authority", The Authority, p 23. WildStorm/DC Comics (La Jolla, California).
  4. ^ a b Mitchell, Robert (24 August 2011). "Mark Millar opens Coatbridge superhero archway". Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser. Archived from the original on 27 June 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Mark Millar's graphic novels really are graphic but the Coatbridge boy behind Wanted and new teen film Kick-Ass is surprisingly mild-mannered". The Scotsman. 13 December 2009. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014.
  6. ^ Millar, Millar (w), McNiven, Steve (a). Nemesis, no. 1, p. 25 (May 2010). Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ Lien-Cooper, Barb (August 2000). "Speaking with the Authority". Sequential Tart.
  8. ^ Holder, Geoff (October 2011). The Little Book of Glasgow. Stroud, United Kingdom: The History Press. ISBN 978-0752460048.
  9. ^ a b c Mark Millar at the Grand Comics Database
  10. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1990s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 275. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. In April [1996], writers Grant Morrison and Mark Millar introduced Aztek in a self-titled ongoing series that ran for a mere ten brilliant issues. ((cite book)): |first2= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Darius, Julian (29 April 2000). "Mark Millar on The Authority". Sequart.org. Archived from the original on 8 October 2013.
  12. ^ Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 309: "Mark Millar was never a writer to shy away from a controversial topic or from taking a unique concept to its shocking conclusion. With Superman: Red Son, he did both by presenting Superman as a communist and giving the conclusion a surprise twist."
  13. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "2000s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 304. ISBN 978-0756641238. Looking to repeat the success of Ultimate Spider-Man in 2000, the second major title of this alternate universe was crafted by esteemed writer Mark Millar along with the famed Kubert brothers, Andy and Adam, taking turns at the drawing table. ((cite book)): |first2= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Manning "2000s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 311: "With Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men serving as two of Marvel's most consecutive best seller, it was only a matter of time before the decision was made to reinvent one of the most popular teams of heroes, the Avengers, into this fresh new universe. And writer Mark Millar and artist Bryan Hitch were up to the challenge."
  15. ^ Salisbury, Brian (26 April 2012). "Ultimate Avengers: Superhero Movies Don't Have to Be Live Action Epics". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on 2 January 2016.
  16. ^ Tabu, Hannibal (August 6, 2005). "WWC, Day 2 – Ultimate Avengers Panel, DVD in February, 2006". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017.
  17. ^ The Avengers
  18. ^ Manning "2000s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 332: "Writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven unleashed Civil War on the public, an epic seven-issue limited series thst sparked some of the most heated fan debate in the history of Marvel Comics."
  19. ^ Brady, Matt (25 January 2008). "Millar On 'Old Man Logan'". Newsarama.com. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009.
  20. ^ de Guzman, Jennifer. "The Art of Millarworld Gives Artists Their Due". Image Comics. Archived from the original on 18 July 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  21. ^ Snyder, Gabriel (3 March 2004). "U nabs Wanted man". Variety. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014.
  22. ^ McIver, Brian (20 February 2016). "Scottish writer Mark Millar on the fall and rise of Marvel Comics as new film is released". Daily Record. Glasgow, Scotland. Archived from the original on 23 June 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  23. ^ Bettinger, Brendan (August 7, 2010). "Tony Scott to Adapt the Mark Millar Comic Nemesis". Collider. Archived from the original on June 23, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  24. ^ Kit, Borys (15 April 2014). "Fox Picks Up Mark Millar's Superior Comic Book (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 18 July 2018.
  25. ^ McNary, Dave (26 April 2016). "Waypoint Developing Two Movies From Captain America: Civil War Author". Variety. Archived from the original on 18 July 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  26. ^ Kingsman: The Secret Service, retrieved 9 March 2018
  27. ^ "'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island' Screenwriters Will Adapt Mark Millar's 'Jupiter's Legacy'". /Film. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  28. ^ Kit, Borys; Goldberg, Lesley (17 July 2018). "'Jupiter's Legacy' Series, 'Empress' Film Among Mark Millar's First Netflix Slate". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  29. ^ "20th Century Fox Eyes Mark Millar's Space Fantasy Comic STARLIGHT for Movie Adaptation". Collider. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  30. ^ "Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque's HUCK is Getting a Movie Adaptation | Nerdist". Nerdist. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  31. ^ Kroll, Justin (20 March 2015). "Universal Lands Rights to Mark Millar Comic 'Chrononauts'". Variety. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  32. ^ Richwine, Lisa (August 7, 2017). "Netflix buys comics publisher Millarworld to feed films and TV". Reuters.
  33. ^ "Netflix buys Scots comic book firm Millarworld". BBC News. 7 August 2017. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017.
  34. ^ "Netflix Acquires Millarworld". Netflix Media Center. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  35. ^ "Monkland Canal hosts 'Mark Millar superhero sculpture'". BBC News. 19 August 2011. Archived from the original on 22 August 2011.
  36. ^ Armitage, Hugh (17 June 2013). "Kick-Ass Mark Millar on Queen's Birthday Honours List". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014.
  37. ^ Parkin, JK (16 June 2013). "Mark Millar honored by Queen Elizabeth II". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 20 June 2013.
  38. ^ Johnston, Rich (16 June 2013). "Mark Millar MBE". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on 23 June 2013.
  39. ^ a b "2000 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  40. ^ a b "2001 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  41. ^ Weiland, Jonah (7 September 2004). "2004 Eagle Award Nominees Announced, CBR Nominated". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Archive requires scrolldown
  42. ^ "Previous Winners: 2005". The Eagle Awards. n.d. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  43. ^ Castle Jill (15 June 2016). "Mark Millar: Scotland needs to get out of Europe while it still can". The Herald (Glasgow). Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  44. ^ https://twitter.com/mrmarkmillar/status/1087618279198347265
  45. ^ https://twitter.com/mrmarkmillar/status/1260159250493472768
  46. ^ "Wanted (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  47. ^ "Kick-Ass (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  48. ^ "Kick-Ass 2 (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  49. ^ Kit, Borys (29 April 2013). "Colin Firth in Talks to Star in Matthew Vaughn's Secret Service". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  50. ^ "Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)". Box Office Mojo. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  51. ^ "Kingsman: The Secret Service". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  52. ^ "Fantastic Four Cast Revealed". Variety. 19 February 2014. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  53. ^ "Fantastic Four (2015)". Box Office Mojo. 1 March 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  54. ^ "Fantastic Four (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  55. ^ Strom, Marc (28 October 2014). "Marvel Pits Captain America & Iron Man in a Cinematic Civil War". Marvel Comics. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  56. ^ "Captain America: Civil War (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  57. ^ "Captain America: Civil War (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  58. ^ "Logan (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
Preceded byDick Foreman Swamp Thing vol. 2 writer 1994–1996(with Grant Morrison in 1994) Succeeded byn/a Preceded byMark Waid and Brian Augustyn The Flash vol. 2 writer 1997–1998(with Grant Morrison) Succeeded byMark Waid and Brian Augustyn Preceded byMark Evanier Superman Adventures writer 1998–2000 Succeeded byMark Evanier Preceded byWarren Ellis The Authority writer 2000–2002 Succeeded byWarren Ellis Preceded byn/a Ultimate X-Men writer 2001–2003 Succeeded byBrian Michael Bendis Preceded byn/a The Ultimates writer 2002–2007 Succeeded byJeph Loeb Preceded byn/a Ultimate Fantastic Four writer 2004(with Brian Michael Bendis) Succeeded byWarren Ellis Preceded byGreg Rucka Wolverine writer 2004–2005 Succeeded byDaniel Way Preceded byMike Carey Ultimate Fantastic Four writer 2005–2006 Succeeded byMike Carey Preceded byDwayne McDuffie Fantastic Four writer 2008–2009(with Joe Ahearne in 2009) Succeeded byJonathan Hickman Preceded byJason Aaron Wolverine writer 2008–2009 Succeeded byJason Aaron and Daniel Way