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GFF2016 - John McPhail Review 4 - The Road to Civil War


John here, so last night I went to see "The Road to civil war: marvel renascence". No it had nothing to do with the up and coming Marvel "Civil War" movie. The documentary directed by Philippe Guedj and Philippe Roure , is described by the Frenchmen as a letter of love. Both these guys grew up reading comic books and when they found out there was a marvel story that had not been told they jumped on it. The documentary covers the fall and rise of Marvel, some people won't know that in the mid 90's marvel was on its knees and ready to close it doors (well they sold their doors to keep the company afloat, but you get what I mean). The 52 minute documentary is something that hasn't ever been covered in film, it's been in the papers but it hadn't been captured on film yet or been told to the masses but these two film makers have presented it in a perfect way. It's since been screened on French tv (to the keen eyed film/tv buff you may have guessed that by its run time) and a couple of French festivals. Last nights screening was the first screening to an English audience. "But John" I hear you say "if this is such a good documentary why has it only screened in these two countries" and that is a cracking question and question that will take us back to preproduction. When both the fan boys realised there was no film or tv series covering the rise and fall of the comic giant, they quickly got to work getting together a treatment and got in contact with Disney (the new owners of marvel) from what the film makers said is at first Disney where on board and willing to help them with the film. After this initial email they began to hear less and less until New Year's Eve where they received an email telling them that they felt this story had already been covered. Both the guys and their production team where gutted but set out to make the film without disney's blessing. Which is why they are in distribution hell, think about it who doesn't Disney own or who doesn't want to play ball with the big mouse? ABC who was pervious interested is now not talking to them, this goes the same for FOX and HBO. Netflix had already turned them away (which might be because of Jessica Jones & Daredevil but I can say for sure) but for a documentary that's as good as this not to be picked up outside its country of origin is a strange one. It's shot beautifully, the people they talk to about it are all comic book legends and heros, the detail that they go into and the story they tell is totally compelling, the 52 minutes whizzed by for me. When the film finished there was a Q&A with the lads which was chaired by none other than Mark Millar (one of the writers that helped save marvel). The Q&A really helped give a bit of back story to the film and of course their problem of not being able to screen it anywhere... Which is a real shame as its a must see for any comic book or super hero fan. If you know of any broadcasters looking for good content send us a wee PM and we can forward it onto the lads. Unfortunately there is no trailer but there is a screening at GFT today (24th) at 1pm. Peace out y'all.

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