Marvel Ignored Elizabeth Banks’ MCU Directing Pitch, Reveals Star

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Elizabeth Banks, Marvel Studios logo

Director Elizabeth Banks recently looked back on a time when she attempted to join the MCU's ranks of elite filmmakers.

Banks has transitioned from an extensive acting career into being behind the camera over the past few years, moving more toward that direction with the Pitch Perfect series in the 2010s. 

Banks even has her own history with the comic book movie genre, which could have gone beyond her acting career a few years ago.

Elizabeth Banks Pitched MCU Movie

Hela in Thor Ragnarok

Speaking with Variety during the press tour for Cocaine Bear, Elizabeth Banks revealed that she threw her name into the hat to direct Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok, which was released in 2017.

Looking at her own directing style, Banks explained that she "can’t do someone else’s vision" for a movie, wanting instead to "bring [her] sensibility to things."

And while that's made her not as interested in joining major franchises like the MCU, she noted that one exception was Thor: Ragnarok from Marvel Studios.

While she believes "a call was made" about her possibly pitching a take on the movie, Banks noted that "nothing ever happened."

The job ended up going to Taika Waititi, which Banks believes was the right decision:

"No one called me [back]. Taika Waititi got the job. Rightfully so."

What drew her to the job was how funny Thor was in that movie, particularly the way he poked fun at himself throughout the story:

"I have an attraction to the sensibility. That character being funny and knowing how good Chris is at making fun of himself, that’s my vibe."

Once she realized she mentioned the MCU as a possibility, she joked with the outlet that her quotes would make for a clickbait-style article instantly:

"I brought up 'Thor.' You’re going to clickbait me in that fucking article now. I never should have said it out loud.'

In a separate interview with Variety, Banks made it clear that she doesn't have any hard feelings about not getting to pitch Ragnarok, not exactly eager to take on a superhero movie.

The outlet asked if she'd reached out to DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn, with whom she worked on 2006's Slither, after his promotion, to which she mentioned a pitch she had at one point for a Catwoman movie:

"I had a pitch for a Catwoman movie a while ago, but I don’t think it’ll fit into the mandate right now. But maybe someday."

Banks admitted that she isn't approached very often about working with big studios but that she's always available:

"I don’t get approached that much about doing anything. But I’m open for business. That’s the thing: I’m open for business."

Banks Moving Past MCU Pitch

Considering how long the MCU has lasted, it's no surprise to see how many pitches and ideas are either left on the cutting room floor or looked over entirely. 

Peacemaker star John Cena revealed that Marvel rejected him on multiple occasions as an actor before he became one of the biggest stars in the DCU, most recently for the role of Cable in 2018's Deadpool 2.

Marvel also said no on three separate occasions to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law writer Jessica Gao before bringing her on board, showing how selective the studio is about picking the right person for the right job at the right time.

Unfortunately, it appears that Elizabeth Banks simply became part of that rejected group after pitching her idea for Thor: Ragnarok, which eventually became one of the MCU's most popular movies under Taika Waititi's direction. She also made it clear that this was the right move for all parties involved, with Waititi's work being the right choice for the Thor franchise and Banks feeling the need to develop her own unique story.

At the moment, it doesn't seem that Banks is actively looking to join the comic-book movie world, although she has experience with it on the acting side thanks to her role as Betty Brandt in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. And while things could surely change over the years, she's quite comfortable with the direction she's taking now as she finds her own unique voice in her movies. 

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.