Marvel's Tales to Astonish: "Civil War" Trailer

Marvel's new film series is more than just commentary on big storylines.

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SXSW Interview: John Cerilli on Marvel's 'Tales to Astonish' Film Series

Find out about Marvel's new film series that explores their stories in new ways.

Marvel has had many big storylines and their new film series will look at them but in a different way. Today at SXSW during Marvel's House of Ideas panel, details for a new film series were released, Marvel's Tales to Astonish. The idea is to take a look at some of Marvel's big and intense stories that often reflects real-life events or tones. The film series will feature interviews and commentary from creators and more.

We had the chance to talk to John Cerilli, Vice President, Content & Programming, about what we can expect. Also, be sure to check out the video clip at the top of the page.

COMIC VINE: Can you tell us about Marvel's Tales to Astonish film series?

JOHN CERILLI: Marvel’s Tales to Astonish is a live-action, short-form documentary film series that will take a deep dive into some of the greatest storylines, characters and more in Marvel history. Like all great artists, the editors, writers and pencilers who have told Marvel’s stories were and still are influenced by so many different things. In fact, there are so many underlying metaphors and meanings throughout Marvel’s storytelling. Marvel’s Tales to Astonish will take a look at all of that and we hope, will become quality entertainment in its own right that will appeal to a wide audience – from Marvel die-hards to Marvel newbies.

CV: Will this be a retrospective on specific story arcs? Sort of like a director's commentary?

JC: No, not really. It’s more of an exploration of those story arcs and those characters – what they meant in Marvel terms and what they mean in real life terms. The first episode focuses on Civil War. In it, we will hear from voices from inside the Marvel world – such as writer Mark Millar and Stan Lee, but we’ll also hear from voices outside of Marvel – real world voices from major media who talk about and debate the themes being explored in Civil War. It’s all wound together seamlessly by director Eric Drath who did an AMAZING job on this film. He’s a brilliant filmmaker and I’m blessed to have had the chance to work with him. In 2008, he directed one of the single best sports documentaries I’ve ever seen, “Assault in the Ring” for HBO. In it, he tells a stunning, heart-wrenching story that is wrought with the frailty of the human condition. What better person to direct a documentary about Marvel’s all-too-human super humans?

CV: Why was Civil War chosen as the first video, besides it being a great story arc?

JC: It leapt to the top of the pile simply because the themes that motivate the story are not easy ones and, honestly, define what it is to be a character in the Marvel Universe. In 2006 when this was published, so much of what was happening with the Patriot Act was influencing what was being told in the story. The idea of privacy and what it meant to be a US citizen and how respected your privacy was – it’s a very compelling debate. Was Cap right? Was Iron Man right? The super hero registration act that both of them fought a bloody battle over was very much about a person’s right to privacy.

However, both sides seemed to have very legitimate points when relaying their arguments. Now, from our real world standpoint, something rather substantial happened after we started making this film – the NSA scandal erupted. All of a sudden, we weren’t making a film about a comic book series that came out in 2006, we were making a film about how prophetic that comic book series was and still is.

CV: Will these appear on Marvel.com?

JC: The trailer will. Beyond that, we’re still exploring the best distribution method for Marvel’s Tales to Astonish. We love the content. We know everyone who watches it will love the content. We just want to make sure when we launch this, we do what’s best for the content in terms of distribution.

CV: Any idea how frequent we can expect to see these?

JC: Uncertain just now. That’s tied up in how we ultimately decide to distribute the films. At that point, we’ll let folks know how often they’ll be able to see them. And we can’t wait to do that.

Sounds cool to us. What do you think about this idea? What storylines do you think deserve this treatment?

28 Comments
Posted by AWeekInGeekdom

So it's like all the DC Animated Film dvd/bluray extras but without the main movie? Sounds like a great time but usually these types of documentaries don't go a lot in depth about the subject or when they do (like "Necessary Evil") the running time is too short.

Edited by Master_Thief

Why not make an actual animated movie from the civil war comics

COME ON!!!!

Edited by Renchamp

This sounds really cool.

Moderator
Posted by Rainja

@master_thief: agreed, I Love marvel but when it comes to animation and consistency in this field they are playing catch up.

Posted by Teerack

Hey marvel free advice, make a civil war animated movie.

Posted by New_World_Order

Why not make an actual animated movie from the civil war comics

COME ON!!!!

@teerack said:

Hey marvel free advice, make a civil war animated movie.

Edited by OmgOmgWtfWtf

Commentaries are boring.

Posted by The Stegman

I would LOVE a Civil War movie.

Online
Posted by Master_Thief

This reminds me of docs on the history channel talking about what if batman and star wars was real

Posted by Hawkguy

I actually don't mind documentaries. I really enjoyed DC's Secret Origins and Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of the DC Universe, but mainly because it didn't involve politics, it was purely about the comics and how the people working at DC interact with the characters and how deep they delve into their work (this is the recent Villains one I'm talking about). That and the fact that, aside from Stan Lee and Whedon, I don't really recognize anyone here so my interest isn't peaked in the slightest. I'll still give it a shot, hopefully its worth the time and money.

Posted by ravisher

thought it was a motion comic

Posted by medulaoblaganda

civil war animated movie will really awesome.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

I would LOVE a Civil War movie.

This. I don't mind the "documentary" aspect, but have it as a separate disc or as a DvD extra. Marvel should take a page from DC's playbook when it comes to animated movies, as DC should take a page from Marvel with their cinematic universe and movies.

Posted by StMichalofWilson

@the_stegman said:

I would LOVE a Civil War movie.

This. I don't mind the "documentary" aspect, but have it as a separate disc or as a DvD extra. Marvel should take a page from DC's playbook when it comes to animated movies, as DC should take a page from Marvel with their cinematic universe and movies.

Quote. Of. Truth

Posted by ptigrusmagus

Cartoon movie plz and no, not that crap animated comic style either

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Make a movie of Civil War already MARVEL.

Edited by AmazingWebHead

Oh, for a minute there I thought it meant the live-action films. But at least here Ant-Man won't need a wheelchair.

Posted by sparty-dbq

I don't know if there needs to be a Civil War movie. I mean, I've already read the comic, the novelization, and played through Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. How many ways does the same story need to be told?

Posted by MrMazz

Ya know I think in the right hands, short documentary subjects that go and reassess Marvel stories could be interesting. That said I doubt it'll get too interesting to see if Marvel shows any lack of foresight or acumen.

Posted by blazinasian112

Why not make an actual animated movie from the civil war comics

COME ON!!!!

THIS! Marvel is killing me with their motion comic animated films. They have so many great storylines that could be animated. DC has been doing a great job with their animated films.

Posted by Master_Thief

@master_thief said:

Why not make an actual animated movie from the civil war comics

COME ON!!!!

THIS! Marvel is killing me with their motion comic animated films. They have so many great storylines that could be animated. DC has been doing a great job with their animated films.

Do you know how awsome it would be to have a civil war movie led by secret invasion, dark reign and siege

Posted by pingclang

Not to sound negative, but instead of watching folks talk about Civil War, why not read it? It makes more sense to just read it and develop your own feelings about it than watch a bunch of folks tell you what it means. Maybe I'm thinking too much.