It's always cool to hear about how actors get involved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Laurence Fishburne is one of those that has an interesting story. Read about his love for comic books and the MCU in his Ant-Man and The Wasp interview.
Laurence Fishburne is one of a small few that have been in a DC and a Marvel film. He plays Perry White in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and he was the voice of Norrin Radd the Silver surfer in Fantastic Fours: Rise of the Silver Surfer. In Ant-Man and The Wasp, Fishburne plays Dr. Bill Foster also known as Goliath.
Thanks to Disney and Marvel Studios for bringing me to LA for the Ant-Man and The Wasp event.
Laurence Fishburne – I started reading comic books when I was very young. Probably like eight or nine years old. And I always read DC and Marvel. I love them both. I’m grateful and happy to be a part of that small group of actors who’ve been in both universes. And you know, for anybody who thinks I’m perhaps disloyal to one or the other all I can say is, look, I paid money for both comic books.
Q – How did you become involved in this project?
LF – I’ve been reading for a long time, been watchin’ the movies, too, and I ran into the director of the Fantastic Four movie, Rise of the Silver Surfer – his name’s Tim Story – and I said to him, I said ‘hey man, I’m Norrin Radd.' And he said, ‘who?' I said, ‘Norrin Radd!' He was like, ‘who’s Norrin Radd?' So I had to tell him about the origins of the Silver Surfer and Galactus. And I was like, ‘I should play that part in it,' so he was kind enough to cast me to do the vocal performance in that movie. So that was my first foray into the Marvel universe.
And then I don’t know, three or four years back I couldn’t help myself. I wanted very much to be a part of the MCU because of the way it was progressing. They were doing such great things. And Louis D’Esposito and I had worked together about thirty years ago – we were both on the Disney lot. So I just asked to have a meeting with him and said, look, I’ll do whatever you need me to do, but I really would like to be a part of the MCU if there’s any way that you can see that I can do that. And they came back and said, oh, there’s this character, Bill Foster, who I was not aware of – oddly enough – because I wasn’t an Ant-Man reader.
I [liked] Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Avengers, X-Men. So they presented this character to me, and I met with the director, and we got on really well ‘cause he’s also a guy who’s, in his fifties who loves comics. It just kind of organically happened.
Q – Was it difficult stepping into the MCU after ten years? You’ve been watching it progress. Was there any trepidation?
LF – Oh no. Oh no. I was very, very just happy to jump in all four feet. I mean, I would have played a fly on the wall. I would have played a piece of debris in the Marvel Universe!
Q – Is there a superhero or villain character that you feel this is worthy of their own movie next?
LF – There are several. Of the more obscure ones. [One] comes to mind but this character already has their own movie. And it’s coming. And there’s been a gender change. And what I love about Captain Marvel, if you don’t know the history of Captain Marvel, Thanos is a Captain Marvel villain, and Captain Marvel is kickin’ his ass regularly. So I’m so excited to see that.
Oh, there was a character that I would have loved to have done if they were ever. I couldn’t do it now at my age. It would be a character that a younger actor should do at this point. But there was a character in Marvel Universe called Brother VooDoo who was kinda- who was kinda freaky and weird. And supernatural. That would be a cool thing to see.
And then there are some villains who probably should have had some movies. Like the character that Thomas Hayden Church played, the Sandman. He could have had an interesting thing because the Sandman was a villain, kind of, but there was also this other part of him. There was this humanity in him that could’ve been interesting.
Q – Michael Douglas has said he would be interested in seeing a prequel about his character Hank Pym the original Ant-Man. What are your thoughts?
LF – That would be awesome. It would be awesome!
When we interviewed Paul Rudd, he told us about screening the movie with the cast and seeing the reactions to certain scenes. The mid-credits scene is a pretty powerful one, and only those in the scene knew what was going to happen. Rudd mentioned that Laurence Fishburne had the best reaction to the mid-credits scene, one that most everyone in my theater did as well. We wanted to hear his thoughts on the scene though. What was your initial reaction?
LF – ‘Oh shit!!!' Also, when Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer show up in the movie, and they’re like thirty years younger, I went, ‘oh shit!!! Oh, my god!!!' It’s kind of an all-purpose in intensifier.
Laurence Fishburne wasn't at liberty to discuss if we were ever going to get to see Dr. Bill Foster in action as Goliath one day but his character is a great one that could potentially be seen in the future. *Cough* Fingers crossed for some Avengers 4 action! *Cough* I think Marvel fans everywhere can relate to the feeling of doing whatever it takes to be apart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I'd be a dead Asgardian if you needed one. Too soon?
Ant-Man and The Wasp hits theaters tonight!