ROOFTOP TALKS WITH FILM PRODUCER NATE MOORE
September 29, 2016
Name: Nate Moore
Homebase: Los Angeles
Known for his roles as Co-Producer of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Executive Producer of Captain America: Civil War, Marvel’s Nate Moore has set out on his own superhuman-like journey. A comic book-reading kid turned major film producer, Moore is credited with bringing more diversity to the Marvel movies. His upcoming film Black Panther—due to release in early 2018—will put the first black superhero front and center, and feature a predominantly black cast.
Overlooking the Waikiki skyline on the Surfjack’s penthouse lanai, we chatted with Moore about his early influences and how he and Marvel have managed to enthrall audiences of all demographics.
WHAT’S INSPIRING YOU LATELY?
There are so many things happening [in America] and so many changes that are forcing young people to change how they see the world and become more active. That’s really inspiring. At Marvel, we’re trying to tell stories that are absolutely based in fantasy, but also have an anchor in what’s happening in real life. So when we see people reacting to what’s happening—police brutality, voting rights, the environment, etc.—that helps to form the kind of stories we tell.
WHO WERE SOME OF YOUR EARLY INFLUENCERS?
Well, I grew up in the 1980’s so ’80s movies for sure—especially ones by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and James Cameron. They definitely influenced how I viewed movies. They [movies] were events; I mean, I grew up in a small town where there wasn’t a lot of exciting things happening, so when you go to films like The Goonies, Jaws, Alien and The Terminator—those films that are sort of larger than life—it kind of inspired me to figure out how those things were made. I was also really inspired by comic books and novels, because my mom was a big reader and I was handed down sci-fi and fantasy from a very young age. I guess that kind of formed the type of stories that I was attracted to. Also people like Chris Claremont, Frank Miller and Jim Lee in comic books, Stephen King and his novels, and the fantasy author Robert Jordan. I was really influenced by all kinds of stuff, you kind of pull it from all sorts of avenues and different mediums.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FILM?
The Goonies! [laughs] …even now as old-fashioned as a lot of the filmmaking techniques are, the film itself transports you to this whole different world. As a kid I remember going home and my friends and I wanting to find that Goonies-like adventure. It felt really real, but also it was beyond what we expected in our every day world. It still captivates me in that way.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
It probably happens in development. The filmmaking process can be really long. You know, you have to develop a story, then go into pre-production, then make the film in production, then edit the film in post-production, but I’d say pre-production is the most exciting time because that’s when the story can be anything. You haven’t really made any decisions that are locked into place, so you can kind of find the best character story to tell, the best theme to hang the movie on and the best action sequences. All of it is possible because you haven’t started being restricted by your budget, or locations, or actor availability, or what you shot already and what you didn’t shoot. That’s sort of the most blue sky process of the whole thing: when you can be the most imaginative and ingenious as possible. To me that’s the fun part—thinking, what is this movie going to be?
Marvel has a way of making people who aren’t even comic book fans become fans of the films. How do you do it?
Black Panther is a character that’s going to deal with issues that I think all of us can relate to—even if it’s not directly relatable. All of Marvel’s characters are somewhat larger than life, so it’s not like everyone understands what it’s like to being a super wealthy genius like Tony Stark [Iron Man], a man like Steve Rogers [Captain America], a man who has fallen to Earth like Thor, or Black Panther, who is king of this fictional African nation. That’s not the stuff that I think people find relatable, that’s the aspirational stuff that people want to be, it’s about finding that interesting character story that is really personal. Like in the Black Panther’s case, it’s trying to live up to the legacy of his father. I think we all can relate to that. We all are raised with some kind of expectation, whether it’s what you should be, or where you should live, or who you should marry—all of those things that we all inherit to one degree or another. So if we can make T’Challa a character that experiences something that you and I experience on an every day level, then that makes it really relatable.