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Top 10 Brits Who Changed Marvel MCU Forever

VO: Richard Bush
Written by Sean Harris From iconic characters to influential camera-work. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Brits who changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever! For this list, we’ve gathered the greatest British contributors to the long-running comic/film franchise, assessing the UK’s impact across every MCU film. Marvel movies might be one of Hollywood’s biggest draws, but there are lots of links between it and the UK. Britain, assemble. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Brits Who Changed Marvel MCU Forever


From iconic characters to influential camera-work. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Brits who changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever!

For this list, we’ve gathered the greatest British contributors to the long-running comic/film franchise, assessing the UK’s impact across every MCU film. Marvel movies might be one of Hollywood’s biggest draws, but there are lots of links between it and the UK. Britain, assemble.

#10: Tom Holland

Swinging in as Spider-Man for 2017’s “Homecoming”, Holland faced massive pressure to get the role right – not that it showed. Tom triumphed as the friendly neighbourhood hero, moving away from past incarnations and kick-starting a new era for the iconic web-slinger. With critical praise mounting and a multi-movie contract already in the bag, Holland and Spidey are sure to be major players in future MCU projects – with Peter Parker’s high school problems set to continue despite his hero cred.

#9: Drew Pearce

Debuting with Marvel as a writer on “Iron Man 3”, Drew Pearce worked with US director Shane Black to help raise the curtain on the MCU’s Phase Two. he was originally hired to adapt the “Runaways” comic book series, but that film was shelved as Tony Stark’s story took priority. Pearce helped navigate Stark through the aftermath of “The Avengers”, repositioning the character for Marvel’s first filmic step towards its next colossal crescendo, “Age of Ultron”. It took Tony to some dark places, but this movie marked a new beginning for the series.

#8: Charlie Cox

Though “Agents of SHIELD” was the MCU’s first foray into television, “Daredevil” proved a turning point in Marvel’s small screen strategy – and London’s Charlie Cox took the title role. As the first in a series of Netflix shows gearing up to 2017’s “The Defenders”, “Daredevil” follows Cox’s Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer by day and badass vigilante by night. With Cox leading the line for TV, like Robert Downey Jr. does for the films, he helped bring Marvel to a binge-watching audience – and we’ve been hooked ever since.

#7: Seamus McGarvey

As the action-packed apex for Phase One of the franchise, “The Avengers” served up a slathering of superheroes for a monumental cinematic smash-up. And while American Joss Whedon directed the film, Northern Ireland’s Seamus McGarvey worked as chief cinematographer, and as a vital creative influence on the picture. Tasked with managing multiple major characters in almost every scene, McGarvey strived for an immersive final cut, setting a new benchmark for the series. And given the film’s record-breaking popularity, we’d say he succeeded.

#6: Edgar Wright

A writer and director best known for genre comedy classics, Wright spent close to a decade working with Marvel – primarily on “Ant-Man”. He and co-writer Joe Cornish first pitched ideas for the cut-size character in the early 2000s, and Wright was hired to direct in 2006. But after a series of script revisions and behind-the-scenes disagreements, he left the project in 2014 - retaining story and screenplay credits, only. However, throughout Wright’s time on the project, his input reportedly influenced the look and feel of the earliest MCU movies, including the opening films for Iron Man and Thor.

#5: University of East Anglia

A change of scenery was definitely needed in the aftermath of “Age of Ultron”, with Avengers HQ moving from Stark Tower in Manhattan to a state-of-the-art building in upstate New York. But while Stark Tower really was modelled on an existing Manhattan location (the MetLife Building), our heroes’ sprawling new home is actually an art gallery, in Norfolk. Scenes at the New Avengers Facility were shot on campus at the University of East Anglia’s Sainsbury Centre, with the museum’s distinctive glass façade providing a picturesque backdrop.

#4: Joan Lee

Back at the beginning, and Marvel might never have existed without Newcastle’s Joan Lee. Born Joan Boocock, she moved to New York shortly after World War II, and married Stan Lee in 1947. Joan proved a pivotal influence throughout Lee’s career, especially when she talked him out of quitting comic books in the ‘50s. When Joan died in 2017, she and Stan had been married for 70 years; and although her involvement with the MCU was limited, she had a vital impact on Marvel as a whole.

#3: Benedict Cumberbatch

The highest-ranking actor on today’s list, Benedict Cumberbatch brought game-changing gravitas to the comic book canon when he debuted in 2016. Converting Stephen Strange from a swaggering neurosurgeon to a super-spiritual sorcerer, Cumberbatch claims the cloak as part of an awesome (and mostly British) cast – including Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Benedict Wong. “Doctor Strange” signified a stylistic shift for the MCU, with inventive visuals and dizzying fight scenes. And Cumberbatch moves through the cross-dimensional chaos for a standout superhero role.

#2: Kenneth Branagh

As the first British director to take the chair for the MCU, Kenneth Branagh brought “Thor” to the big screen, taking audiences to Asgard for the first time. Following two “Iron Man” stories and a Hulk movie, here’s where the Cinematic Universe begins to connect the dots – but Branagh’s film is a standalone success, as well. With otherworldly sequences and a hammer-hauling hero, “Thor” throws a higher power into the Marvel mix – against one of cinema’s best ever bad guys.

#1: Ben Davis

The second cinematographer to feature today, Ben Davis broke new ground with his work on “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Age of Ultron” and “Doctor Strange”. Ushering in a new era for the MCU, every Davis project focusses on fun visuals and a futuristic feel. With “Guardians” especially, Davis helped to reshape the Marvel mould, turning Star-Lord and co. into some of the franchise’s most popular characters. With a souped-up superhero style, he became a significant influence over Marvel’s Phase Three – and on the superhero genre, in general.

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