Sundance Isn’t Just a Festival for Indie Film – It’s Also a Talent Farm for Marvel

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The famous independent movie festival has become an unofficial pipeline to superhero movies

Sundance Marvel
Directors Ryan Coogler, Taika Waititi, Chloe Zhao and Anna Boden. (Getty Images)

The Sundance Film Festival is celebrated as America’s premiere showcase for independent film and a launchpad for up-and-coming filmmakers making deeply personal movies, often on shoestring budgets. But the storied festival is also becoming known for something else: a pipeline for talent into some of Marvel’s biggest superhero films.

From Chloe Zhao (“Eternals”) to Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”), Disney’s Marvel Studios has tapped Sundance talent with notable regularity.

A top dealmaker gave a brutally honest reason for what has become a pattern:

“It’s because they’re young, cheap, and will follow Feige’s rules,” the dealmaker said, referring to Marvel Studios president and keeper of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kevin Feige.