Marvel Tried To Get A Legendary Director (And Star Wars Actor) To Play The German J.A.R.V.I.S.

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Written By Sedoso Feb

W.E.R.N.E.R. is a German version of J.A.R.V.I.S., and Bradley thought, quite logically, that a German actor should play the part. Instantly, she thought of Werner Herzog, the preeminent German filmmaker behind confrontational and nihilistic classics like “Aguirre, the Wrath of God,” “Stroszek,” “Fitzcarraldo,” “Grizzly Man,” “Rescue Dawn,” and dozens of others. Herzog has also acted in several notable films and TV shows, including one with a Marvel connection: In 2019, Herzog played a character only referred to as The Client in four episodes of “The Mandalorian.” As it so happens, “The Mandalorian” was created and directed by Jon Favreau, the man behind the first two “Iron Man” films, so Bradley felt she had an “in.” She said: 

“[W]e were talking about just different voices for Jarvis and also Favreau. ‘The Mandalorian’ had just come out, and that was amazing. And Werner Herzog was in it and we’re like, ‘What if we can get Werner?’ And Werner Herzog is one of those voices that when you start talking in it badly and [imitating] doing it, you kind of get carried away with it. I think we had two pages of the alternate J.A.R.V.I.S. dialogue. There was so much of it because it was so much fun. We did ask him very politely if he would like to do it. My understanding is we asked him, and he very politely said no.”

Bradley is not incorrect; everyone has a (bad) Herzog impersonation in their back pocket. Herzog’s way of speaking is somehow both intense and laconic, knowledgable and dismissive, hopeless and fascinated, all at once. His voice would have been stirring in a Marvel Comics context. Herzog, now 81, likely didn’t feel the need to participate in another Disney fantasy project. He was likely busy; he made two documentary films in 2022.

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