Well, a lot of people ended up caring, to the tune of billions of dollars …
The MCU Borrowed A LOT From The Ultimates … But Stayed The Hell Away From Some Parts
Millar and artist Bryan Hitch (also known for The Authority) approached The Ultimates under the crazy, unfeasible notion of “What if someone made an Avengers movie one day?” The whole comic has the tone and aesthetic of an early 2000s blockbuster action movie — you can practically hear Michael Bay yelling at traumatized crew-members from outside the panels. That’s why Nick Fury straight up looked like Samuel L. Jackson six years before Iron Man came out. If Jackson wasn’t a comics nerd, he would have sued them into oblivion.
Even before the first Avengers movie came out, the influence of The Ultimates was already all over the MCU, from Tony Stark’s wise-cracking personality (he was more of a stiff in the comics), to Hulk’s Super Soldier-related origin, to Captain America’s costume, to Hawkeye looking like a badass black ops agent instead of some sort of exotic dancer.
Ultimate Spider-Man writer Brian Bendis and Millar himself served as consultants in the movies, and Avengers screenwriter Zak Penn credited The Ultimates as a big influence — he says they even took inspiration in Hitch’s art and Millar’s dialogue (which he called “a slightly meaner version of [co-writer/director Joss Whedon’s] type of dialogue”). The movie borrowed major Ultimates story elements that hadn’t been used in the regular Marvel Universe yet, like the Avengers being a S.H.I.E.L.D.-backed organization or the team fighting an alien race called the Chitauri. But … there are also major elements that the filmmakers decided they wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole, and that’s probably for the best.