Marvel Movie Mania!
By Zak Edwards
October 29, 2014 - 19:18
So Marvel announced a bunch of movies yesterday and that has a lot of people excited. It also dropped a bit of an add-on to the most watched trailer of all time and a TV spot for Agent Carter, but yesterday was all about what we like to call Phase 3, the post Avengers 2 world. In all, 9 films were announced for Marvel Phase 3, some already known and some heavily rumoured. You can hear all about them elsewhere. Here, I want to talk about what they mean, film by film, to the fans, the genre, and the industry. And I'll give a little prediction on what they'll be like because we all like ideas summed up in a few quips.
Captain America: Civil War
was a comics story a few years ago that pretty much responded to America post-9/11 and Patriot Act. A fancy freedom vs. security argument, I'm pretty excited to see what they do with Iron Man in a pseudo-antagonist role. Of course, with the whole world knowing all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s intel on all super-powered individuals, the central "violation of privacy" argument isn't moot. They'll figure it out, I'm sure. Putting Tony Stark in a complicated enemy role is flat-out interesting and shows an even greater amount of blending between properties that the future projects will surely use as well. No longer just Black Widow and Nick Fury, big names will play integral roles in one another's films.
: Probably the most interesting film announced.
Doctor Strange is weird choice, in my opinion, for a character in the MCU, especially considering how much time they spend explaining Asgard in scientific terms. But if anyone can pull off something even more left of center, it's Marvel Studios and hopefully Benedict Cumberbatch. I'll be honest, Dr. Strange has always been a sidelined character for me; he's been in comics I've read but never a lead. This is one that I have no idea how they'll handle. If they're smart, the origins part will be sidelined in favour of a strong story.
: Benedict Cumberbatch. After that, I have no idea.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
If James Gunn doesn’t use “Electric Boogaloo” as the subtitle, I will be sorely disappointed. I loved the first GotG
for its relative isolation from the Earth MCU, but I suspect this movie will try and bring them closer together. This could pose a problem, but as long as the jokes, quips, and killer soundtrack are present, I'm sure this will be another hit. After all, GotG
proved that Marvel only seems to be getting better.
: We are Groot.
Thor's movies have been the weakest of the entire MCU, in my opinion, and the second one didn't seem to understand that Thor is way less interesting than his brother Loki. They have strong casts but the stories never quite work. But the last Thor
movie ended with an intense change to the status quo, so the next movie's stakes are exceptionally high. Thor's fantasy roots have been difficult to navigate and this makes Thor: Ragnorak
the most likely on the list to underwhelm. With 9 Marvel movies coming out in the next few years, audiences could start picking and choosing their movies from the same studio. The film's quality may be questionable, but its success may boil down to its release date.
: Loki > Thor, that could prove a problem for the entire franchise.
DC may have announced a black lead superhero blockbuster first, but Marvel's African Black Panther is going to be very different from DC's African-American Cyborg. Marvel's been pretend international for awhile now, but almost always end up back on American soil with American accents. A Black Panther movie moves continents, so seeing just how Marvel navigates Africa as a place and idea will probably give many people squirms. It has to be great and successful, though, because it's an important milestone for a future of more diverse blockbusters. And to do so, it has to be aware, sensitive, and engaging. A well done Black Panther
movie could lead to more diverse blockbusters.
A bad one could set everyone back as studio executives start their
“it’s not profitable” argument anew.
: Staying optimistic.
Avengers: Infinity War Parts I & II
A friend of mine pointed out that there will be a new big budget superhero movie coming out practically every 3 months for the next 6 years if you include DC and Marvel’s out-of-house franchises at Sony and Fox. When I saw The Avengers
third instalment is going to be split, I sighed. This is how the bubble will burst. With all these competing projects, these studios are going to get more aggressive in their marketing and release dates and audiences are going to start picking which movies they see. This may mean these studios will not just be competing with each other, but also themselves, like Starbucks' saturation strategy. By the time the second Avengers
movie lands, I think audiences are going to be itchy for something not-superhero. Sony and Fox’s already wavering sales will be the first superhero franchises to fall. I suspect DC’s movies will follow, leaving Marvel to close the door they opened.
: These will be good, but audiences just might not care.
Carol Danvers is an amazing character with a complicated background that will be the full culmination of the MCU-Galaxy and MCU-Earth universes coming together, guaranteed. In retrospect, I applaud Marvel for putting Black Widow in a consistent role throughout their films so there's almost always a woman who's more than a love interest throughout. And now, rather than making her the token girl, Marvel's possibly expanding out. With Captain Marvel
, Marvel will have to shake up their formula, which is only a good thing.
: Great. I have more faith in Marvel to make a great female-led blockbuster than DC.
Marvel may not have the X-Men, but they already have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
drumming up Inhumans rumours. People don’t know about these guys, they’re pretty obscure, which could play against this movie as audiences start getting bored of superheroes by 2018. If the genre wants to still pull in audiences, the movies will need to start showing their differences over shared universes, which is why the Netflix TV shows will be an important thing to watch. Those shows will probably be using different genres (legal drama, private eye noir, kung-fu, blacksploitation) and seeing how they pull it off could show how the movies will work with different influences.
: If they pull it off, it may breathe new life into the genre just as people start looking away.
Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15