Some big news in the superhero movie department recently. Following DC's announcement of its movie line-up a few weeks ago, Marvel have gone and announced what films they plan to release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe all the way up to 2019!
Ones that we've been expecting are a third Captain America and Thor movie to tie out the trilogy, but there have also been a few surprises like Black Panther, Inhumans and Captain Marvel (Ms. Marvel).
You have to give DC and Marvel credit for the scope of their ambitions. Ever since DC threw their hat into the ring at the success of The Avengers, the two companies have been competing against each other for domination of superhero movies. Personally, I favour the Marvel heavyweights. Not only did they 'get there first', but they simply have a better cast of superheroes. Even non-MCU characters like Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and X-Men have established themselves as some of the most popular superheroes of all time. On the other hand, DC only has two really strong contenders: Superman and Batman. Who else is there? Aquaman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, Shazam and the cretinously-named Suicide Squad are all half-assed ideas in my opinion that never really caught the general public's attention. Even Wonder Woman doesn't light my fire, since she's a relic of a bygone era when Amazon women were popular in pulp stories. But it's all DC has to work with and they're milking every one of them. Part of me hopes that a lot of these movies bomb (especially
Suicide Squad) in order to teach Hollywood that just because they can
make a superhero movie doesn't mean they should - at least not without considering the integrity of the series.
To be fair, I'm a bit skeptical about a lot of Marvel's announcements too. As they exhaust their big titles, they begin to turn to secondary characters like Ant-Man and Black Panther, who I seriously doubt have the reputation to receive their own trilogy of movies. I mean, I think Ms. Marvel would be great as an Avenger, but I don't think she can carry her own movie. When Marvel are digging deeper into their catalogue to make a movie about the Inhumans, you know they're running out of ideas. (Then again, they may surprise us like Guardians of the Galaxy.) It's only a matter of time before a new Howard the Duck movie is announced. *shudder*
Another point of controversy is that the third Avengers movie is being split into two parts.
You know, ever since The Lord of the Rings
revitalised the idea that trilogies are profitable, the success of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
has spurred studios into believing two-part movies are in fashion. A string of copycats ensued, including The Hunger Games, Twilight, Justice League (announced), and now The Avengers. Personally, I think this is a really lazy and unnecessary way of drawing out a money-churning franchise. There's nothing the editing room can't fix in order to condense the story into a single coherent film. Rather than neatly closing out the MCU with a third Avengers movie, they tacked on a fourth film because... ker-ching!
One final point to consider is that these actors are getting older. Samuel L. Jackson was already 60 at the time of Iron Man's release, now he's nudging 66 - way older than I imagine Nick Fury to be. Robert Downey Jr. is also showing his age, which makes me wonder how long he can keep returning as Iron Man. And my God, how many times can Hugh Jackman play Wolverine before he turns into Roger Moore in A View to Kill
? He's been at this role since 2000!
With all that's been said, I'm concerned about the future of superhero movies. They've had a great run over the last fourteen years, no doubt about that, but I wonder if Marvel should start considering winding down their franchise (and DC ending theirs prematurely) before it becomes stale. By making adaptations of more and more obscure characters, they risk not only it backfiring into a financial bomb, but tainting the MCU as a whole. People have already forgiven the Hulk for his disappointing movies, but I'd rather not see Ms. Marvel or Black Panther take up the mantle.
So what are your thoughts on Marvel movies, DC movies, and the trend to split movies into two these days? Let's hear it!PS. Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange.... BRILLIANT!