Posted by Tom Bacon @TomBacon
I'm a British guy who has a particular love of superhero movies - and I'm having a great time writing for Movie Pilot! Feel free to foll...
Tom Bacon

There's a sense in which superheroes are wish-fulfilment; we watch the latest superhero film, and then we switch on the news and vaguely wish that the likes of Captain America and Superman were around to make a difference.

Marvel Studios feels the same way. Marvel's decided to use their star power to launch a new campaign - Hero Acts!

What Is Hero Acts?

Time and again, Marvel actors have made a stand against injustice. In Christmas 2014, Chris Evans made headlines when he visited Christopher's Haven, a specially designed residence for kids suffering from cancer. He didn't just turn up with gifts, but he spent quality time with one young superhero fan, giving them the time of their life.

He's not the only one to transform children's lives, though. Robert Downey Jr. has visited scores of charities, and even presented one boy with a new bionic arm! Over at DC, Ben Affleck - perhaps the best Batman to date - founded the Eastern Congo Initiative to provide opportunities for people in the eastern Congo.

This is different, though. This isn't one or two actors doing their own thing; this is Marvel Studios running its first charitable campaign, championed by Benedict Cumberbatch - star of Doctor Strange.

His eyes have been opened. Image: Marvel Studios
His eyes have been opened. Image: Marvel Studios

It's clear that Benedict Cumberbatch hasn't just been jet-setting around the world filming Doctor Strange - as he explains:

"We filmed Doctor Strange in Nepal, and several other countries, and everywhere we went in the world I met Marvel fans. But I also saw kids who were facing enormous challenges, challenges that no-one should ever have to face."

So Benedict Cumberbatch has become the face of Hero Acts, Marvel Studios's first charitable campaign. Here's how it works: You can go to the Hero Acts website, and upload a photo of yourself in a superhero pose. For every photo that's uploaded, Marvel will donate $5.00 to Save the Children, up to a maximum of $1,000,000. It's a smart approach; rather than simply donating $1,000,000, Marvel is inviting fans to partner with them in the gift. It puts the weight of popular support behind the donation, while also encouraging fans to continue engaging with the Marvel brand.

More Is Yet To Come!

The Hero Acts logo. Image: Marvel Studios
The Hero Acts logo. Image: Marvel Studios

Excitingly, though, it seems that this is only the first stage of Hero Acts. The website explains:

"Marvel Studios: Hero Acts is a brand-new charitable initiative focused on bringing help and hope to kids around the world. Whether visiting children in hospitals, granting wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, or inspiring kids and families through our content, Marvel Studios: Hero Acts builds on the tradition of lending a hand to children in times of need. From our filmmakers to our fans, we believe we each have our own superpower to lend to the world, and Marvel Studios is dedicated to bringing that out in everyone."

In reality, it seems that Marvel Studios has been working on this for some time. Marvel invited children from the Make A Wish Foundation to the world premiere of Captain America: Civil War, and the kids got to spend time with Marvel's stars. Make A Wish has a vision of granting the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions, and I'm pretty sure giving some of these brave children a chance to meet Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. was a wonderful experience for all involved!

Marvel with Make A Wish. Image: Marvel Studios
Marvel with Make A Wish. Image: Marvel Studios

It's exciting to see Marvel striving to make a difference in the world. What's more, Marvel superheroes aren't the only ones trying to do good in the real world; DC Entertainment is known for We Can Be Heroes, which most recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for children in the Horn of Africa.

See also:

In Hero Acts, Marvel is inviting you to partner with them in making a difference in children's lives. You don't have to give money, you just have to respond to Benedict Cumberbatch's appeal by uploading a photo and sharing it on social media. But you only have until December 31st 2016. So what are you waiting for? It's time to be a hero and act - head to the Hero Acts website and upload your photo. You can partner with Marvel, and make a difference to a child's life!

Have you uploaded your photo? Why not give us the link in the comments and let's celebrate the difference we can make!

The Civil War World Premiere! Image: Marvel Studios
The Civil War World Premiere! Image: Marvel Studios