Iron Man. Captain America. The Hulk. Thor. [The Avengers](movie:9040). Black Widow. Hawkeye. Nick Fury. With only two more films to go in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’re getting to a point in Marvel Studios box office reign where the comic book movie studio is about to introduce new heroes with [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073). And now add another five heroes with Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon to the list above. While Marvel seems unstoppable at the moment, is the Marvel Cinematic Universe becoming too crowded, or could audiences stand for more superhero movies?
Let’s face it, Marvel Studios and superhero movies are not going away, nor would I want them to. I love superhero movies! But with so many characters and storylines to keep up with, it’s only a matter of time before audiences will get tired of the Marvel formula. And now with the introduction of [Doctor Strange](movie:559685) and Ant-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the franchise is getting closer and closer to bloated status.
Remember when the Man of Steel sequel was announced last summer, and then Warner Bros announced that the new movie would feature Batman vs. Superman? Fans were excited to hear that DC’s biggest and most well known superheroes were going to be featured in the same movie and they would be fighting each other into a bloody pulp. However, slowly but surely additional announcements made it sound like the movie was transforming from a Man of Steel sequel, into a Batman movie that would feature Superman, and then into a Justice League movie in sheep’s clothing.
Wonder Woman and Cyborg were added to the cast with rumors that Aquaman would also make a cameo appearance. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice sounds like it’s becoming too crowded and unfocused. After all, DC and Warner Bros seems like they’re trying to catch up with Marvel, so plugging in as much as possible appears to be the studio’s approach.
Could the same thing be said about the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Is the franchise getting too crowded? Of course, the answer isn’t so easy. Obviously, Marvel is doing such a great job churning out hit movies that it is hard to criticize that kind of success. However, releasing 10 movies in six years is a lot with many more to come. It’s a question of whether or not Marvel will start making movies for C-List superheroes when the well runs dry with the A and B-List. Oh wait, they already are. Doctor Strange is considered a C-List character among Marvel fans, so it’s something that’s happening right now. One day we could get a movie for Avengers West Coast, or a standalone for Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch, and Vision, if [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) is a smash hit, which it will most likely be.
Marvel is also in a position to churn out endless sequels for their properties. Is Iron Man 7 with the third actor to take up the role of Tony Stark just over the horizon? Marvel sequels keep making more money with every new movie, so it’s likely that we will see an endless parade of sequels, if the studio doesn’t want to introduce new characters. I’m convinced that this model can’t go on forever without changing it up a bit. But I could be wrong, James Bond has been going strong for over 50 years already with its latest entry considered to be the best of the bunch. Skyfall is certainly EON Productions most profitable movie, taking in over a billion dollars worldwide.
It’s clear that Marvel has a deep bench when it comes to superheroes and characters, but will we ever see an original character that was specifically created for the movies that would fit in directly to The Avengers. I predict we might get something like that for Phase Four, but I won’t be surprised if Marvel never does anything like that either. Now that would be too risky!
I suppose if the quality is still there, in terms of writers and directors, then a good quality movie could be made for just about anything, but would audiences want to keep watching them?