Good day to all who may be reading this article. The Avengers is one of my favourite films of recent years, not only is it a great comic book film, but I believe it to be a really great film in general and it got me thinking about how much of big deal the film was. I mean the hype for this film was insane and that is no exaggeration. The film was four years in the making after its post-credit scene announcement via Nick Fury in Iron Man 1, the film could have easily crumbled under the pressure and failed miserably. But it succeeded. It was not only a fantastic piece of work, but considering the way that films are made these days, The Avengers really was and still is the kind of film that's special and unprecedented in recent film history. So with that in mind I'm going to talk about the importance and relevance of The Avengers two years after its initial release.
To say that there was hype for The Avengers would be an understatement. The anticipation for this film is biggest I've ever seen in my lifetime. I mean sure I'm only 24 at the moment so I can't say much about my lifetime, but I know hype when I see it. As previously mentioned, when Nick Fury showed up in the post-credits scene of Iron Man and said that Tony Stark wasn't "the only superhero in the world" and said he wanted to discuss the "Avengers Initiative" the Marvel fan base blew up. Ever since then we got introduced to the team as individuals in The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger over the course of four years, and got more and more teasers leading up to the eventual film. The first preview we got for Avengers was at the end of Captain America: The First Avengers and even though it was like only 30 seconds of footage it sent fans insane. It was watched several times online and some people went back to the cinema just to see the preview again haha.
Marvel knew how to market their films and get the hype and excitement going from 2008 to 2012. In October of 2011 the first trailer came out and that's when fans took to the internet and raped the hell out of the repeat button as they watched the teaser trailer over and over. On iTunes Movie Trailers the trailer was downloaded over 10 million times in 24 hours which broke the website's record for the most-viewed trailer at the time. And with each subsequent trailer the hype and anticipation got more and more uncontrollable. I travelled from Marvel.com to YouTube to IGN to Facebook to Superherohype and many other places and people and fans alike were freaking out all left, right and centre. With all of the footage, images and interviews with Joss Whedon, Kevin Fiege and the rest of the cast, by the time May 2012 came along expectations were at an all-time high. Luckily for most the film satisfied their needs and then some.
It should be obvious, but it has to be noted that I don't think Avengers would be the success that it was without Joss Whedon. His writing and directing changed this film's story and characters from being very basic and messy to something stylish, cohesive, witty, comedic and serious when needed. Whedon was clearly a fan of the source material and comics and given his amazing track record with his television series including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse the man knows how to handle a massive cast of characters and make them all feel relevant and necessary to the plot. After watching all of Dollhouse, Firefly and at least two and half seasons of Buffy, the similarities and comparisons to The Avengers in terms of the dialogue and character traits is impossible to not to see.
Some say the film could have been done with another director and while I guess that is probably true I still don't think it would have been as special without the awesomeness that is Joss Whedon. The man is all-powerful!
This is the man with the plan, without this guy I doubt the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be as grand as it is without this man's talent. He seems to be the heart and soul of Marvel Studios and the films that they produce due to the announcements and interviews he does. I mean I've never seen a producer who is so passionate and has so much knowledge of comic books and understand source material in such a vivid way. Feige has powers! Every interview he does he is always offering information on current or upcoming projects and he doesn't just talk about them from a business point of view but as a person knows his stuff and understands how to translate it into live action along with the directors, writers and actors.
But what I really like about him is the fact that he's always thinking, he always seems to be one or two or maybe even five steps ahead of everyone else. If fans have ideas of where to go with storylines or costumes or introducing new character solo films, Feige seems to have thought of it already or is ready to make it happen behind the scenes and then makes a massive announcement about it later down the line. The man never stops moving and that's something you gotta appreciate.
The End Result
Whatever your thoughts are on The Avengers no one can deny its success. It's been said many, many times and I'll say it again, the film was a massive gamble and could have especially blown up in Marvel's faces. Having several superhero characters from their own separate films come together in one film? Nothing like this had been done before and it was incredibly risky. But somehow thanks to Joss Whedon's direction, Kevin Feige's vision along with the people at Marvel Studios and some fine acting from the cast involved they crafted an exceptional comic book film the likes of which has never been seen. Now allow me to explain what I mean by that.
Up until the time before The Avengers, everyone was gearing towards the dark and gritty realism created in the Chris Nolan Batman films. I swear most audiences, critics and people I talked to saw The Dark Knight as a template for future comic book films and only wanted dark and realistic films. But then The Avengers comes out of the blue and completely squashes that concept with a film that had a lot more fun, light-hearted and humourous approach than any film in the genre for a while. But in addition to that it had its intimate moments of character development, drama and it built upon the foundations of the previous films in a awesome way. Also there was not only great action going on in the form of the CGI and special effects but there was also action going on between the characters as they argued and fought each other. It was some badass, dynamic, tension-building and funny stuff and it worked in a very natural way and related to the source material so well. It really was a great film not only for casual audiences but for all the comic nerds out there waiting to see their favourite characters fighting each other and then coming together to save the world from evil.
Finally there was a film to break the chain of all these "dark and gritty" comic book adaptations. I know that there are a lot of comics that revolve around that style and tone, but not ALL comic book films HAVE to be that way. The Avengers was a good time in the cinema and everyone from fans to critics to casual film audiences responded well to it. It made a ton of money at the Box Office and the sequel was greenlit for 2015 just a short time after so year rock on Marvel!
And now we come to the final point and this one is pretty important, it's all about foreshadowing. As I said before Kevin Feige is the man with the plan and is always thinking several steps ahead and he knows to when to make announcements about future projects that'll keep fans wanting more or just send them into a frenzy freaking out about upcoming films. Also the Marvel films themselves have always given us a look into the future thanks to their post-credit scenes. At the end of Iron Man Nicky Fury showed up, at the end of The Incredible Hulk Tony Stark showed up, at the end of Iron Man 2 Agent Coulson located Thor's hammer, etc. The point is Marvel Studios have been smart about the way in which they've marketed their films and set up plansfor the future. And now they've established their Marvel Cinematic Universe they are looking to continue their success with their Phase Two and Three films.
So far Phase Two has gotten off to preety good start with the dark, complex and funny Iron Man 3 and then there was the more grounded, character-driven and fantasy-based Thor: The Dark World. Both films were good and had points which bested their prequels, but neither of them compared to the unexpected awesomeness that was Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Cap 2 was smart, genre-specific (political thriller) and unexpectedly bold with amazing action and character moments and was easily one of the best films that's come out so far.
Now Guardians of the Galaxy is on the horizon in the summer and it is looking like the most different kind of film we're getting from Marvel so far. It is totally full-on science fiction which is weird, colourful and funny as hell, but with all the cool action that is expected from superhero films. Then we have Avengers: Age of Ulron in 2015 which is looking like one of the most anticipated films so far. After that we get to move onto Ant-Man which kicks off Phase Three of the MCU and with Doctor Strange, Captain America 3 and Thor 3 in the ealry stages of development it seems like Marvel's not ready to stop creating any time soon.
In the end Marvel Studios worked for four long years and gave us one of the finest comic films in existence. The Avengers was and still is badass and if anyone tries to imitate that in the future I hope they won't forget that this was the film that gave them the blueprint.
So yeah that's it, I just had to get that out of my system and share my thoughts with you all. Anways what do you think? Do you agree with my points or do totally disagree? Whatever your thoughts leave them in the comments below as I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.