At this point, Guardians of the Galaxy is the highest grossing summer movie of 2014. Although Transformers: Age of Extinction is a billion dollar movie worldwide, Guardians of the Galaxy grossed more money domestically with $251 million, while Age of Extinction only took in $243 million in North America. There's something strange, yet satisfying, about Guardians of the Galaxy being the #1 movie of the summer.
It's based on a very obscure comic book property, so I doubt many people were familiar with Guardians of the Galaxy before Marvel announced the project at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012. It's also a movie that was released in August, which is considered one of the dumping grounds for movie releases, along with January and February. The Marvel and Disney brand was why people showed up to their local theater and plunked down $10 (more or less) to watch Guardians of the Galaxy. This got me thinking: could an original superhero be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
It's pretty clear that Marvel has a really strong brand that assures readers and viewers that they'll be getting quality and high entertainment. A new and original character NOT based on any existing published comic book would be very hard to do, but if any movie studio could do it; it would be Marvel. This scenario might seem strange for hardcore Marvel fans, but with a strong marketing push from Disney and Marvel's creative team of filmmakers, then I think it could be something interesting for the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe.
First thing is first, we know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel comic books are not 100% the same, in terms of characters and stories. If we've learned anything from the Mandarin reveal in Iron Man 3, it's that fans will show up to watch these movies, regardless of whether or not they line up with the comic books. That said, Marvel has a good opportunity to introduce a new character and raise comic books sales at the same time. They would have to drop hints in upcoming Marvel movies - IE Stephen Strange being mentioned in Captain America: The Winter Soldier - and the comic book movie studio would have to announce a new movie based on this original character at San Diego Comic-Con. Marvel would also have to bring concept art, character design, and the actor attached to play the character to the industry convention, as they're announcing the new project.
It's seems like a far-fetched idea, but Marvel has garnered so much good will from general audiences and hardcore fans that the comic book movie studio could try something as outrageous and daring as making an original movie. Imagine that; in 2014, the idea of making an original movie seems so bold and audacious, but dems da breaks. However, to pacify fan rage, Marvel would also have to introduce a new comic book series based on said-new and original superhero character. Something to satisfy tastes before the move's release. Blockbusters these days have to have multiple movie tie-in, so what's the difference if it was created before or after the movie concept was conceived.
There's no doubt in my mind that if Marvel wanted to introduce a new character in their shared cinematic universe, then it would be a smash hit with a strong marketing push and quality writers and directors on board. The only reservation I would have is if Marvel gets too cocky and alienates their creative team like they did in the 90s when Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Marc Silvestri, Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino, Whilce Portacio, and Chris Claremont stopped working for Marvel to form Image Comics. In a lot of people's minds, that was the beginning of Marvel's downfall in the 90s before they mounted an epic comeback in the late 2000s.
An original superhero made for the big screen would be a tricky proposition for any other movie studio except Marvel. They have proven time and again that they can deliver fun and entertaining movies that will also be high grossing blockbusters. If Marvel can make an original movie for a low budget, then it would still be considered a win, if it doesn't prove successful at the box office. At least the movie was a creative and ambitious flop. And why not deliver a dud that's trying to do something different? It might not make money or work, but creative people like directors, writers, and actors will respect you for it. Just as long as Marvel doesn't make this superhero the "Cousin Oliver" or "Poochie" of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then everything will be OK.
What do you think? Could an original superhero be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe?