'Survive' probably wasn't the word I was looking for. But I guess "Dominate the Box Office and Control Moviegoers" would have made a rather lengthy title.
So we've all seen the list of all the future Marvel and DC films for several years and it looks awesome. If you're reading this, it's a good guess that the super hero culture is a relatively big part of your life (or at least, super hero films are). So I'm sure I'm not alone is saying that we've been graced with some pretty dope comic book movies as of late, we've watched all or most of them, enjoyed them (for the most part), and really look forward to every year from now until, like, 2020, for the future of these franchises.
But is it all as good as it seems? Are we, the fans, and the studios getting a little in over our heads? Are we prematurely shooting our wads....on what was meant to be a dry run...and now are left with something of a mess on our hands?
But really, dudes. In recent times, we've struck gold with super hero movies-- The Dark Knight Trilogy, Iron Man, Man of Steel-- but how long can that last? We've already seen seven Batman films in our lifetimes, which had its moderately successful (1989 Batman) to critically incredible (The Dark Knight) to just plain terrible (The-Batman-"Film"-Which-Should-Not-Be-Named) movies. We've also enjoyed three (or, if only if you're me, apparently, four) and loathed two (or, me, one) Spider-Man films. We have an entire meticulously connected Marvel Cinematic Universe, we're about to witness a similar creation from DC (as well as possibly Sony, and to some extent we've already seen this with Fox). With DC and Marvel releasing their slate of planned films with at least ten each for the next five years, along with Sony and Fox having (less than concrete) solid plans for many more Spider-verse and X-Men/ Fantastic Four films, respectively, thrown into the mix, we're looking at over thirty super hero films within five years, if everything goes according to plan.
Now, this could be amazing and, as you can guess since I'm taking the time to write about it, I sincerely hope for the best that everything goes well for all studios involved.
But I can't help being a little scared. And I feel like I'm alone in being scared so I guess one of the reasons I'm putting these thoughts down for the internet to see is in the hopes that I'm not the only geek out here afraid that things go awry. Let me explain myself...
First off, some back story on ya boy Steven... I've always enjoyed comics and movie- comic adaptions. I really started loving and following and studying the stuff sometime in middle school. I've pretty much always been a DC guy, ready to follow Batman to the end. That being said, I definitely DO NOT hate Marvel. The two can (and DO) coexist and each one has their strengths and weaknesses. That is a discussion for another day but in short, each one needs the other in order to produce top notch work. If it sounds like I'm favoring one company over the other, I'm sorry, I don't mean to. But we are going to start with the company that, cinematically, has had the upper hand for a while....
It was so cool back in 2008 or whatever when Marvel began connecting their films. We were all excited, even if at first it was mainly cameos and nods to their other films. We had no idea back then how deep it was going to go. Just go back and watch the first Iron Man or The Incredible Hulk. There are no traces that anything would explode into where the studio is at now. If that isn't some of the coolest shit ever than I don't know what is.
So they started connecting their movies more and more and soon things were pretty cohesive. But now we have a problem. We've established that, not only do all these heroes and villains exist in one universe, but the bulk of the characters know each other and have done team-ups. So now, all that really makes sense is constant team-ups. Everything built up to The Avengers and now the same is happening with Age of Ultron.
But then we have...Iron Man 3. Tony Stark all alone against an obviously pretty powerful and evil threat. Where are the Avengers?
Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Now I know everyone and their mom's dog loved this movie but I watched it and....eh. Way too many plot holes, not enough Winter Soldier, and why was it titled "Captain America"? It was almost an Avengers sequel. It at least could have been "Cap 'n Friends" or "Sort of Avengers" or even just something like "The Winter Soldier" or "Hydra Rises." Anyways, they included a few Avengers. And maybe stuff was too intense and whatnot for 'ol Steve Rogers to contact any of his buddies to help him out but COME ON--MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WERE ABOUT TO DIE. STRAIGHT UP.
The Thor sequel made sense since he was on another world. And I get that Bruce Banner can't really control himself but...well, that's a whole different problem on it's own.
"Hmmm. Earth's Mightiest Heroes, you say? Brought together to defend humanity, you say? I know just the guy hat would be perfect for such a team-up...."
But I digress. If I'm going to be emotionally invested in a super hero film, especially a sequel, or any addition to mutli-movie universe, the plotline has to be gripping and the threat has to intense. Like world-ending intense. And with all these heroes introduced, it doesn't make sense anymore for Iron Man to go up against something like that alone. It doesn't make sense for Captain America to do it with only a few supporting characters either. We can only continue to ignore these plot holes for so long.
Which brings me to....
As super crazy excited as I am for a Batman VERSUS Superman film and even more excited for MULTIPLE JUSTICE LEAGUE films, I can't help being worried that they will slip into the same trap.
But, I'm actually more hopeful for DC than I am for Marvel. And it's not just because of the way I swing...um....comically...or whatever.
DC and Warner have recently revealed a few details about BvSDoJ and the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. As was suspected, BvS is including more vital characters than just the title ones, whether as mere cameos or something more. They are introducing an onslaught of characters early on into their cinematic universe. Now obviously, a big part of this is to help them "catch up" to Marvel. But this also sounds like it's going to be a very realistic reaction to the events of Man of Steel (mainly all the stuff where like entire cities were destroyed). Other heroes are showing to let Superman know that he can't just do things like that-with all that power comes responsibility. And with the Wonder Woman film, instead of setting it chronologically after The Man of Steel and BvS, they are setting it several decades before. This completely bypasses the problem that Marvel faces.
The X-men films, in my opinion, are the most underrated of all the super hero franchises. They were given the task all the way back in 2000 to make a super hero film revolving mainly around two characters, supported closely by four or so in a battle against a villain and his three goons. All the characters come across as genuine and fully realized. Director Bryan Singer flawlessly keeps the characters realistic and grounded and gives them all enough emotional power to back them up and stand alone as timeless characters.
The addition of yet more heroes and villains is not a problem at all...until The Last Stand but I think we can guess what the problem was there...
And so far, none of the solo X-Men character films have been great...or even good....but I'm sure they'll get the hang of it.
Or just keep bustin' out awesome ensemble films. I'm totally down with that.
And then we have Sony....
I have such high hopes for what they can do. It's such a bold move taking one character, arguably the only character this could ever work with, and creating an entire movie verse around him.
I think that if they do it right, it can go extremely well. They don't have the problem that Marvel or DC do with too many heroes. Most of the extra characters they plan to make movies based around are villains or antiheroes.
Everything that happens will always come back to Spider-Man. Instead of affecting a whole world (and then some) of characters, this is condensed to the affairs of one city with primarily one hero to deal with it all. As long as they don't over complicate things, it should go fairly well.
That being said, I know that most people didn't really like The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I personally thought it was great. Sure, it could have been done less like a trailer but we already know they're planning bigger things so I don't think we can really be that mad. Which reminds me....
Even if they don't intentionally make it clear, won't every single super hero film just play out as a trailer or hype-film or place holder just to keep people on track for the bigger more important movies? Now that we know titles and dates for most of the films, I feel it takes away a lot of the magic and fun of watching each movie as they should be-- standalone films. Now, everything is just a precursor to a precursor with no end in sight.
Will all these studios have the power to continue producing solid work? Will it just feel like trailers for future films? Will these studios regret greenlighting so many films at once just because they're popular right now?
Am I just freaking out too much?
Well at the end of the day, my excitement outweighs my doubts and fears for these films. And I hope for the best. Especially from the Fantastic Four, cuz I'm just gonna come out and say it-- the last two films sucked. And I was a pretty big fan of the comics for a while so....that'd be such an awesome comeback if it wasn't just better than before but actually like...awesome. Iono. We'll see.
Lemme know what your thoughts are in the comments, geeks.