Marvel films have been mostly known for their humor especially since their big cinematic universe introduction with Iron-Man back in 2008. They have been on a role continuing to put forth film after film hit after hit. Marvel is not slowing down anytime soon. Their funniest film to date is arguably Guardians of the Galaxy featuring a tree named Groot that speaks one single phrase and a talking raccoon named Rocket. The film was a huge hit mostly due to the humor and wild antics that took place in the film. However, after analyzing the newest trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, I couldn’t help but think to myself as to how depressing this film really looks. Why so serious Marvel? Perhaps I may be diving too deep into thinking this but I want to consider this and mediate on this question: Is Marvel films turning more serious like DC?
We all know how DC films are usually dark and depressing with a more serious tone and feel. Take Man of Steel and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy as examples. Those films are very serious with very little humor sprinkled throughout each of them. Now don’t get me wrong, those films are rather enjoyable. As much hate as Man of Steel may receive (mainly for Superman killing Zod at the end) I really enjoyed this film. Yes the action was a bit overdone especially at the end, but overall, it was a good film with Zack Snyder’s art of destruction. Without question, DC films have no doubt been more serious than their Marvel counterparts. The same can be said for the comic book adaptations. This is has been a major difference for the films and will most certainly continue when Batman vs Superman flies into theaters next March.
Marvel’s strongest suit other than how all their films connect in their shared universe, has been their appropriate use of laughter. Not only do they handle it wisely, but they don’t overuse it either. Marvel can be serious at times, but there has always been that sense of fun and excitement while watching our favorite heroes battle the evil forces that are against them. However, what we have seen from the Age of Ultron trailers thus far has been nothing but dreadfulness. Iron-Man having to battle Hulk, Hawkeye saving civilians from complete and utter chaos, Black Widow being interrogated by possibly Hydra, and the entire team shown torn apart as Ultron is quoted saying in the trailer: “I’m going to tear you apart, from the inside.”
Our heroes do not look like they are in for a warm welcome from a menacing robot they created by hand. Ultron will definitely be a force to reckon with and will stop at nothing until he rids all of humanity from this world. The trailers have showed us much doom and gloom over the past few months which leads me to speculate: Will Marvel movies change into a more serious tone moving forward? The answer I believe is an unfortunate YES.
With the exception of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, I really don’t see any film in the near future that would lead me to believe that the movies will be as fun as they have been in the past. Let’s face it we all enjoy Loki (Tom Hiddleston) as the selfish non-biological brother of the God of Thunder. Even though he has arguably been the Avengers toughest test, nothing will compare to what they will have to face when Ultron appears in their next film. At least Loki has a sense of humor, whereas Ultron will probably not (Thanos of course will cause more destruction later).
Marvel films are clearly headed towards a darker path. Just take a look at the titles of these forthcoming films: Captain America: Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok (which essentially means "the end of all things"), and Avengers: Infinity Wars Part 1 and 2. All of these films deal with war, anguish, and destruction. Even the newest Ant-Man trailer appears to be more sincere in tone than most people have speculated. Having Edgar Wright depart over creative differences I believe may have resulted in a more serious film. Don’t get me wrong, it still looks amazing and I am truly looking forward to it. It just appears that it will be less whimsical than previously expected.
While on the topic of sincerity, a few heroes to note that have always been serious and are not known for their comedic relief are the Black Panther and Doctor Strange. Black Panther is looking for vengeance after the death of his father who was killed at the hands of Ulysses Klaw. A sworn protector of Wakanda, T’Challa will stop at nothing to prevent any more harm towards his people.
Andy Serkis is once again shown briefly in the newest Age of Ultron trailer. Even though Andy Serkis or anyone else hasn’t publicly stated that he his in fact playing Klaw, this new depiction of him should definitely prove he is that villain. He is clearly shown wearing some sort of necklace that resembles an animals claw. We don’t know what his primary role will be in Age of Ultron but you can almost guarantee he will be the main antagonist in the solo Black Panther movie that’s set to open in theaters on November 3, 2017.
The other character who is not known for laughs is Doctor Stephen Strange. The amazing Benedict Cumberbatch was rumored to be cast and later officially cast as Doctor Strange a few months ago. Cumberbatch as we all know has that really heavy, dark and sometimes eerie voice. Two films that come to mind was him as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness and the dragon Smaug in the Hobbit films. For me, his voice makes him the best possible candidate to play Marvel’s supreme sorcerer. This is once again another character who lacks that humorous vibe and also appears to be a very serious film. This movie will debut later next year after the events in Captain America: Civil War on November 4, 2016.
Clearly the writing is on the wall. While we don’t really know the entire direction Marvel is taking us, what we do know are the list of films through 2019. Also we know from the comics how these characters act and how they are portrayed. Not by any means am I saying that these films are going to be disappointing. On the contrary, I believe these films will be massive hits and will surely please fans of the movies as well as any comic book nerd out there. What I am afraid of is that Marvel may be steering us into a more serious direction and will not bring us that sense of joy and excitement that we once had while watching these films. Marvel has done well distancing themselves from their DC equivalents. But these next installments appear more about sorrow than hearing Tony Stark constantly proclaiming he’s a billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. However, it seems as though Marvel may heading down this path.
But that’s what I think when I put these puzzle pieces together. What do YOU think? Do you think Marvel is headed into a more serious direction like DC has been doing with their films? Or, do you think I’m overly thinking all of this and there will still be more fun in the sun? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!