Marvel Studios' latest film, Avengers: Age of Ultron, has become divisive for fans of comic book movies. Some of the most mentioned critiques of the movie are that it feels overstuffed with narrative and the villain was not as menacing as advertised. Marvel is creating a widening gap between fan's expectations of the tone of their movies and what is actually being delivered.
In 2013, Iron Man 3 was released following a campaign that promised fans that Tony Stark would be brought to his knees by the Mandarin, played by Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley. The trailer showed Stark being dismantled by an unknown terrorist organization, that was seemingly grounded in real world politics and weaponry. Audiences were shocked when they sat down in theaters on May 3rd, 2013 and found the movie that was made was just as frivolous as Iron Man 2. While the Al-Qaida influenced Mandarin was nothing but a bumbling British fool.
Last year fans got their first look at Avengers: Age of Ultron with a teaser trailer that promised a scary and relentless killer robot that would stop at nothing, because in his own words, "There are no strings on me." Many were caught off-guard when they sat down in theaters last week and instead got a wise-cracking machine with articulated lips. It simply didn't match up with what was advertised. Well recently Marvel head Kevin Feige was asked whether Marvel Studios' films would ever shake up their light-hearted tone in any upcoming movie, this is a summary of what he had to say via CBM.
There is no dark turn in the MCU. He says every year fans come up to him and ask him if this movie is when the MCU goes "dark" or takes a "dark" turn. He said while the trailers may seem ominous or have a sense of impending doom, the movies do not have that feel, and will not. He said he "Hoped people would catch on by now" - there will be no giant dark turns in the MCU where it then continues to head in that direction. The humor is in the DNA of the movies, there are no plans to change that.
First of all we should preface this by saying that this isn't a direct quote, but a summary of what had been said by Feige. In any case, it could be perceived as insulting that Feige would assume fans would "catch on." Over the past decade, Marvel movie enthusiasts have decided to put their trust in the studio, following a string of successful movies. When their logo flashes on the screen it signifies a certain level of entertainment and adventure. However Feige admitting that the marketing for their films uses misdirection, is not an appropriate reward for fan's trust in the Marvel brand.
It is also troublesome because it is a signal that the studio may not be being willing to grow with the times. Even more to the point, it means that Marvel has a formula for making their movies. As opposed to finding a great story and building a movie around the script, then letting a director deliver their best version of the material. It also explains why the list of disgruntled directors leaving Marvel continues to grow including Edgar Wright, Patty Jenkins, Joss Whedon, and more. Not only is there a rigid structure for how each film has to fit into the MCU, but there is a rigid formulaic structure for each individual film. That can't be conducive for fostering a creative environment and is a recipe for clashes of egos.
Warner Bros caught a lot of heat based off of a rumor that their DC Comics' film properties have a "No Joke" policy in the past. Many took it as WB literally wants no jokes in their movies, however the original edict was probably much more nuanced than that. It does make sense to have a mandate to take their characters and their stories seriously. That may also show the difference in the studios' ambition for their films. Marvel seems to be saying that they want to make easily digestible popcorn movies. While DC is clearly trying to make movies that transcend the genre, by trusting the audience to be engaged by the story being told, not just the charisma of the actors.
Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War will end the studio's third phase of films and seems to by inspired by the Infinity War comic story line from the comics. In the story, Thanos ends half of life in the universe. That is pretty dark. Even if they alter things for the movie, they have undoubtedly been preparing audiences for the most menacing and deadly character in the MCU. But then again, Thanos has no problem cracking a smile. It suddenly makes sense why he is their biggest villain of all...
What do you think of Feige's approach to all of Marvel's films? Let us know below!
Source: Point of Geeks