Marvel and DC (hopefully) seem to have it all figured out. Make blockbuster films, and link them all together into a universally connected collection of film entities. Marvel started the trend when, in 2006, he and his team concocted the idea to film individual films and allow crossovers for several characters, all of which were core members of the Avengers.
After the first movie, Iron Man was released everything just kept rolling and the Marvel Cinematic Universe was built and has flourished like nothing the cinematic world has seen before. The MCU has led other studios to question the legitimacy of other universe style films that encompass numerous movies leading to a bigger tale and a greater legacy. DC is next up with their origin story of the Justice League as we witness their universe develop next year with the studios 2nd cinematic universe release of Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Some see this as a cinematic revolution, bringing about the multi-picture treatment rather than a One-and-Done mentality. And others doubt the possibility of such a grandiose notion as applicable to anything outside of the comic world that already has an extensive network of intertwined stories and characters.
I can see both sides of the argument of the possibility of expanding movies into a cinematic universe, and I personally fall on the side of:
"OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE MAKE MY FAVORITE MOVIES INTO A UNIVERSE SO I CAN LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH THE WORLDS I DREAM ABOUT!!!"
So, now that I have that out of my system, I thought I'd tell you about one of my favorite concept for a cinematic universe.
I would like to introduce you to the JCU.
The Jumper Cinematic Universe.
Jumper is probably not the first film that you would think of beginning a cinematic universe, but I believe that it had/has the ability to craft a unique universal collection of films. If you didn't watch the first movie, let me try to give you the gist of it without killing the story.
David Rice, our main character, is an average 15 year old boy. He has a crush on the girl of his dreams- Millie, struggles with being the oddball who gets harassed by the school bully. David learns that he has the ability to 'jump' from one location to another. David runs away from home and his alcoholic father; the whole town believes David to be dead. Flash forward 8 years to David living off of the stolen money, afforded him by his 'jumping' ability.
Ambushed in his apartment by Roland Cox, as his abilities have not gone unnoticed. Roland, a member of a religious sect called The Paladins whose sole purpose is to rid the earth of all Jumpers, attempts to capture David to no avail as David escapes back to his childhood home.
David returns to his hometown and finds Millie and leads her on a round-the-world attempt to escape from The Paladins and learn the truth about his past and how it will affect his future.
After I watched Jumper the first time, I had 3 questions pop into my head and each of those questions could have been turned into the beginning of the Jumper Cinematic Universe.
Jumper: Paladin Rising
This would be a prequel film. We already know that David is not the first of his kind, we met Griffin in the film and know that there were many others hunted and killed by the Paladins. Putting an origin story of the jumpers would be incredible, but I think watching as the Paladins are created would be an even more unique opportunity to tell the back story of how the Paladins started hunting the Jumpers. We never really got the background of why Roland believed what he believed. I envision Roland as a 3rd generation Paladin. It's been his families purpose to hunt Jumpers as far back as he can remember. We watch as a young Roland is trained to hunt and we hear the voice of the true leader of the Paladins as Roland is enlisted into the leadership ranks. He begins his training with hesitation to take a life until a group of rogue Jumpers kills the one woman he loves, setting his life on a path of extinction for all Jumpers.
Jumper: Griffin's Hunt
Following up after the first film we meet up with Griffin again, played by Jamie Bell, as he continues to evade and even hunt the Paladins that have haunted him and his kind. If you saw the movie, you may vaguely remember Griffin saying that he was tracking 10 Paladins. After Griffin escapes his capture in Chechnya, he leaves to build a new Lair where he begins his hunt again for the Paladin's that killed his family. This film focuses mainly on the turning tide as Griffin meets other Jumpers who have been able to evade the Paladins. Griffin becomes a mentor of sorts as he teaches the other Jumpers how to stay off their radar and how to hunt. Griffin enlists David to help, and the two of them work together (although it is a strained relation because Griffin discovers the truth about David's family).
Jumper: The Paladin Wars
The third film in the JCU would bring David's return as his family is caught up in the conflict when he learns that his mother is Griffin's next target, as she was the woman who killed Griffin's parents all those years ago. David is caught in the middle as Griffin's Jumpers have concocted a plan that will hopefully destroy the Paladins for good, attacking them at the heart of their organization, a mysterious leader whom has never actually been seen. David tries to protect his mother and step family from Griffin's rage. We learn that David's mother, although a Paladin is able to Jump herself as is David's step-sister. The truth of David's family is revealed as a major conflict dating back to the rise of the Paladins in the first film. The truth of David's family leads to what would be a diverging storyline through his daughter and Millie's eyes as they discover just what it means to be a Jumper. David's daughter is a pivotal piece in the Paladin Wars as her ability is revealed to be an offshoot of David's powers. This in turn opens up a larger world with various abilities, but not so extensive as to be considered a mutant.
It should be something simple like what we saw in Push (watchers, movers, pushers, bleeders, sniffs, shifters, etc. etc.) Very specific powers that don't differ from one person to another.
We learn that the leader of the Paladins is a similarly powered character who was trying to avoid a new generational human with powers that presents itself upon a 3rd generation Jumper (David's daughter would be a 3rd generation).
This is where the JCU could diverge the storyline and watch as David's daughter takes on a much larger evil outside of the Paladins.