With roughly 30 superhero films planned to be released over the next 4 years or so, the genre seems to be becoming just a tad bloated. In a constant race for originality and quality work to be pumped out, things are more crucial now for comic book movies. Since we are currently approaching the end of this phase of Marvel films, Marvel needs to make sure their lineup is enough to hold up to their rapidly growing schedule. Here are some things Marvel can do to keep their cinematic universe from being buried by other comic book films.
Do you think Marvel can keep producing quality films?
1. Anthony and Joe Russo
Directors of the critically acclaimed Captain America : Winter Soldier, and upcoming Civil War. The Russo brothers have made movie magic with the second installment to the Captain America films. A perfect blend of comic hero and spy-thriller, Captain America : Winter Soldier is arguably the best Marvel film (sorry Iron Man). If Marvel wants to avoid having their movies being the same thing being told over and over *cough*Avengers*cough*, they need to combine genres a bit. Part of what made Winter Soldier such a great film was that it didn't feel entirely like a comic book movie all the way through. It had a certain depth and darkness to it that made it much more than your typical superhero flick.
2. Keep our heroes interesting!
Let's face it, some of the heroes Marvel has in it's cinematic universe just aren't cutting it anymore. The Hulk despite being the largest member of the Avengers, is constantly seemingly overlooked, even though he's tossed into a relationship with Black Widow. This isn't the greatest example, but until Thor : Ragnarok comes out and we get to see Mark Ruffalo kicking some space-ass with Thor, he's still just a sideline player. Also, Hawkeye just needs to go. He was given a shot at redemption with an unnecessary plot point in Age of Ultron, but did we really need to know about his secret family? Is it supposed to humanize the most human (literally) character on the team? Take the drive they had to help Hawkeye develop and give it to Vision! (A character who in my opinion was not given nearly enough time to develop in the movie.
3. Future movies, do them right
Marvel has a track record of hiring the right directors to helm their projects. With the exception of Edgar Wright's Ant-Man (that was reworked before release), they seem to be making all the right plays. Anthony and Joe Russo barely had any noticeable credit beyond Community when they were signed on to do Captain America, Marvel clearly believes in the underdogs. Ryan Coogler, director of Creed and Fruitvale Station was announced to direct the standalone Black Panther film. This is sure to leave fans excited to see what he could bring to the table, given his success as a director.
4. Do magic carefully
There was a time when Marvel seemed to be afraid to include much magic into their universe, (Mandarin flop in Iron Man 3), but now they seem to be embracing the idea rather quickly. If they want to introduce mystical elements into the films, by all means do so, Thor was indeed a success. However with the arrival of heroes like Doctor Strange and the speculated Iron Fist, they really need to get this right. The magic in Doctor Strange's source material is so rich and fantastical, there is just so much that can be done wrong. Give the fans some time to adjust to the shift in tone, don't just attack us with it and expect everything to blend effortlessly.
5. Better Villains.
This is by far the biggest issue Marvel's cinematic universe has. Apart from Tom Hiddleston's Loki and Jeff Bridges' Obadiah Stane, there haven't really been many memorable villains. Red Skull is "gone", Arnim Zola blew up in the base (Winter Soldier), and even Ronan The Accuser was umm... blown up as well. Marvel's villains need to have a longer lasting effect, be more menacing. My suggestion here would be include more villains that we haven't seen yet! With the recent addition of Spider-man back into their ranks, Marvel has a serious gold mine to tap into here. Villains like Carnage and Kraven The Hunter just to name two perfect examples. (Matthew McConaughey for Carnage, Manu Bennet for Kraven? Just saying) There needs to be a real outstanding villain to keep our heroes busy, or at least pose some type of real threat! And I don't mean threaten to blow up a major city or destroy the planet.
6. Just Keep It Real
Don't give us watered down nonsense. Don't take our beloved comic book heroes and make a mockery of them (That's for you 20th Century Fox). Put in the honest work and the numbers will show, the true fans will appreciate what we are given. (Cyclops leading the X-Men please). If Marvel continues to take their films seriously, then there shouldn't be a problem. They've tapped into so many genres already, (Winter Soldier - Spy Thriller, Ant-Man - Heist film, Guardians Of The Galaxy - Scifi) it would be a shame if they gave up and just put something terrible out like 2005's Daredevil. Or Elektra. Or X-Men Last Stand...or Iron Man 3...you get the idea here.