An EDIT. of Marvel Studios’ Potential
Anyone can voice out there opinion towards recent decisions made by Marvel Studios, or what kind of reception Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is receiving. In the end, there seems to be some form of success pushing them forward making rather curious decisions on how not only to expand their films, but also their universe. Most notably would be their deal with Netflix, which was revealed to the public on November 6, 2013. Together they will create four series focusing on characters that all live in Hell’s Kitchen with Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and probably the one most people are excited, Daredevil. What I also find interesting that even after the rather mixed reception of their first venture into television, they are still planning to expand with one focusing on Agent Carter. While I am personally exited for all these different upcoming projects I am rather baffled from one choice. Marvel Studios has set themselves a maximum of two films per year, which have a budget of around 170 to 200 million dollars. This way they can start and focus on their films, as they possess an entire department that focuses on the television projects, but one wonders why they didn’t start making smaller projects focusing on rather unknown characters.
Isn’t it strange that Warner Bros. has made plans to expand their DC Cinematic Universe through various smaller films with budgets ranging from 20 to 40 million after they were planning their Batman vs. Superman movie? It seems as if this entire strategy was thrown out the window to avoid copying their competition yet we are still to see any official release of such DC projects. This seems further evident with the existence of an upcoming Ant-Man film. What do I mean by that? Well, one thing I find interesting is that it is the only film we officially know about for Phase 3, while also following two-months and a half, on July 17, 2015 after the sequel to their flagship franchise, The Avengers. While ignoring the fact that they took Batman vs. Superman’s original release date, but that leaves the entire autumn and winter without a single Marvel Studios film. Could this actually be hinting on the fact that they are trying to expand on three films per year, especially considering that Captain America: The Winter Soldier has such an early release date this year.
Some could argue that we already know of two planned release dates in the years following 2015, but on the other hand Marvel has been able to keep quite a few secrets from the public, even if some people weren’t too satisfied with a specific twist. When taking these elements into account it could be that their usually big-budget production film of that year might have been split into two smaller films, one being the upcoming Ant-Man. Even taking a look at Edgar Wright’s older productions, he knows how to make even the smallest budget look incredible. While Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was considered a flop, it still looked incredible but only cost half of what a big budget film usually costs. Furthermore, the teaser shown at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012 is certainly a small hint that he can make it quite believable even with a smaller budget. Yet, what other movie could fill that other slot? Maybe that time is slated for the Netflix deal so that people can focus on those films, but one can wish that maybe we will be seeing a film like Doctor Strange or even a smaller character around that time.
At this point it is nothing more but speculation, but there is a deeper meaning on why exactly I have touched upon this topic. Some have complained that Marvel Studio’s films have become a bit too comedic in nature focusing more on a younger audience. While Netflix was pointed out to give us a grittier look at Marvel characters, even though it still hasn’t been officially connected to the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some would also like to see a big screen movie that takes a darker look at the world of our heroes. Some possibilities would be to focus on smaller characters from already existing films, or even expanding by introducing the viewers to lesser-known heroes from the comics.. While the Marvel One-Shots they offer are growing in length with the most recent being around ten minutes long, it still would be nice to have an entire film that can further develop specific characters.
To give an example, I am still interested in how Nick Fury became the man he is today. It would be interesting to see his past and maybe even uncover how the modern S.H.I.E.L.D. came into existence. While we may find out more in the upcoming Captain America film, it still would be a rather interesting film to see. Now, I do understand that a show focusing on Agent Carter will give us a look into how the SSR turned into the S.H.I.E.L.D. we know today, but I am interested in the relationship between one man and his adventure becoming the man who brought earth’s mightiest heroes together. Another possibility might be the rumored Loki film that had been floating around at the time Thor: The Dark World hit theaters. In a way, due to Loki’s popularity he almost took over Thor’s own film, but it would be interesting to see the fallout of that film while also exploring his relationship with Thanos, who probably is still out for his head for letting him down.
Now, a last and probably bizarre idea I had would be to explore the Marvel Cinematic Universe before Iron Man came to be. Maybe a fictional documentary made during the existence of Iron Man which shows how this world had developed after Captain America was lost in the ice. Personally, I think having one showing us how this world developed after the first superhero had vanished. Taking the perspective of a reporter from the comics, sadly someone who can’t be from the Daily Bugle, who explores how their world had developed since the 2nd World War. This concept though could further be developed due to recent reports showing that we might see Hank Pym test out his Pym Particles in the 60s. Just something I would be interested in seeing that could be a little something different in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Taking a more business oriented look at the potential of such small budget films, it would seem like an interesting investment. While one would depend on directors that can handle smaller budgets, they have proven to have a knack for finding great talent. Using a smaller budget the return is much higher if the film is successful, especially when using the Avengers brand, which has proven to be an incredible push for the franchise so far. Smaller films don’t always attract the same audience a blockbuster film would. Marvel Studios has proven to be able to market their films effectively and I believe that they could make quite a profit with smaller films catering to a specific target audience showing versatility in their decisions and how they still care for the main audience of comic book films.