As the 1st entry in this series I am going to start off with one of the biggest questions on everyone’s minds in the world of pop culture and nerd fandom at the moment… What is next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?
April 26th saw the release of Marvel’s huge posse cut blockbuster, Avengers: Infinity War, which came right after it’s previous showstopper, Black Panther, which released in February. As of this post we are a little less than 2 weeks away from the release of 21st Century Fox’s Deadpool 2, which while not a directly a MCU movie is still a Marvel property, and will also contain a plethora of Marvel characters. Later this year we have Ant-Man & The Wasp, releasing in July, and Venom, a Sony Pictures owned film, releasing in October. If my tally is correct, that is a total of 5 Marvel properties getting feature length movies in less than a full year, 6 if I count the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, another Sony Pictures property, releasing in December. As an avid comic book fan I did not ever think we would get to this point. While only 3 of these films take place in the same universe, and even being able to say “only” 3 shows how spoiled I have gotten, these are all Marvel properties.
Marvel and specifically the MCU have been pumping out hit after hit, besides the slight stumbles that were Iron Man 2, Thor: The Dark World, and The Incredible Hulk, which all still had redeemable qualities about them. Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios is a true example of what can happen when a true fan of a genre and a product in general becomes its leader. Feige started low on the Hollywood totem pole, as all do, but through his sheer work ethic and passion he was able to carve out a path for himself and the other visionaries that he saw around him. He was brought on to Marvel in 2000 as a producer and was able to give input on early Marvel movies such as, Blade, X-Men, Daredevil, and The Fantastic Four. This may not seem like the greatest claim to fame, but his knowledge of the source material helped to propel him to a spot as president of president of production in 2007 and he was able to grace us with the huge gamble that was Iron Man.
He was able to take a relatively obscure comic character, help cast an actor who many thought was at the end of his line when it came to a Hollywood career, and bring on Jon Favreau, who was still a relatively new face in the big budget business despite having a number of critically successful films under his directorial belt.
After 10 solid years of what many people in Hollywood would call risks (e.g., Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man) we have come full circle back to the present state of the MCU. Avengers: Infinity War caps off its 150+ minute run-time with a certified Stone Cold Stunner. The snap. The instantaneous destruction of 50% of all life.
Now this has been shown in the comics before in the story that was the basis for the film, but I don’t think many people would have walked into Infinity War thinking that not only would our big bad Thanos accomplish his goals, but that it would basically be at the end of the movie, followed only by the fading away of many of our favorite heroes. And after my long tangent I come back to my original question, where do we go from here.
Personally, I think that the way that Feige and his team have set up this universe and made sure to fulfill not only the fan-service for nerds like me but also allow people that may not necessarily be into comic books as a genre or a medium the opportunity to come into the movies, be and enjoy them for what they are, be it the space western of Guardians of the Galaxy, the heist movie of Ant-Man, the family drama and ethnic representation of Black Panther, etc.
He has helped to open the flood gates into the comic to movie/TV show world. As there have been people writing these stories for over 50 years, Feige and his team definitely have a deep well to pull from. With the recent bid for 21st Century Fox, and a seemingly solid relationship with Sony Pictures, there is no where to go but up, and I have to say I am happy to be here going along for the ride.
Where do you think the MCU is heading in the future, leave a comment down below!