Once upon a time there was a world in which Bryan Singer made a masterpiece that’s known to us as the first X-men movie. It was an outstanding movie that made my comic heart skip a beat and I started fantasizing about how great this would be for future movies. I was thinking along the lines of the comics, where it is possible for Captain America to visit Xavier’s school for gifted youngsters, because he had a troubled mind and needed help. At that time, I was still a youngster and had no idea how commercially divided the rights to all the characters were. It also didn’t matter, because each following movie had its ups and downs, but they still weren’t the movies my little boy’s heart was hoping for.
Then in 2008 something immensely great happened: Iron Man made its appearance on the big screen and the Marvel cinematic universe was born. In the following years the plans were to expand that cinematic universe and within the phasing of the movies they would all “in one way or another” be connected to each other. At first I wasn’t completely impressed even though the movies were all ranging from “great” to “awesometecular”, but when the Avengers assembled for the first time I had that same feeling I had when the first X-men movie happened. Only this time there was a difference.
Kevin Feige has a say in all the movies in the MCU and it’s what makes them so amazing. He is like Thanos sitting in his chair and trying to steer the events as best as he can. Like the purple guy this isn’t without flaws and bumps and you can be a fan of the movies or not, but you can’t deny that what the guys of the MCU have done is something that’s changing the way studio’s nowadays treat Superhero movies.
As if that wasn’t enough they also included a few shows on the smaller screen such as AOS (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D), Agent Carter, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, (Coming soon) Luke Cage, Iron Fist and eventually the Defenders. The most things they make are stand alone, but there’s always the connection to that bigger universe that’s out there and that’s the brilliance behind it.
Growing up with the comics you could read the Fantastic Four and they would fly of to Wakanda, because T’Challa (Black Panther) was in trouble and when in Wakanda Wolverine would be there, because in his comic he also had some unfinished business there. They would help each other and go about their ways. Even though their ways parted you knew everyone was there and if you wanted to know what wolverine was doing there you had to read his comic book.
That same feeling of surprise I felt reading the comics is the feeling the movies of the MCU are starting to give me. They are constantly constructing and expanding their universe. Take for example the appearance of Black Panther in Civil War. Most people will probably be wondering: “where the hell does this guy come from”? Or (if you have been living under a rock) are surprised that Underoos (Spiderman) is in the movie. They didn’t have their origin stories and most probably won’t, but that doesn’t matter, because they are there and if you want to know their origins I’d suggest you start reading up on their background.
It’s the same as Wolverine making his appearance in the comics, they don’t care that you don’t know him and if you don’t have the interest it doesn’t matter, because that changes nothing to the story.
And now comes the crux to my thesis, the end to the endeavor known as this blog.
Studios, even the MCU, have their agendas and we (unfortunately) live in a world that’s based on making money and not making the best, most beautiful movies ever seen. They always have to keep in mind that they attract the right audience and the movie has to make enough money for them to make a follow-up movie. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Look at the step Sony and Marvel made. Hopefully that sets and example to the rest of the movie-making world.
Captain America Civil War is one of the best movies ever made in the MCU and it doesn’t feel like a movie where they tried to aim for as broad of an audience as most movies do. Movies are pieces of art and the Russo’s have proven that with this movie.
So this is my call to all the studios (wishful thinking that they’ll read this). Please, just put asides the bureaucratic bull-crap of rights and what not and together make the best movies the world has ever seen. I for one have a few wishes of characters I’d love to see introduced or make crossovers, but because of some paperwork that probably isn’t happening for quite a while.