Nine years on from the 2008 release of Iron Man and Marvel Studio’s dominance over the blockbuster market isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. With their latest release Thor Ragnarok marking their 17th outing and 3rd of 2017, the studio is heading top speed towards their biggest and boldest movie yet, Avengers: Infinity War. But what then?
As someone who’ll typically enjoy a Marvel movie more than the standard movie-goer I’m loving the rate that I get to watch these new and, more often than not, improving comic book adaptations. But even though Thor Ragnarok could potentially unseat Captain America: Civil War as my favorite entry so far, at some point I’m convinced I’m going to get bored of them.
For years the underlying plot points in all of their films have been heading towards the Thanos based blockbusters that will be heading to a multiplex near you in the next couple of years. And whilst all this is well and good, for a newcomer to the franchise, I can’t help but feel like they’re already far too deep. That said, if you weren’t watching them before, why are you watching them now?
But even I, as a die-hard fan, am losing some of the excitement that I used to get when the latest release is out…
To take a bit of a turn, in 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was not only my most anticipated film of the year, but a lot of other people’s as well. This was by and large to do with the 32 year hiatus (or 10 if you’re including the prequels). Now that we’ve got a new Star Wars installment every year, it just doesn’t generate the same hype. I mean I’m still going to a midnight screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi but I managed to find decent tickets in my favorite cinema two weeks after the box office opens. In comparison, the systems simply crashed when The Force Awakens box office opened showing it’s not just me.
So to go back to Marvel for a moment, wouldn’t it be cool if – once they’ve rounded up the Thanos plot line – the company took a little break. I’m not suggesting anything extravagant (it’s a business after all), but maybe a couple of years off. Thus giving them a decent time frame to consolidate new ideas, create new stories and characters that a new audience can jump into without needing to watch the huge back catalog and let their fans stew, brewing hype, anticipation and a need for more.
Resetting the audience’s expectations wouldn’t harm them either. I mean, after Thanos, how do you escalate the threat? If every one of their films has some sort of world destroying villain that keeps getting beaten, they become little more than a Saturday morning cartoon villain.
But of course this won’t happen. Marvel will keep pumping out multiple films every year until they stop making money and Star Wars’ Kathleen Kennedy has already said that there’s ten years of films to come, when I’d possibly consider a break after episode 9. Of course whether these decisions are down to Marvel Studios and Lucas Film or their money obsessed Disney overlords is yet to be seen.
With the current overload of film franchises making their own cinematic universes, what do you think? Would you rather have a limited access to the things you want to make them more precious, or a never ending supply of them, even if you start taking them for granted?