Posts Tagged ‘ Kevin Feige ’

How Would a Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Work?

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008 team)

Guardians of the Galaxy (2008 team) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With The Avengers come and gone, Marvel Studios prepare to enter ‘Phase 2’ of their cinematic universe. With Iron Man, Thor and Captain America all due sequels, it was tough to see what Marvel’s mystery project in 2014 could be. Was it Black Panther, Ant-Man? Well our questions have been answered, and Marvel’s first film away from the Avengers universe is set to be Guardians of the Galaxy!

But wait? Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy and how would a movie work? The team originally debuted in 1969, although far less familiar than the modern team seen today. Dwelling on the 31st Century, the original team focused on obscure characters like Starhawk and Major Victory. It wasn’t until 2008; when sci-fi writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (or DNA for short) took the team into new heights post Marvel’s mega-cosmic event ‘Annihilation‘.

Essentially making the team ‘Space Avengers’ DNA made GOTG one of Marvel’s best books, featuring iconic characters such as Adam Warlock, Drax the Destroyer and talking rodent Rocket Racoon. It was a high-adrenaline affair that had been missing from comics since the 90’s. The Avengers books had long focused on street heroes and New York, while Thor was in the process of being rebooted after a brief hiatus. Marvel was missing a cosmic universe, and DNA responded by creating one that easily rivalled DC’s own Green Lantern universe.

1) Control the humour.

One of the main reasons Avengers worked is because it took a tricky concept, and grounded it in reality by using humour. How else would icons such as Iron Man, Thor and Cap work together if there wasn’t some bickering involved? The problem with GOTG is that it’s a much more grand concept, and over-using the humour could almost make the film more self-parody than action-blockbuster.

That doesn’t mean limit the jokes altogether though. After all, it’s a film featuring a talking racoon.

2) Streamlined Narrative

DNA’s cosmic books tended to require full concentration from the reader in order to truly understand what was going on. They weren’t always the most accessible books for new readers, and as a result Marvel didn’t give the book the publicity it deserved. A movie can’t rick alienating (excuse the pun) audiences unfamiliar with the team by throwing alternative universes and shifting-timelines at them.

The movie’s script is rumoured to be based on DNA’s swansong event ‘The Thanos Imperative. Take this with a pinch of salt, as that book couldn’t really be streamlined at all for new audiences. For inspiration, Marvel should look at James Cameron’s sci-fi epic ‘Avatar‘. The film had quite a basic plot, but was carried by the thrill of seeing a new extraordinary universe and as a result it’s now the highest-grossing movie of all time. With the GOTG there is the potential to do what Marvel’s last fantasy film Thor failed to do by fully exploring new worlds and not just their glossy interiors. What are the moons of Titan? Are their other Titans that live there besides Thanos? Where does Rocket Raccoon come from? These are questions a GOTG movie could explore making it much more adventurous than your average comic book movie. The plot does not have to be convoluted. Even it was just Thanos showing up threatening to conquer the galaxy it would work.

3) Who are these characters?

Where The Avengers truly succeeded is that it gave every character a voice. No one felt too out of place (Hawkeye slightly) and each character got his or her chance to shine. The Guardians needs that exact treatment in order for it to feel different. For instance leader of the Guardians Star-Lord/Peter Quill is not a Steve Rogers stand-in. He’s more of a Han Solo character, with a bit of Rogers thrown in. With Robert Downey Jr. unable to play Iron Man for much longer, Star-Lord would easily fill the void into the cinematic universe.

Other characters such as Drax, Adam Warlock and Gamora can easily work on screen too. The film would need a smaller roster, so I’d hope it doesn’t feature Nova (another one of DNA’a cosmic revelations) as Richard Rider deserves his own film.

Perhaps the major trump card a Guardians of the Galaxy movie has is that it features Rocket Raccoon. Providing the film avoided making Rocket too goofy, he could potentially be a new money-making machine for Marvel. He’s the kind of character Marvel can stick on toys, clothes, lunchboxes and more.

4) Connect it to The Avengers.

A GOTG sadly won’t sell itself without some heavy marketing involved. When the mid-credit scene in Avengers arrived, fans all over the world left theatres wondering who ‘that purple guy’ is. What better way for a GOTG film to take on a pre-sold identity by offering to answer that question. Maybe make it a prequel to Avengers? How did Thanos lose the Cosmic Cube/Infinity Gauntlett in the first place? Why is it that he’s stuck in limbo needing the cube to get out? The Guardians are no strangers to time travel therefore making their film a prequel to Avengers certainly would be interesting. If that’s seen too much of a backwards step, the film could end with bookends in the present day setting up Avengers 2.

So there are my ideas for how to make a Guardians of the Galaxy film work. If enough care and marketing is put into the project, Marvel has a potential billion-dollar franchise on their hands. What do you think? Is a Guardians of the Galaxy movie possible? Would you have preferred to see Black Panther or Ant-Man debut first. As always, leave your comments below!

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Is Kevin Feige Wrong To Delay The Incredible Hulk 2?

The Abomination in The Incredible Hulk (2008).

The Abomination in The Incredible Hulk (2008). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s been a thunderous week for Marvel fans, as early screenings of The Avengers have gone down fantastically well with critics and fans alike! While official reviews are embargoed for the next couple of days, much praise has been given to the way the film has brought new life into the Incredible Hulk, which is why some fans are disheartened by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige for announcing there are no plans for a Hulk sequel…

Marvel’s mindset is clearly ‘if it’s not broken, don’t try and fix it’. The Jade Giant has had two films in the last ten years, which haven’t gone down well at the box-office, 2008’s Incredible Hulk is the lowest ranked film from Marvel Studios, earning an unimpressive $263,427,551 worldwide. While The Avengers will undoubtedly open doors for new characters into the cinematic universe, ruling the Hulk out so soon is a tad drastic considering the story potential left for the character. In the two films we’ve seen the Green Goliath, all he’s done is run from the military, and face some sort of rogue science experiment in both film’s endings. There’s so much more to the character than crushing tanks and running as a fugitive.

When The Avengers pre-production geared forward, it was obvious Joss Whedon had decided to make Bruce Banner more comfortable with himself, as opposed to the tortured character we are so used to seeing. This appears to have gone down well with audiences, as most early reactions from the film point towards how well the Hulk was handled. Baring there’s not a sudden rush of scathing reviews next week, surely now is the perfect time to create the fun Hulk sequel we all wish to see. Granted there’s a television show supposedly in production, but there are still plot threads left open from 2008’s Incredible Hulk to be addressed.

Tim Blake Nelson impressed as Dr. Samuel Sterns in 2008, and we still haven’t seen how his transformation to supervillain The Leader occurs. While there is supposedly an Avengers comic book addressing the Leaders whereabouts, I feel a Hulk vs. Leader showdown would be an epic contrast to 2008’s underwhelming brawl with the Abomination.

I can’t help but feel Marvel will go back on their word and give the Hulk a sequel some time in the near future. Feige has hinted Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy films are on their way as well as guaranteed Iron Man, Captain America and Thor sequels. Marvel are preparing a cinematic onslaught and I doubt they’re going to leave out one of their most beloved characters

 

Are There Too Many Supporting Characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Avengers Poster V.2.1 Unofficial

Next summer The Avengers will unite for the first time on screen. Yes that’s right, next year we will see Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America assemble attempt to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. To get this far, it has taken five films that each intertwine with each other in order to set up this huge superhero team up. Whilst films in the Marvel cinematic universe are all connected, they are also their own franchises that contain other important supporting characters. With the Avengers fast approaching, are major supporting characters such as War Machine, Bucky and Odin likely to get bumped for the superhero team-up film?

Recent reports suggest a host of supporting characters such as James Rhodes/ War Machine from Iron Man and Bucky Barnes from Captain America: The First Avenger will not be appearing in the Avengers flick. This is understandable from Marvel’s point of view, as it would save them money and prevents the film from overcrowding, but from a narrative point of view, are there too many loose ties to deal with that require these supporting characters in some capacity?

My first point is with Thor. When we last saw the Odinson, he was stranded in Asgard after destroying the Bifrost Bridge. (The bridge that connects the nine realms) Whilst his return to Earth is likely to be caused by the ‘secret paths’ Loki hinted at, how is the Avengers film really going to deal with this without using the likes of Heimdall, Odin and Jane Foster. Using Idris Elba in the film wouldn’t seem too excessive as his appearance could be kept to a bare cameo, but stars such as Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman, who haven’t yet confirmed if they’re on board, would be extremely expensive to have for bare cameos, and would likely need to have some involvement in the story, considering the main villain is likely to be Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

The same goes for the supporting characters in the Iron Man franchise. Don Cheadle recently confirmed that unless he’s recast, he definitely would not be in the Avengers as War Machine. This is understandable considering the team will already have Iron Man, but if the crisis in the film that brings the group together is truly Earth threatening, wouldn’t Nick Fury want another armoured battle suit at his disposal? This is something I hope Josh Whedon acknowledges in the film and that he makes a reasonable excuse for Rhode’s absence. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts is fortunately unnecessary in the film, so at least her absence is taken care of.

The absence of Captain America’s supporting characters in the Avengers is easier to explain due to The First Avenger being a period movie. Some key characters such as Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) will at least need referencing in the film, perhaps in flashback sequences in order to emphasize how Steve Rogers has become a man out of time. If the Avengers film were to set up storylines for future solo character adventures, Bucky Barnes could be featured as The Winter Soldier.

Lastly is The Incredible Hulk. Personally this is the hardest film to incorporate into the Avengers movie due to it being released back in 2008 with no further sequels and a recast in lead actor from Ed Norton to Mark Ruffalo. When we last saw Bruce Banner he was hiding out in British Columbia where we saw hints that either he had become able to control the monster within, or it was controlling him. Whilst this will surely be dealt with in the Avengers, the after credit scene with Tony Stark and General Ross hinted that Ross was somehow involved in the set up of the Avengers team. Will this be addressed in the film? I doubt it as I’m beginning to feel Marvel is slowly removing The Incredible Hulk from their continuity.

Hopefully the absence of any important supporting characters will be addressed intelligently, as this is where Marvel’s connected universe will really begin to pay off. For instant I don’t want to see Thor return to Earth with no mention of Jane Foster, nor do I want Tony Stark in combat without acknowledging War Machine’s absence. Hopefully Josh Whedon will pay attention to detail and Marvel will surely pull of something phenomenal that sets new standards for comic book movies.

How about a Fox cinematic universe?

Wolverine X-men 3

Continuing my discussion about movie universes, as you all know by know Marvel Studios have created their own cinematic universe, consisting of Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk and many more. Whilst this is great and everything, sadly we won’t be able to see some of Marvel’s A-List such as the X-Men and Spider-Man in their cinematic universe for the time being because they’re both owned by 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures.

So whilst we won’t be seeing Wolverine fighting alongside Captain America for a while, what we could see however is the other studios following in Marvel’s footsteps and creating their own cinematic universes for some of their characters. Whilst this might be a problem for Sony as I’m pretty sure they only have the movie rights to Spider-Man (and his associated characters) and Ghost Rider, whilst Fox on the other hand have more potential.

Fox have the rights to the X-Men and all their associated characters as well as DareDevil, Electra and the Fantastic Four. Whilst to some this may seem little, but in the bigger scheme of things it’s a big opportunity for Fox to bring some more interest into their properties. It may be difficult to picture the Fantastic Four and the X-Men teaming up but it’s actually worked very well in comic books so far. One particular example is in Joss Whedon‘s amazing run on Astonishing X-Men, where the X-Men attempt to save New York from a monster, only for the Fantastic 4 to come and save the day. The interactions between Mr Fantastic and Cyclops could make for some great film moments. Seeing them clash or work together would give both characters a much needed boost in the eyes of the audience, as so far Cyclops and Reed Richards have been terribly mishandled on cinema.

The X-Men are mutants trying to fit into society and use their powers for good. Their association with the Fantastic 4 would allow us to finally see the X-Men as heroes, as much like what I said about the Incredible Hulk, I believe that heroism has been missing from the previous films. After all they are called superheroes for a reason.