During the premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron, one of the moderators for the Marvel Studios subreddit had a chance to speak with director Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige, President of Marvel. Feige gave some interesting comments about the tone of future movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here is what Feige said, according to one of the moderators:
There is no doubt that Feige and Marvel have enjoyed a ridiculous level of success with their movie universe. Even the most devoted DC fan boy (like myself) has to give it up. Putting that aside for a second and setting out sights on exciting things for the future, there are a number of things that we can infer from his comments.
The Hunger for Darker Comic Movies is Real
It’s interesting that fans would still be asking whether Marvel will go dark or not after all this time. There are now over a dozen movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the map of movies at Marvel HQ now extending all the way up to 2028. Each installment has relied heavily on humor, and no one can say the formula hasn’t been successful.
The continued interest in darker Marvel plots suggests that there is a desire for pessimistic and grim undertones in these otherwise repetitive storylines. The neo-noir inspired genre may not be an easy watch for a casual viewer, but it’s no wonder that Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara decided to announce that the DC movies were darker and edgier, as he did a few months ago. If you know there’s demand why not deliver?
The Brands Will Grow Even More Distinctive
Imagine if 2011’s Green Lantern had not been a colossal failure, and that DC had decided to build it’s movie universe using humor, bright primary colors and post-credit teases. It would be quite difficult for those who aren’t that familiar with the comics to tell the brands apart. (They’d also be first class rip-off artists, but that’s an argument for another day.)
When it comes to putting a product out, one of the first rules is to make sure that consumers can tell yours apart from its competitors. One look at the promotional posters is all you need to tell the difference between these two giants.
When we saw the posters for Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, you could instantly recognize the familiar tone and color palate. There was also no doubt that DC had kept their word about keeping things dark and realistic when they released that first picture of the Suicide Squad. No one’s going to mistake the likes of Harley Quinn and Deadshot for characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Fans Will Have Plenty of Things to Chose From
Competition is good, and not just for those of us who love seeing these characters brought to life. It’s healthy for the companies that make them. Knowing that there’s someone out there throwing down the gauntlet makes you want to work harder. As Marvel kicks off Phase 3, and DC brings their second and third installments to the big screen next year, you can bet a lot of people behind the scenes will be feeling the pressure to get it right.
Television fans will also be reaping the benefits. Both DC and Marvel have both made huge inroads in television. While Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been tying in with the movies, Daredevil has taken advantage of Netflix to provide a truly hard-edged show.
Not to be outdone, DC is gearing up to roll out Supergirl on CBS, as well as Legends of Tomorrow on The CW. Supergirl will undoubtedly have a lighter tone, while Legends of Tomorrow will directly tie in and crossover with The Flash and Arrow. What fan isn’t overjoyed with all these shows on the horizon?
Finally, it’s important to remember that we don’t live in a binary world. You can like more than one brand. Really, it’s okay! If you’re one of those people who haven’t sworn allegiance to one brand, count yourself lucky. You’re going to have more entertainment that you know what to do with.
While the current paths that Marvel and DC may not please everyone, at least we didn’t end up with movie universes influenced by Howard the Duck and Batman and Robin. Now don’t you feel silly now for worrying?