Category Archives: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Infinity War’s Joe Russo Has Solid Advice About “Shared Universe” Franchises

Joe Russo, the co-director of the smash hit Avengers: Infinity War has advice for studios interested in created a “shared universe” of films. He said, in essence, “Don’t do it.” That might be strange assessment coming from someone who recently scored such a massive hit. The shared Marvel Cinematic Universe has done nothing but make money. Why would the director make an assessment that A shared universe is a bad idea? Simply put, creating a shared universe isn’t easy And can set the stage for losing a lot of money.

Actually, Russo went a little further in his assessment. He pointed out that Marvel Studios didn’t start out with a massive shared universe strategy from day one. The shared universe developed after the success of a series of films. Also, audiences basically demanded a shared universe. They wanted complex storytelling in new films. They didn’t want to see any rehash. So, a shared universe grew naturally as part of a progression of new films and sequels.

Universal Studios and DC Entertainment both ignored these truths and decided to craft a massive shared universe without ever testing the waters to see if audiences wanted one. No real appetite exists for Universal’s reboot of its classic horror properties. Universal tried twice to launch a pilot for the horror universe and stumbled.

And then there’s the DC Extended Universe. Almost every film produced under the DCEU banner has been a disappointment. This shared universe was also launched without actually determining whether fans wanted one.

Russo understands what fans want from their entertainment experience. At the very least, the fans want to be treated with respect. Rushing to produce a dozen films and throwing them out into theaters doesn’t exactly meet the definition of respect. Audiences become treated as nothing more than commodities. Studios should not be surprised that audience responses to such treatment is cold indifference.

Joe Russo Reveals Venom Isn’t Part of the MCU

Joe Russo has been speaking a lot to the media about superhero films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Recently, Russo — the director of Avengers: Infinity War — discussed the subject of the difficulties associated with crafting a “cinematic universe.” He’s also getting specific about who or what actually exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

A highly-anticipated superhero movie’s trailer seems to be heralding the arrival of a new hit. Venom takes the one-time Spider-Man villain and positions him as a vigilante anti-hero. The film also veers slightly into the horror genre considering the gruesome nature of the title character.

According to Joe Russo, no matter what Venom turns out to be genre-wise, the character isn’t part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even though Spider-Man, a character shared with Sony Studios, exists in the MCU, Sony’s Venom does not.

Russo made the statement that Venom isn’t part of the MCU at a Q&A at a high school in Iowa City. Russo noted that Venom remains a Sony property, which precludes the character from being part of the MCU. Actually, one thing could bring Venom into the MCU: a new licensing agreement.

Spider-Man and various “Spider-verse” characters were licensed to Sony. Marvel Studios do not own the rights to them. The reason Spider-Man appears in the MCU is thanks to a revised licensing agreement Sony agreed to. Sony simply agreed to let “their” Spider-Man star in MCU movies. Sony had good reason to do this. The two Amazing Spider-Man films were disappointments. Sony felt Marvel Studios could reboot the character.

No shared licensing agreement exists with any other acquired properties. So, Venom the character won’t be showing up in the MCU at this time. At present, Joe Russo is correct. Things can change in the future based on how big of a hit Venom the movie turns out to be.

“Deadpool” Won’t Stop Mocking Competition

Deadpool 2 is continuing its promotional blitz, and won’t stop throwing shade at its competitors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe.

In the comics, the Merc With A Mouth is known for breaking the fourth wall—he’s fully aware that he’s in a comic and also seems to have a passing knowledge of comic book properties in the real world. This has transferred well to his cinematic counterpart (played by Ryan Reynolds), who has poked fun at his own series (namely, the confusing X-Men timelines) and others.

It began in the first trailer, when Deadpool stopped the action to note that the CGI on Cable (Josh Brolin) is unfinished. “It’s a metal arm! It’s not like we’re trying to remove a mustache!” he said, in a clear nod to Henry Cavill’s infamous CGI lip from Justice League.

Speaking of Cable, Deadpool is aware that Brolin is also playing the villain Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. “Ah, f*ck it, I’ll do it myself” is a nod to Thanos’ dramatic line in Avengers: Age of Ultron’s post-credit scene, and “Zip it, Cable! I got the Stones to help you” is a reference to the Infinity Stones that Thanos is trying to obtain.

In the most recent trailer, Deadpool is stabbed in the shoulder by Cable. This doesn’t phase the immortal much. “So dark. Are you sure you’re not from the DC Universe?” The DCEU films have been criticized for being overly dour and deconstructive, as well as for their excessive violence (see: Metropolis’ fate in Man of Steel). Incidentally, this may also be an acknowledgement that “DC Extended Universe” is not an official name for the franchise.

If Deadpool is managing this much in trailers, we can only guess how many gags the movie can hold. It will be released May 18, 2018.

“Thor: Ragnarok” Alum Wants to Bring Beta Ray Bill to Life

Jake Morrison, the VFX lead for the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe hit Thor: Ragnarok, says that if another Thor movie gets made, he would like the challenge of bringing Beta Ray Bill to life on the big screen.

“I think I would love to do something with Beta Ray Bill, having been in the Thor universe for a good while,” he said, and added, “I think he’s such a cool character, and the Walt Simonson run in the comics, that one, that iconic cover with Beta Ray Bill in full regalia, clashing with the Mighty Thor. I think that’s an immensely cool moment.”

Beta Ray Bill is a genetically engineered alien who wields power from the Norse gods—i.e., the sort of wonderfully nonsensical character who could only exist in a place like the Marvel Universe. Initially a rival of Thor’s, he too proved worthy to wield the magic hammer Mjolnir, but was ultimately given his own separate weapon, Stormbreaker, instead. The two have since become staunch allies.

As Morrison notes, Beta Ray Bill got an Easter egg in Thor: Ragnarok, where a statue of his face adorned the tower of Sakaar like a gargoyle. It is also worth noting that his species, the Korbinites, canonically exist in the MCU, according to the tie-in comic
Thor: The Dark World Prelude.

Thor’s actor, Chris Hemsworth, as well as director Taika Waititi have both expressed interest in making a fourth installment to this sub-series, despite Marvel Studios traditionally stopping at a trilogy. If so, could ol’ Bill put in an appearance? Some have even suggested him becoming a protagonist, given that he has his own cosmic adventures separate from the Odinson. For now, fans will have to wait and see.