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Jan 06

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Marvel Rant

An Open Notice to All Marvel Film Franchise Rights Holders:

Writing this, though it’s impact could be non-existent, has been something I’ve wanted to do for some time. Our month of Poor Man’s Process beginning on January 5th, 2014 further inspired me to finally put into words what I believe the Marvel Universe could accomplish in films beyond what they have already done.

Marvel Studios has done an amazing job of having one all-encompassing film universe. As of today, there are seven films covering four main characters (Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America) with their own separate films and sequels. The eighth film (sixth chronologically) in the franchise was the tie-in film that brought the heroes together and continued all of the story lines at once. They own quite a few other characters with plans to bring some to the big and small screens respectively.

20Th Century Fox has been making films in the Marvel Universe for quite a while. They have done six X-Men films with another to be released this year. There are plans for more. They were also responsible for the two Fantastic 4 films, Daredevil, and Elektra. The Daredevil rights were re-acquired by Marvel Studios, however Fox will be re-booting the FF series and attempt to tie them in with the X-Men Franchise.

Sony’s Columbia Pictures owns Spiderman as well as the 2 Ghost Rider films. Spiderman seems to be in a loop of reboots and over populating their films with villains. Ghost Rider is unfortunately just not strong enough to be a stand alone franchise, and the rights have reverted back to Marvel. They have no plans on making more Ghost Rider films, which may be for the best.

Lion’s Gate controls The Punisher franchise. Nothing has been said of more films from them. New Line was in charge of Blade until it returned to Marvel. This too seems to be done after the 3 films and short lived TV series.

It’s quite clear that Marvel Studios is winning the battle of the box-office. Their ability to use nearly all of the Marvel Universe in their films means that several fan-favorites could still appear in many upcoming productions. Fox is slowly getting the memo on weaving together story lines, though they don’t have a lot of great options. Other than a few certain X-Men, I am in agreement with Paul that they should be left alone. They rarely interact with the rest of the Marvel Universe even without restrictions.

What this entire article is meant to convey is how it should be possible to tie in each franchise despite the different studios’ ownership. It shouldn’t be terribly difficult so have all of these films exist in the same universe. This concept nearly happened already. There were plans to have the Oscorp Building in the sky-line of The Avengers, however the building wasn’t rendered in time. If it had been done, there was word that Stark Tower would have been in The Amazing Spiderman. Another rumored cross-over states that Hugh Jackman was to appear in the first Tobey Maguire Spiderman, but it didn’t pan out.

Name dropping is the simplest way to accomplish the mass tie in. Having a copy of The Daily Bugle in Captain America’s locker would be a small yet substantial nod. Reed Richards could easily use some piece of Stark tech while doing his preliminary research for the reboot.

Cameos are a bit more difficult to have happen, but not impossible. Several actors including Hugh Jackman have stated how much they would enjoy being a part of other films. Paying a small fee to the character’s studio for a scene cameo plus having that character act as an add for your product should be quite a reason to allow for these small tie-in scenes to exist. I would have lost my mind if I got to see Spiderman swinging through the city during the battle of New York in The Avengers.

The final step is to have a full on “Roger Rabbit” experience. A movie that brings characters from several different studios into the mix. The balance would be extremely difficult to have unless, much like Roger Rabbit, a separate film company brings the other characters in. An adaptation of Civil War or The Secret Wars wouldn’t be possible without having three studios allowing their characters to mingle on screen for the entirety of the film. The best way I can think to have this happen in today’s financially driven world would be to have each company put in a percentage of the production and marketing budget, and taking the same percentage on the back end. Paying a third of the price for a blockbuster would be an amazing investment.

It’s extremely doubtful that these studios will get together on any form of large scale tie-in for their separate universes. It’s most likely for the best due to the congestion that would be caused by so many heroes in one contained universe. Several versions of New York now exist, so merging them would cause confusion. It would be hard to have an alien invasion be completely ignored by The Daily Bugle and everyone who is concerned with Spiderman. The only reason I know I’m 100% sure that I want to see any of this stuff happen is the Budokai rule. The Budokai Rule is explained on Wily’s Castle on www.capesandscowls.com and Episode 63 of Poor Man’s Process. Nothing would be greater than having an explosion of cross studio action.

Jayrod,

Concerned Comic Book Movie Fan

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