Why Some Are Getting Tired of The Marvel Cinematic Universe? (And How To Fix The Issues) - Part 2

And we are back, with this second part of Dateline Movies' editorial. Read on to see more of the flaws within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and take a look at some of our proposed solutions.

Source, "Fine, I'll Do It Myself."
4. Too Much Focus On The Future, Again!

It really is hard not to focus too much on the future, especially if you are running a multimedia franchise that has several years worth of storytelling. This has happened not once, but twice in the MCU, and I only remembered it was done twice today. The first one was with Iron Man 2, which was criticized for its sluggish pace, and lack of proper story focus for putting too much time on setting-up The Avengers, and recently, Avengers: Age of Ultron. The latter received mixed to positive responses due to its insertion of too much set-ups for future movies, most notably the confusing and mind-numbing scene of Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth (Ghostbsuters Reboot), seeing visions regarding the Infinity Stones. It is because of this fault, which was also committed in the DC Extended Universe through its installment, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, that the quality of a would-have-been unique standalone story would be diminished. While there is indeed a need to set-up upcoming movies, so as to tease the audiences for upcoming installments, abusing movie set-ups, especially through "Easter Eggs", would only make a movie a two-hour long trailer, instead of an actual movie.

The Solution: Remember what we said in our DCEU editorial piece. All writers and directors should keep in mind that being "now-oriented" is a must. If the filmmakers keep their focus intact, then the movie would most likely not suffer, as they can picture out the movie as it should be, and not just a means to promote other properties. Also, a standalone movie is meant to focus solely on a single, or more, prominent franchise character/s, and is meant as an in-depth look into their unique histories and personal lives, outside of the core story arc of the franchise. By constantly including references to things that are yet to come, it would completely dismantle the term's very definition.

However, we are not suggesting that the movies should be completely devoid of Easter Eggs, as these are indeed good ways to set-up future projects. All we are asking is to tone them down a notch, and focus more on the characters that they currently have.

Source, Bullseye!
5. Denial of Spotlight (Other Main Characters Remain Underdeveloped)

Now this is my least favorite aspect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the cinematic universe expands beyond the cosmos, the number of major characters, including superheroes, supervillains, secret agents, and alien races, skyrocket, as the new stories are created as time passes by. And as the amount of characters to focus on increase by ten fold, other already established characters who are still denied of a chance to shine, would have to endure massive character underdevelopment. That would be sensible, as it is a very common mistake, but that is not usually the case here.

Due to the massive popularity of their most famous characters, notably Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr. (The Judge) and Captain America, played by Chris Evans (The Losers), other equally important characters are forced to be bench-warmers for the main team. In fact, while various installments do focus on other characters in their own stories, much of the focus is placed on two of the franchise's most popular characters. This claim does not apply to new characters such as the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, played by Paul Rudd (The Little Prince), because they just debuted. We are talking about all the underdeveloped, long-established individuals, who are suppose to hold some value or impact, are not given enough screen time, or even chances to stand-out at least once. These characters include Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner (28 Weeks Later), War Machine, played by Don Cheadle (Reign Over Me), Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson (Ghost in the Shell), the Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo (Begin Again), Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Maria Hill, played by Cobie Smaulders (How I Met Your Mother), and Thor. These characters, who have made some mark in the comics, are reduced to either minor characters, or underwritten caricatures.

Source, "Like A Black Widow, Baby!"
The Solution(s): The solutions are simple, but risky. For our first suggestion, we believe that these characters could use much more screen time than what they usually have. This could mean that they have to be a main character in another hero's solo adventure, given that it appears so far that Marvel Studios is not aiming to give them their own respective movies, with the exception of Hulk and Thor, as both already have their own movies. An example of this working is that of Black Widow's involvement in Iron Man 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, were in she was made a secondary protagonist alongside the respective films' main protagonists, and through both of these films, Black Widow managed to at least make an impression. Hawkeye's character evolution in Avengers: Age of Ultron gave the Avenging Archer some needed development, and his portrayal here made him a little bit more than a mind-controlled henchman from the first movie.

Another solution would have to be the decision to make some movies for each one of them, or at least a movie that gives all of them the needed fleshing-out of their beings. So far, from what I have heard from the latest comic news, each one of the previously mentioned characters have a lot of their own stories, which can be adapted or be made as basis for any possible solo movies. So why not use any of them for our heroes to shine?

Source, Let's Hope Thor: Raganarok is Good
For Thor and Hulk, who already have their own solo movies, but are considered inferior in contrast to the other movies in the franchise, their problem lies within the ones' handling their productions. Both of these Avengers have been downsized to usually comedic roles, and is almost completely removed of their more serious aspects. We have already said the solution to this one before, so we really do not have to explain it any further, and that is to seek writers and directors who are very passionate that they completely understand the characters like the back of their own hands.

We did say, however, that these solutions, except for the last one, are risky, because the current status of any of these characters within the audiences can and will affect the box office of a movie. Given that a lot of these characters have not left that much of a good and lasting impression so far, there are high chances that the movie would bomb at the box office.

Source, With All These Villains, They Definitely Should
6. Many, Many, Many Character Restrictions

Finally, for our last concern with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we tackle the issue that is not necessarily major in terms of negative influence, but more or less an obstacle in creating an actual interconnected universe. As you might have heard from various interviews of those involved in the franchise, it is no secret that Marvel Studios is not allowing their characters from Agents of SHIELD, chiefly the Inhumans, and the stars of their Netflix Originals such as Daredevil, played by Charlie Cox (The Theory of Everything), Jessica Jones, played by Krysten Ritter (Veronica Mars), Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter (Men in Black 3), and Iron Fist, played by Finn Jones (Game of Thrones), to interact with their big-screen siblings.

Source, Writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Marcus
This is mostly because of the very hectic production schedules between the shows and the movies, which could spike timeline inconsistencies within the franchise. For example, if any of the Agents of SHIELD appear, which can be done anyway, if it is only in appearance, in a major motion picture, it might cause some confusion in terms of continuity between the shows and the flicks. This was recently confirmed through an interview with Captain America: The Winter Soldier scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

Another factor, which is the likeliest of causes, would be the schism within the board of Marvel Studios. Executive producer Kevin Feige, who has been rumored to be frustrated with his then-boss Ike Perlmutter for an assortment of controversial reasons, decided to work directly for Disney's head, Alan Horn, so as to have all of the said studio's properties easily overseen. Disney has all the MCU movie rights, but Ike Perlmutter still retains the rights to the television characters, which is currently headed by comicbook writer Jeph Loeb. This is also the reason why the initially scheduled Inhumans movie has been removed from the Phase 3 schedule of films.

Source, How Come No Avenger Knows That Agent Phil Coulson is Alive?
The Solution(s):
It is obvious that none of these characters can directly interact, due to the aforementioned reasons, and that the darker television shows differ in tone from the lighter movies would only prevent that even further. But there are indeed some simpler ways to at least show that each of these properties are connected. The easiest would have to be "name drops", wherein any of the TV characters are explicitly referenced by name. They could do that, reference the characters current whereabouts, and even say that, for example, Iron Man personally met the revived Phil Coulson, played by Clark Gregg (500 Days of Summer) some time prior to a movie.

Source, "Defend!"
Another way would have to be a "cameo appearance", wherein the actors would interact with any of the movie characters in a short scene or two. This way, they can show how the events of, let us say, The Defenders miniseries have affected the primary series of flicks. While the shows have directly referenced events from the movies, the movies are yet to refer to the happenings of the series, and they could start with any of these solutions, and everyone would be happy.

So we finally end this editorial piece of ours, but apparently, we are not quite done with Marvel just yet, as one of our next posts would be a movie review of Doctor Strange. To close this two-part post, here is another Marvel One-Shot, but this time, it focuses on Agent Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell (Cinderella), the former love interest of Captain America. Man, I miss her show. Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies!


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