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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last eight years, you’ve probably noticed a certain trend in superhero movies: the shared Marvel universe. While superhero films used to be treated as independent series that would reset after two or three movies, they now build on top of each other to create an almost overwhelming amount of shared continuity. Case in point: the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, which functions as a follow up to Captain America: Winter Soldier, an action-packed reunion of the Avengers: Age of Ultron cast and an introduction to both Black Panther as well as a new iteration of Spider Man!
But how long can this go on? Hollywood’s obsession with fan approval shows that one day a series that seems to be riding strong (Amazing Spider Man, for instance), can bottom out within 9 months of the latest films release. Steven Spielberg has even gone on record saying the superhero film will soon go “the way of the western” and fall out of popularity in mainstream Hollywood.
Is the father of American Blockbuster Cinema on to something? Around 30 characters have already enjoyed multiple appearances across the Marvel films so far, and a library of characters in Marvel Comics continuity that number in the thousands, most of whom can appear and cross over between a number of films and TV series. With a potentially infinite number of combinations, will this cinematic universe collapse under its own weight? Or will the Marvel Cinematic Universe go on FOREVER?
Script by: Our friends at Wisecrack
Voice Over by: Ben Kendrick @BenKendrick
The History: How Marvel Became A Movie Studio | 1:29
The Kevin Feige Years | 2:50
Possible Obstacle #1: Box Office Failure | 3:45
Possible Obstacle #2: Critical Disaster? | 4:39
The Marvel Strategy: Filmmakers | 5:57
Obstacle #3: Introducing Audiences To New Characters | 6:57
Obstacle #4: Too Many Characters? | 4:21
Obstacle #5: Audience Fatigue | 9:15
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