Marvel Entertainment Inc. brought a strong presence to NYCC (New York Comic-Con) this weekend to further promote their beloved and blossoming potential blockbuster movie franchise The Avengers. The panel showed some never-before-seen footage and did some Q&A. Marvel head honcho Kevin Fiege then opened up to fans about how happy he was with the direction the studio was going, culminating in an Avengers film. The Avengers however, as Fiege explained, is certainly not the end of the road for Marvel/Disney.
Fiege hinted at the fact that ‘phase two of the Marvel Movie Universe‘ will include another round of solo films, and then culminate in a second Avengers film. That however, is not all. Marvel reportedly has five projects currently in development. Iron Man 3 is in pre-production for a 2013 release attached to director Shane Black. Thor 2 will begin pre-production soon and just picked up director Patty Jenkins (Monster). An Ant-man film is ‘still nebulous but definitely in the works’. Guardians of the Galaxy and Inhumans films are also reportedly in the works. With so much success in their mainstream characters it seems a bit risky to put out obscure characters like some mentioned above. Lucky enough for Marvel it has an insurance policy: The Walt Disney Company.
Disney bought Marvel about two years ago for over $4 billion. While things indeed seem to be going well for both companies since the acquisition, Marvel has made deals with other studios to distribute some of their movies (spider-man, x-men, daredevil, etc.) making the Avengers and its four superheroes a coveted ‘in-house’ Marvel enterprise. Without kissing too much Walt-Disney/Marvel ass, let’s take a look at the first avenger to make it to the big screen, and also by far the most box office successful avenger: Iron Man.
Anthony Edward Stark is the son of industrialist and inventor Howard Stark, and demonstrated his mechanical aptitude and extraordinary inventive genius at an early age. Inheriting his father’s company Stark Industries, Tony blossomed into a billionaire industrialist, and an ingenious engineer. With a highly ‘innovative attitude‘, an ‘entrepreneurial spirit‘, and a ‘charming capacity‘ to ignore the standard, the traditional, and the authoritative: Tony Stark is undoubtedly an Inventor Rational. Indeed the Inventor‘s tendency to depend on their capability and inventiveness can get them in trouble at times. Tony took this concept a bit too far when he ignored security concerns and ended up with shrapnel lodged in his chest. In classic Inventor Rational fashion, Tony used his creative and inventive genius to devise a mechanical suit that saved his life. And thus, Iron Man was born. Indeed Tony is constantly searching for new projects, as we will no doubt see in the Avengers, and always tinkering with and improving his mechanical suit. Indeed given their exceptional propensity to innovate, Inventors have a tendency to live their lives somewhat on the brink of disaster: as evidenced by Tony Stark’s perpetuated struggles with alcoholism. Tony Stark having a somewhat reckless and at-times irresponsible persona in the comics goes hand-in-hand of course with casting the likes of Robert Downey Jr. The Armored Avenger can be seen amongst his super squad May 2012, and again by himself May 2013.
While Marvel/Disney seems to have it’s sh*t together, DC/Warner Bros. is still searching for solid cash cows to replace the likes of Harry Potter and The Dark Knight. While they do have The Hobbit films coming up, they simply cannot afford setbacks like Green Lantern if they actually want to directly compete with The Avengers and it’s four characters with already well-developed fan-bases.
Marvel/Disney seems poised to keep churning out inter-related superhero blockbusters while DC/Warner Bros. still has yet to find solid JLA (Justice League of America) footing. In the epic battle for Hollywood supremacy that is Marvel/Disney vs. DC/Warner Bros.: Marvel/Disney is cleaning house.