What is Riding on The Avengers Movie
Why The Avengers needs to get it right after team movies that fans would consider failures.
Marvel, along with Joss Whedon, is attempting to pull together one of the most motley groups of superhero characters you could think of to form The Avengers on the big screen. Many, (including to a certain extent, myself) think this is going to be a make or break movie for Marvel. Will it mean the end of superhero movies if The Avengers fails? No, not by any means. However, it could be the last time we see a group of heroes together in one quality movie at the theater.
We all know that superhero movies are not only the trend but a successful one. Spider Man, Batman and so on bring in big bucks for the studios. What we don't know is how good a team movie can be.
FOX has had three attempts at making a quality X-Men movie. While financially successful, the jury is divided on just how good these movies are. They used the cut and paste method of grabbing some of the franchises most popular characters at the time of filming. In doing so they left any and all continuity behind. The studio also failed miserably to give us a glimpse of any character's personality whose name didn't start with Logan and end with Wolverine. Having said this, I still found the first two films greatly enjoyable. I know that doesn't make any sense and my only explanation is that I'm not an X-Men nut. I don't believe that there has been too damn much continuity in the books since they expanded from the Uncanny line years ago. I do however, feel for those of you out there who do hold the X-Men near and dear.
FOX took two separate stabs at one of Marvels team franchises with
Fantastic 4. Once again the film made money but it did so while disappointing the group's many fans. Once again the studio chose to neglect many pieces of the Fantastic 4 mythos in order to make a flashy, campy version of the comic book heroes. Again, I wasn't one of the many enraged fans because I have always found the comic book version of the group to be on the campy side. While I hate how the studio chose to portray the Silver Surfer, Doom, and Galactus, I was not too disappointed with the group itself. And again, I feel for you fans out there who were not happy at all with the movies.
Now we come to the team movie that almost every fan agrees was done the way it should be. It stuck to the source almost word for word and frame for frame. The actors brought the characters to life in costumes ripped straight from the book. Sure the end was changed just a little but the outcome was the same. The only problem with this movie is that it didn't make money. While the fans raved, the average movie goer was lost watching the film. The film I am refering to is of course Watchmen.
All this brings us back to The Avengers. Marvel is putting this film together which is a huge plus for us fans. The studio actually cares about the subject matter. Still they have a fine line to walk. Marvel obviously isn't interested in putting out anything that the fans would compare to the X-Men or Fantastic 4 films. By the same token, there is no way in hell they can knowingly put out a completely faithful adaptation a la Watchmen and sit back and wait to lose money. I do believe that if anybody can walk that line, it's Marvel. I think The Avengers is going to be epic.
I can guarantee you that DC is sitting back and letting Marvel prove to them that it can be done. They have nothing to lose by doing so, their fan base isn't going anywhere. They also have two things to gain by waiting.
1. If the movie for some reason is not that good, they can see where Marvel went wrong and try to improve upon it when and if they make the JLA.
2. Most importantly they can see if the movie is fantastic like Watchmen and still fails to bring in any money.
This is the thing that all CBM fans must hope does not happen. If it does, I doubt DC or Marvel or anybody else for that matter will bother trying to make a quality team movie again. We may see more thrown together X-Menfilms but we won't see another big budget team movie. Why would we, if they fail to bring in the average movie-goer?
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