By: Daniel Brown
We’ve got a lot of movies being thrown at us these days. A lot of it is pretty much the same thing being recycled, with a different take or a new twist, but that’s not to forget the still steady stream of fresh material keeping us from losing faith in the entertainment industry.
Following this industry, I’m super attentive to how we as viewers are thrusting our standards onto creators, and in many cases directly influencing how they go about creating. Many of the creations that are primarily affected are those that reside within a larger franchise, which tend to generate fan bases; force’s to be reckoned with. Because if a director comes up with a new idea for said franchise but messes it up, then they have an entire fan base threatening to kill them for ruining the canon and forcing them to delete their twitter account.
An example of this would be the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU originated back in 2008, when Iron Man first proved to critics and viewers alike that superhero movies could be so much more than mere comic book adaptations, and could be appreciated by mainstream audiences. We have had some great superhero movies up to that point, such as Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films and Bryan Singer’s iteration of X-Men (only the first two of both respectively; cockney English Juggernaut?), but the MCU changed the game, and showed us that the possibility of a story shared amongst multiple IP’s was a really good idea. However, comic books have some of the most ruthless fans around, and therefore the creators are just as affected by this imposition of values.
Now, when I say values, I mean good things. Gender equality, ethnic diversity, sexuel representation; I hope that I don’t at any point imply that these are bad things. What I do think is less than ideal is that, for the sake of political correctness, we’re forcing creators to portray these values in their creations. Diversity for the sake of diversity. To let these values stem out organically from a creation is awesome, but it is gradually transforming into a requirement, which can be limiting. Creators want people to like their stuff, but people tend to become critical of the whole creation if one aspect is misrepresented.
So, what is this article? First and foremost, it’s an outlet for Daniel to rant about superheroes. Second, it’s an outlet for Daniel to rant about some problems with how superheroes are being handled, and how that translates into the film industry as a whole. Third, it is an imperfect discussion that is intended to invoke more articulated discussion amongst whomever takes the time to read it. I can’t guarantee that I am going to cover all the bases, these are just surface level thoughts that will hopefully give you an idea of what I’m trying to say.
To do this, I’m going to look at three different “case studies”, all fairly recent, within the MCU. They will pertain mainly to the film adaptations of their respective Marvel characters, using the comics solely for context.