The mega producers behind the biggest non-Marvel Marvel movies have been getting asked the same question an awful lot lately: What would it take for the non-Marvel Marvel movie characters to appear in a Marvel Marvel movie in a marvelous crossover of marvel proportions?
The producers in question, of course, are Simon Kinberg- who's pulling the strings for the X-Men and The Fantastic Four over at Fox- and Avi Arad- the man behind Sony's Spider-Man empire. The two men give wildly different answers, though, and their words provide some insight into what the studios may, or may not, have in mind for the future.
In Kinberg's case, he's all about it:
"Listen, I would love it. The dream to me - I almost feel like Martin Luther King or somebody. I see a world where everyone is joined together. The dream is, obviously, one day to do a Marvel movie that is with all the Marvel characters or at least a universe where they can dive in and out of one another's films. Because that's the way the comics were created, I think that's the way the movies should actually be. For a series of business reasons, they aren't. That's not for narrative or creative reasons. The dream is that we could cross-pollenate and everyone would be building off the momentum of each other, which is what actually happens. We're not in competition with each other. We actually can be helping the cause for all these different movies. It's been shown that audiences have enough of a palate for them. We will have, within the span of a month and a half, Captain America 2, Spider-Man 2 and Days of Future Past. They'll probably be three of the top five or six most successful [movies of the year]. It'd be cool if, yeah, one day we could do that. Maybe it starts with us and Spider-Man. Maybe it goes into sort of a TV show something at some point where the stakes are slightly lower. Then, eventually, you could build toward a shared movie."
Of course, when he references "us and Spider-Man" he's referring to that little tie-in at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that is intended to help promote Days of Future Past without their being a direct link between the two universes. Overall, in a chat with Coming Soon, Kinberg gives the impression that he thinks modern audiences are sophisticated enough to handle, and understand, a crossover down the line. While he feels that casual audiences may not understand the nuances of different studios only having the rights to certain characters and all that red tape, he's of the mind that a well-crafted crossover would go over very well with audiences both casual and hardcore.
Arad, on the other hand, isn't quite so high on the idea. See, he's of the mind that there's so many stories to tell, so many layers and levels to explore within Spidey's literary history, that a crossover is unnecessary. That's not all, he seems to think of something like that as more of a desperate stunt. Arad feels like a crossover means you're throwing in the towel, waving the white flag, and saying, "We no longer know what to do with these characters so here's a Hail Mary!" But don't just take it from me. Here are Arad's thoughts on matter, according to his co-producer Matt Tolmach:
"You know Avi always refers to that question as a stunt. If you were to do that, you know, Spider-Man in the Avengers is a stunt. And I get why everybody – you know, fans and audience members and movie goers – I understand it.
When you think about the Sinister Six and you think about Venom and you think about Carnage and you think Spider-Man in whatever way you want in association with those movies, they feel like they're built for Spider-Man. Like that's where his story needs to go and wants to go and it has to be about more than a stunt.
Stunts can be cool but it's also a business, and so the other side of the answer is they're owned by different companies. And there's a ton left in Sony's world; there's a lot of business left because there's a lot of story left. So for them to want to take this character and put it with Marvel and Disney is a huge undertaking and probably, as Avi's saying, isn't necessary until you feel like, 'Wow, we're sort of out of ideas. What should we do?' And we're far from out of ideas."
So there you have it. Now you know how to of the three Marvel entities in Hollywood view the prospect of team-ups, crossovers, and merging cinematic universes. What do you think? Who do you agree more with? Are you more in favor of a merger of the current franchises, or would you rather see certain ones close up shop and get completely rebooted by Marvel? Sound off, True Believers!