Not only do we live in the Golden Age of superhero movies, but we also live in an age where pretty much every studio out there is taking a crack at a little thing known as shared universes. Growing up, the idea of seeing these superheroes exist in their own films and in a larger universe was an unfathomable one, as studios didn’t have faith that audiences would be able to follow and understand a nonlinear throughline.
Nowadays, studios like Warner Bros., Legendary, Universal, and Sony have either tried their hands at creating shared universes — or are continuing to do so. But is it the idea of shared universes that audiences are truly in love with, and should Hollywood continue to pursue this?
Avengers: Infinity War co-director Joe Russo doesn’t think so, as he revealed to Variety.
“Yeah, don’t do it. Not everything can be sustained through a cinematic universe.”
So what is it about the Marvel Cinematic Universe that’s truly captivating? Here’s what he said.
“I think all of this — Netflix, Marvel, Star Wars, this massive moment of disruption we’re in — is really a function of audiences craving new kinds of storytelling. I think we had a really nice run for 100 years of two-hour, two-dimensional storytelling, but I think over the next decade, decade-and-a-half, you’re going to see a radical shift in how stories are told.”
“It’s another way to digest content, and that structure is less predictive to them. We have seen so much content that every average moviegoer has a level of sophistication in their ability to predict what is going to happen in a movie, which is why Anthony and I spent a lot of time trying to hide the secrets of [Avengers: Infinity War], misdirect the way the trailers were cut, misdirect with information. It’s too easy for them to intuit what is going to happen.”
Ding! Ding! Ding! This guy gets it. As much as I love the shared universe aspect, it really came out of a desire for audiences to have a different kind of storytelling experience. Now, for the first time, mainstream movie audiences can have a similar experience to what comic readers have been experiencing for decades. But it is a very specific experience — and one that perhaps isn’t suited to every property out there, especially if handled wrong.
What do you think of Joe Russo’s comments? Sound off down below!
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