Originally Posted by catintheengine
I think you guys really hit the nail on the head. In a way, The Avengers served as a double-edged sword. Yes, we got a fantastic movie out of the deal, but in a way fans now expect all their favorite characters to be in the next Avengers picture.
It's not only unrealistic, but it would be detrimental to the film as a whole to cram that many characters into one movie.
Dr. Strange IS a complex character that certainly deserves his own movie. I've said it before: I really think GotG is going to be Marvel's way of testing the waters on a non-Avengers flick. They may have a connection through Thanos, but I wouldn't want both teams appearing in the same movie. It's just too much and no character would be done justice in a movie like that unless the running time was somewhere around five to seven hours.
I'd much rather have a fantastic set of movies than have a sub-par movie that manages to get all my favorite characters in. If you want a bunch of half-developed characters running around and blowing stuff up go rent G.I. Joe.
Yes, the MCU should be interconnected, but that doesn't/shouldn't mean that all those characters should be in the same battle or even the same movie.
To give an example from a completely different genre and medium: In the early 90's there were three sit-coms on NBC that took place in the same universe: Mad About You, Seinfeld, and Friends. They established this by interconnecting Friends and Mad About You through a minor character who happened to appear in both shows. They connected Seinfeld and Mad About You through having a main character from one meet a main character from the other in one episode. That was it.
There's really no reason for Dr. Strange to be in The Avengers at all beyond, maybe, a mention or a cameo. Save that spot on the roster for characters that were integral to The Avengers and vice versa, i.e. Ant-Man and Wasp.
And yet there's plenty of examples from TV of hit shows spawning off entire subcultures successfully....All in the Family spinning off The Jeffersons, Good Times and Maude; The Mary Tyler Moore Show spinning off Rhoda, Phyllis, Lou Grant; CSI and Law and Order and their offspring; Dynasty spawning The Colbys, Dallas spawning Knots Landing, 90210 spawning Melrose; Happy Days spawning Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Joanie Loves Chachi; Andy Griffith and Mayberry RFD and Gomer Pyle;
of course, TONS of cartoons have spun off their own shared universes; and then there's the most obvious example of a successful shared universe in Star Trek, particularly in the 80s and 90s.
That's one reason why I continue to say that Marvel *really* needs to branch out to television (and they are, with Joss, thank god), while maintaining a continuity between the films and the TV shows that emerge. That way, characters (especially those with complicated backstories) can develop properly over the course of multiple episodes or even whole seasons on television, and then make the transition to appearances in the Marvel movies, in much the same way that Trek characters have moved from small screen to large.
This really can, and *should*, feel like a vast shared universe like that of Star Trek and Star Wars. It's always been that in the comics, of course, but Marvel is only just now realizing that potential for sharing its world(s) in the visual medium of film and television.