Originally Posted by Mr. Dent
I think you're neglecting the key difference, which is that Marvel would have spent 10+ years building up to this and people would give a **** about the focal characters in this movie. That's a very big, defining difference between this and movies like Green Lantern and John Carter. Yes, not every character would be able to get enough face time, but that's what they're individual movies are for. There will be the characters that the film focuses on, and then there will be those who will be on the periphery. That's what this big cinematic universe allows Marvel the luxury to do. Even the characters that don't get enough focus in this film will have gotten it in their own franchise, and those who haven't seen those movies and don't know the characters won't care, because they know what they were coming into. It will be the same thing as the Avengers. People who didn't see any of the prior movies still went to see the Avengers just because all these things were coming together, and they didn't care that they hadn't seen the past movies because they knew what they were coming in to.
With this movie, they could narrow the focus to a couple core characters from each group and Thanos. It would still be all of them vs Thanos, but a few characters will be more of the focal point and represent their factions. Even then, if they split the movie in two, there would be enough time to afford all the characters time to talk and say their piece. Most of the Inhuman royal family doesn't have to have a big part in this movie, it can just be Black Bolt, Medusa, and Crystal. The Guardians aren't a big group anyway, and one of their members doesn't even say more than three words, so it would be even easier to have them in it. Just have Peter and Rocket be the ones doing most of the talking, while Drax and Gamora's roles don't have to be upped until the confrontation with Thanos. And with the Avengers, Iron Man and Cap can do most of the talking, and there would still be enough room for the others to do their things.
You can basically narrow down the main characters to 8-10 (with the most important ones being Iron Man, Cap, Star Lord, and Black Bolt) and the rest can just be supporting. And, if they split it like I said, they're afforded 4+ hours to develop the story. It really can be done and it wouldn't be a John Carter. This is the luxury afforded to Marvel that would be 10+ years of build up to. You can't ignore that.
It wouldn't be one movie.
If you're spreading the story out over at least a couple of movies, if not more, then yeah, you'd be taking the New 52 approach to a crossover instead of the Crisis approach, and it would certainly work better. Say for instance, a story that overlaps A3, GOTG 2, and an Inhumans 1 or 2 movie.
But at this point, I don't think Marvel is quite ready to start building castles in the air. This whole concept is based on the notion that audiences will fall in love with these cosmic characters (both hero and villain), but we really have no idea how audiences will react to them yet. That's the biggest problem I have with this whole "save Thanos for the big finale" idea that everyone keeps building their assumptions around --- we still don't know if audiences are going to even care about Thanos. Practically all of us *assumed* that audiences would just love seeing Red Skull and Mandarin onscreen, and that they'd become regular fixtures in the MCU the same as Loki; but the reality turned out quite differently.
Let's cross each bridge as we come to it. GOTG first. *If* that one becomes the blockbuster we're all hoping for, *then* we can start looking past that to explore more cosmic options. Otherwise, don't put the cart before the horse (or however the saying goes).