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Old 02-28-2012, 07:15 PM   #1
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Default Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

A big complaint I see on the boards here is that Marvel is too cookie cutter, playing it safe, not taking any risks. But what I realized is that, now that Avengers is actually being made, they're pretty much jumping headfirst into it now.

I mean, think about it:

Iron Man 3: Shane Black, who will likely portray the third film in a different style than Favreau did, not to mention they're actually filming with a complete script this time.

Thor 2: Giving Marvel's biggest budding new franchise to a TV director, is a pretty damn risky. I mean, even Whedon had experience with Serenity, and ensembles in general, but this is a guy who's biggest thing is two episodes of Game of Thrones. Though you could argue that they turned down Patty Jenkins, it's not clear what the reasons are, or whether she chose to leave because it didn't turn out to be what she thought it would be or creative control issues. But, they did get Robert ****ing Rodat to write the dialogue and adjust the pacing, though they probably had the general plot lined out, the writer of Saving Private Ryan to your film certainly can't hurt.


Doctor Strange: The fact that they're actually making a Doctor Strange movie is a massive, massive sign they're really going all-in on this. I mean, most of the characters we've seen get their own films have been A-List in the comics, even if not in the GA at the time. But Doc Strange? He's easily a much lesser known character. If Doc Strange is successful, it'll kick open the doors for so many other characters it's almost mind-boggling how big the world can become. Though they did get the writers for Conan, but that movie's problems stretched far beyond just the writing.

Thoughts?


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Old 02-28-2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

Yeah I think Marvel is definately going to be a bit more risky now that The Avengers is almost much here and 4 of the 5 solo films have been pretty successful.

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Old 02-28-2012, 08:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

Yes and no. Here's why.

Yes, they'll be taking more risks, because it's likely that they won't have to alter each film so that it can fit in with a theoretical sequel. It's possible that there will be an Avengers movie every 5 years following a couple movies that all build up to it, but hopefully that won't happen. Doctor Strange and Ant-Man don't necessarily have to be feature-length teasers for other movies.

No, because it's the same kind of studio, where Kevin Fiege still has a job. The studio will still be micro-managing the final product and pissing off the directors, because each film has to satisfy merchandising needs, fanboy expectations, and an entire film franchise.

Compare a movie like "Thor" to the first Spider-Man movie or Batman Begins. The first Spider-Man movie and Batman Begins, while each being adaptations of comic-book characters that are well-known and are marketable for that very reason, tell actual stories that can stand on their own as movies. Even the first Iron Man movie does that. Wheras Thor and Captain America don't so much feel like individual stories as much as they feel like cinematic collectible soda cans. There's a "collect them all!" asthetic to the whole Marvel Studios operation. "Thor" doesn't feel like the story of a god learning humility, it feels like they needed a two-hour Thor movie so that The Avengers could be made.

So the upcoming Marvel Studios movies, while probably being less shackled by the demands of an "Avengers" movie, will still be "safe" in the typical sense. Doctor Strange is one of the most offbeat and idiosyncratic characters in the Marvel Universe. They got the writers of Conan. This isn't going to be a challenging, unique film, it'll be a two-hour video during which the public is made aware of Doctor Strange.

But that's okay, because The Avengers might actually be a really good movie. And as cynical as some of the stuff I've said sounds, I'm really looking forward to The Avengers, and enjoyed most of the Marvel movies to date, including Thor.

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Old 02-28-2012, 08:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

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Originally Posted by Gunga Diner View Post
Compare a movie like "Thor" to the first Spider-Man movie or Batman Begins. The first Spider-Man movie and Batman Begins, while each being adaptations of comic-book characters that are well-known and are marketable for that very reason, tell actual stories that can stand on their own as movies. Even the first Iron Man movie does that. Wheras Thor and Captain America don't so much feel like individual stories as much as they feel like cinematic collectible soda cans. There's a "collect them all!" asthetic to the whole Marvel Studios operation. "Thor" doesn't feel like the story of a god learning humility, it feels like they needed a two-hour Thor movie so that The Avengers could be made.
I don't see how you got that from Captain America. The only real missing piece from Captain America for me was more Red Skull development. With Thor, I can see your point more, while I don't necessarily agree... like... at all.

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So the upcoming Marvel Studios movies, while probably being less shackled by the demands of an "Avengers" movie, will still be "safe" in the typical sense. Doctor Strange is one of the most offbeat and idiosyncratic characters in the Marvel Universe. They got the writers of Conan. This isn't going to be a challenging, unique film, it'll be a two-hour video during which the public is made aware of Doctor Strange.
Why so cynical? What makes you think Doctor Strange won't be challenging or unique? They only got the writers of Conan to do a story layout, just as they did with Zak Penn for The Avengers, they'll probably get another writer to rewrite it later on in its development.

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Old 02-28-2012, 08:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

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Why so cynical? What makes you think Doctor Strange won't be challenging or unique? They only got the writers of Conan to do a story layout, just as they did with Zak Penn for The Avengers, they'll probably get another writer to rewrite it later on in its development.
Because the Marvel movies have been incredibly safe up to this point, and if they were aiming for something unique or unexpected, they wouldn't have hired the writers of Conan.

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Old 02-28-2012, 09:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

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Compare a movie like "Thor" to the first Spider-Man movie or Batman Begins. The first Spider-Man movie and Batman Begins, while each being adaptations of comic-book characters that are well-known and are marketable for that very reason, tell actual stories that can stand on their own as movies. Even the first Iron Man movie does that. Wheras Thor and Captain America don't so much feel like individual stories as much as they feel like cinematic collectible soda cans. There's a "collect them all!" asthetic to the whole Marvel Studios operation. "Thor" doesn't feel like the story of a god learning humility, it feels like they needed a two-hour Thor movie so that The Avengers could be made.
Please. Like Spider-Man and Batman Begins weren't being made to service franchises and merchandise. Look at the cliffhanger Spider-Man ended on and the tease at the end of Batman Begins. I mean hence the whole title of Batman Begins.

Quote:
So the upcoming Marvel Studios movies, while probably being less shackled by the demands of an "Avengers" movie, will still be "safe" in the typical sense. Doctor Strange is one of the most offbeat and idiosyncratic characters in the Marvel Universe. They got the writers of Conan. This isn't going to be a challenging, unique film, it'll be a two-hour video during which the public is made aware of Doctor Strange.
Same with Guardians of The Galaxy and Runaways if they get made?

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Old 02-28-2012, 09:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

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Because the Marvel movies have been incredibly safe up to this point, and if they were aiming for something unique or unexpected, they wouldn't have hired the writers of Conan.
You must have missed the part where I said they hired Zak Penn to write The Avengers, before hiring Joss Whedon for rewrites. Also, I don't see how safe means not unique. Spider-Man 2 was completely safe.

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Old 02-28-2012, 09:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

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You must have missed the part where I said they hired Zak Penn to write The Avengers, before hiring Joss Whedon for rewrites. Also, I don't see how safe means not unique. Spider-Man 2 was completely safe.
Spider-Man 2 has moments of quiet, talky, character-driven intimacy that most of these movies don't. The entire plot can slow down so that a character moment can be fleshed out or properly addressed. The scene where Peter admits to Aunt May that he's responsible for the death of Uncle Ben was risky, and not necessarily made with 6-year-olds in mind. The first two Spider-Man movies and all of Nolan's Batman movies feel like complete films that don't let the necessary commercial concessions take away from story or character.

Thor had a scene where another actor is cut into a scene months after it was shot so that he can be introduced for the sake of The Avengers. Thor isn't, by any means, a bad movie. It's a fun, light, visually awesome action-adventure movie where the stakes feel pretty low and there's not a whole lot of weight to it. It's everything it needed to be, and wasn't horribly unique. I just think it's a little sucky that every character Marvel Studios owns will probably be plugged into those same standards instead of letting the Directors and screenwriters find out what the story can be/should be.

If the Dr. Conan screenplay gets re-writes from a talented writer who can manage the studio's demands while also making a film that is satisfying on a character and story level, I'll be happy.

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Old 02-28-2012, 10:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

It's a fine line between "if it ain't broke don't fix it" and growing complacent and not trying to better oneself. Marvel has learned along the way and I expect them to continue to grow.


I enjoyed Thor and Captain America and while not the 10/10 perfect masterpieces they certainly were exceptional 9/10 films in my book. If they can keep the heart of what they have already delivered but provide better action then they'll be where they need to be.


Again, it's a tough balancing act. They cut far too much quality character development out of Incredible Hulk (look at the deleted scenes) and I think they learned from that mistake.


I also would have them stay just where they are at instead of heading down the road Pirates of The Caribbean went. They followed a heady and enjoyable original film with multiple sequels that were filled with CGI absurdity because they tried to "top" themselves. That often sends a franchise spiraling in the wrong direction.

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Old 02-28-2012, 10:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

I'd put THOR and CA:TFA on the same level as Batman Begins and I'd put them above Spider-Man 1, which I think is pretty overrated.

Playing things relatively "safe" isn't necessarily a bad thing, I would more people would understand that.

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Old 02-28-2012, 10:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

Just caught back up with SM1....oh man was it cheesy and the effects were horrible! Definitely liked SM2 the best of the 3.

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Old 02-28-2012, 10:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

Yeah Spider-Man 2 was definately what a sequel should be, I sure hope THOR 2 and Iron Man 3 make improvements on a similar level.

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Old 02-28-2012, 10:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

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Spider-Man 2 has moments of quiet, talky, character-driven intimacy that most of these movies don't. The entire plot can slow down so that a character moment can be fleshed out or properly addressed. The scene where Peter admits to Aunt May that he's responsible for the death of Uncle Ben was risky, and not necessarily made with 6-year-olds in mind. The first two Spider-Man movies and all of Nolan's Batman movies feel like complete films that don't let the necessary commercial concessions take away from story or character.
Both Captain America and Thor had just as many of those "moments of quiet, talky, character-driven intimacy." It becomes your own fault if you let any of The Big Sparkly Avengers related aspects distract you from it. People who aren't really aware of The Avengers don't let it distract them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKENY4tMkWw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc-F9848D9A
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm0kdA9ii3o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO6qu5fQLHo&ob=av3e
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvoLkRK8F70

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Old 02-28-2012, 10:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

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I'd put THOR and CA:TFA on the same level as Batman Begins and I'd put them above Spider-Man 1, which I think is pretty overrated.

Playing things relatively "safe" isn't necessarily a bad thing, I would more people would understand that.

But neither is taking risks. Sure, a director with a "vision" can miss the mark despite an earnest effort, like Ang Lee or Martin Campbell; or be completely clueless about the genre and the material, like Joel Schumacher or Mark Steven Johnson or Gavin Hood; but the directors who were given free rein also gave us greatness like Raimi's Spidey series, Burton and Nolan's Batman films, Singer and Vaughn's X-Men films, and Fav's Iron Man movies.

As to the future of Marvel Studios films: I don't see the directors of IM3 or Thor 2 as being risk-takers in particular, and I definitely don't see them trying to push the envelope or butt heads with Feige over artistic direction (unlike Patty Jenkins). Edgar Wright is definitely a risk-taker, but until something concrete ever materializes on Ant-Man, I still consider that project vaporware.

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Old 02-28-2012, 10:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

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But neither is taking risks. Sure, a director with a "vision" can miss the mark despite an earnest effort, like Ang Lee or Martin Campbell; or be completely clueless about the genre and the material, like Joel Schumacher or Mark Steven Johnson or Gavin Hood; but the directors who were given free rein also gave us greatness like Raimi's Spidey series, Burton and Nolan's Batman films, Singer and Vaughn's X-Men films, and Fav's Iron Man movies.

As to the future of Marvel Studios films: I don't see the directors of IM3 or Thor 2 as being risk-takers in particular, and I definitely don't see them trying to push the envelope or butt heads with Feige over artistic direction (unlike Patty Jenkins). Edgar Wright is definitely a risk-taker, but until something concrete ever materializes on Ant-Man, I still consider that project vaporware.
Taking risks is a bad thing for a studio that relies only on its superhero films. Marvel Studios has to get nearly every one of these right to keep on going on the pace they're trying to. Dr. Strange is the perfect character to take a risk on because while he'll still be in the same universe as the other movies, there's nothing about him that has to tie directly to it. Also, there's nothing wrong with the studio heads butting in because this is Marvel, not FOX. Marvel butts in only to keep things where they should be and not let a director take things in a direction it shouldn't go.

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Old 02-28-2012, 11:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

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But neither is taking risks. Sure, a director with a "vision" can miss the mark despite an earnest effort, like Ang Lee or Martin Campbell; or be completely clueless about the genre and the material, like Joel Schumacher or Mark Steven Johnson or Gavin Hood; but the directors who were given free rein also gave us greatness like Raimi's Spidey series, Burton and Nolan's Batman films, Singer and Vaughn's X-Men films, and Fav's Iron Man movies.

As to the future of Marvel Studios films: I don't see the directors of IM3 or Thor 2 as being risk-takers in particular, and I definitely don't see them trying to push the envelope or butt heads with Feige over artistic direction (unlike Patty Jenkins). Edgar Wright is definitely a risk-taker, but until something concrete ever materializes on Ant-Man, I still consider that project vaporware.
Whether the director of THOR 2 is willing to take as big of a risk as Jenkins doesn't really bother me because I was never really sure that she was right for Thor.

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Old 02-29-2012, 12:37 AM   #17
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

You guys say none of these guys are risk takers, I'd say the results so far are the opposite.

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Old 02-29-2012, 12:44 AM   #18
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

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You guys say none of these guys are risk takers, I'd say the results so far are the opposite.
Agreed. I mean, "Thor", directed by Kenneth F'n Brannagh? Yeah, we live in that world.

In the end, it's a business.

Marvel will be as risky or risk-adverse as their films' performances allow them to be. If too much experimentation drives audiences away then goodbye to anything approaching originality or style. But, if the same happens with films that play it too safe... A happy medium would be preferable, and I think they'd done it for the most part. I'm just thrilled we're getting these movies and that they are (for the most part) being treated as legitimate and not men-in-pj's pap for 6 year-olds.

I'll say it again: we live in a world where Kenneth Brannagh has directed a comic-book movie. And Chris Nolan. And Shane Black (soon). And, it isn't some sad indictment of their collective fall-from-grace, like how once-bankable or well-regarded actors end up starring in *****ty Asylum films after they've p*ssed their careers away. So, something's working.

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:21 AM   #19
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

If the Avengers movie goes off without a hitch, which I'm pretty sure most of us think will, then the opportunity to push their own limits and build up even more on what they've done will be there. Whether they choose to take advantage of that opportunity will be the key.

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Old 02-29-2012, 02:01 AM   #20
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

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Spider-Man 2 has moments of quiet, talky, character-driven intimacy that most of these movies don't. The entire plot can slow down so that a character moment can be fleshed out or properly addressed. The scene where Peter admits to Aunt May that he's responsible for the death of Uncle Ben was risky, and not necessarily made with 6-year-olds in mind. The first two Spider-Man movies and all of Nolan's Batman movies feel like complete films that don't let the necessary commercial concessions take away from story or character.

Thor had a scene where another actor is cut into a scene months after it was shot so that he can be introduced for the sake of The Avengers. Thor isn't, by any means, a bad movie. It's a fun, light, visually awesome action-adventure movie where the stakes feel pretty low and there's not a whole lot of weight to it. It's everything it needed to be, and wasn't horribly unique. I just think it's a little sucky that every character Marvel Studios owns will probably be plugged into those same standards instead of letting the Directors and screenwriters find out what the story can be/should be.

If the Dr. Conan screenplay gets re-writes from a talented writer who can manage the studio's demands while also making a film that is satisfying on a character and story level, I'll be happy.
You're talking out of your arse. The best moments in Thor and Cap were the quieter character driven scenes.

Frankly, the action in Thor, apart from the Frost Giant fight, was mediocre. The highlight of that movie was the characters and their interactions.

Thor and Cap are individual movies with individual stories. Although I think Cap's final third was rushed. I'd also say Thor needed an extra 20 minutes.


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Old 02-29-2012, 03:59 AM   #21
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

^ Yeah THOR and CA:TFA were VERY character driven films, that's one aspect that shouldn't even be debatable.

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Spider-Man - It's the end of the world, I'M FREAKING OUT...why aren't you freaking out?
Captain America - Because I can hear it.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:39 AM   #22
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

The family character stuff between Thor, Loki and Odin were more enjoyable than the action in Thor for me.

I think what people have to understand is origin movies are often introductions to characters and their world. You need to ease the audience into the world so that they accept it. The sequels is when you can expand things more.

I think Marvel will be more risky on their lesser known properties as they have less to lose. They have enough less known characters that have potential to be breakout successes like Blade was.

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Old 02-29-2012, 05:37 AM   #23
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The family character stuff between Thor, Loki and Odin were more enjoyable than the action in Thor for me.

I think what people have to understand is origin movies are often introductions to characters and their world. You need to ease the audience into the world so that they accept it. The sequels is when you can expand things more.

I think Marvel will be more risky on their lesser known properties as they have less to lose. They have enough less known characters that have potential to be breakout successes like Blade was.
Exactly, I though I enjoyed the Frost Giant battle more than any other scene in THOR.

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Spider-Man - It's the end of the world, I'M FREAKING OUT...why aren't you freaking out?
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:52 AM   #24
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

I don't think MS went totally risk free in Phase I. Unknown lead acrors, “artsy“ directors or unlroven directors, those were all big risks for a summer blockbuster. Not to mention the fact that the whole idea of a shared, interconnected movid universe is probably one of the biggest risks in modern film history.
Sure, some of the movie could have been a little edgier, but MS was far from playing it safe.

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Old 02-29-2012, 06:02 AM   #25
BigThor
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Default Re: Now that Avengers Buildup is Done, is Marvel Studios Taking More Risks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Hythlodeus View Post
I don't think MS went totally risk free in Phase I. Unknown lead acrors, “artsy“ directors or unlroven directors, those were all big risks for a summer blockbuster. Not to mention the fact that the whole idea of a shared, interconnected movid universe is probably one of the biggest risks in modern film history.
Sure, some of the movie could have been a little edgier, but MS was far from playing it safe.
Bingo

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