This month marks 10 years since the release of Iron Man, and therefore 10 years of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Some people won’t remember what going to see a superhero film was like before the MCU; I remember getting excited for films such as Ghost Rider and Fantastic Four 2 (Cloud Galactus anyone)…
Of course there was the occasional gem such as X-Men 2 and Spiderman 2, but overall the comic movie offering wasn’t that strong, and not very faithful. Then, one day, in comes Iron Man, arguably the best Iron Man film and one of the best origin movies out there to this day. This film blew everything we knew out of the water and to be honest at the time we kind of expected another half baked superhero flick, but my god were we pleasantly surprised!
We finally had a movie that was faithful, used the hero’s costume in a sensible way and nailed the title character. Then at the end we get that lovely little scene with Nick Fury; minds blown all over the globe. From the very first movie they had a plan which we thought was all about the joining of the Avengers, but was actually about the Infinity Stones. It’s crazy to think they’ve had a 10+ year plan since day one and it’s bloody worked!
Since then the MCU has gone from strength to strength – Personally I feel some of the more recent stand-alones have been the best (Ragnarok and Black Panther) which is crazy considering the fact that they’ve been doing movies for so long. It’s also mental to think that they now have 19 movies and the worst is probably Iron Man 2, which is still at least a 7 out of 10.
They reformed and essentially created the ensemble movie; yes X-Men was technically, but Marvel drew characters from different movies to create the masterpiece that is Avengers, this being a 4 year build of great movies to culminate in what’s perhaps one of the best hero films ever made. They then had Civil War which is a lot of people’s all time favourite movies (I could watch it again and again), and more recently Infinity War which is divisive, but an achievement any way you look at it, and it’s breaking every box office record that stands.
They then built on this, restructuring old ideas of trilogies or series of movies and instead created an endless franchise movie universe, the culmination of the first 3 phases taking 10 years to get to Thanos, but never losing it’s followers. It does this by fitting in to that magical slot between super fans and casual moviegoers, this happens extremely rarely!
They also allow each movie to be it’s own genre which makes each individual film much more interesting and appealing to a mass audience. So they don’t fit only in to ‘Super Hero’ but into comedy, spy thriller, space opera etc; they also give directors the chance to put their flair in to the movies but just say “Ok so X needs to happen to tie in to X”; just look and the zany perfection of Taika Waititi’s influence on Thor!
The only reason they’re able to do this is because of our lord and savior Kevin Feige. If it wasn’t for this man we wouldn’t have a lot of the cool shit we have nowadays.
This dude spent years working behind the scenes on many movies such as X-Men, Hulk, Elektra and more learning what to do and not to and was then hired by Marvel as a producer, but he’s essentially the leader, coordinator and driving force of the MCU. If it wasn’t for his previous experiences and ideas I don’t think we’d have a lot of the other movies and TV series if it wasn’t for the success of the MCU such as the DCEU (Although they’ve not achieved the same standard or success), the DC TV universe, the Marvel Netflix universe, Preacher, American Gods and SO many more.
I personally hope that the MCU never stops. I love what they’re doing with my favourite characters and the universe as a whole, and I get very excited at the announcement of every film. They’ve got the movie franchise idea completely right and deserve the success they’ve created. It seems there’s no plans to stop given the cliffhanger at the end of Infinity – A friend of mine said he felt this was our generation’s Godfather… Well put I say.
For many people I know who aren’t into comics they really enjoy going to see what’s going to happen and enjoy the movies. For me personally, as a bit of a comic nerd, I see this as a it’s own hero universe and something i can enjoy at a deeper level.