Captain America 2 & The Future of Marvel Studios

3 years ago by  

Marvel Studios was able to hammer out two blockbuster superhero films this year to introduce Captain America and Thor – the remaining core characters of The Avengers. This is in accordance to Marvel’s mandate of two major theatrical releases per year, a trend that sadly ends next year with The Avengers coming all by itself after the lower-budget production of Runaways was put on hiatus.

The two years after that however, fans should be getting their dual fix each summer, starting with Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 in the summer of 2013 and at least two more Marvel movies to fill in the two summer dates the studio locked down in 2014. As I stated in our discussion of writer Christopher Markus’ desire to have MODOK be a villain in Captain America 2, the Chris Evans solo sequel would certainly release in 2014 – According to him, that does seem to be the case.

While doing the press rounds for his upcoming flick Puncture, Evans cannot avoid questions about his career’s biggest role as the star-spangled Avenger. The Playlist spoke to him about the role and his upcoming appearances, where he explains that with his 6-picture contract (3 Captain America movies + 3 Avengers movies) it is highly unlikely for him to cameo in other movies and that because of that, he likely won’t be seen as Steve Rogers again until Captain America debuts – likely in 2014 as everyone expected.

“They may wait until 2014 until they release the next Cap. Marvel has a lot of balls in the air, they aren’t going to cannibalize their films… Out of those six films, if I pop up in one of those [other films], it counts as part of the deal. So if they needed me in a third Cap, and I say, ‘F*** you, give me $30 million,’ well…they want to avoid that.”

Marvel Studios has successfully created an interconnected movie universe, the true first of its kind. Since they began with The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man in 2008, each successive film in the franchise has included more ties to previous installments and built more of a foundation for future films to follow.

With Captain America: The First Avenger being the last movie to debut before Joss Whedon’s take on The Avengers, it is essentially its prequel. Knowing that The Avengers is the first big step towards opening the universe to more movies to come, Marvel Studios may find itself in a predicament in deciding which properties to focus their efforts on post-Avengers.

We had hoped that The Avengers would act as a launch pad of sorts for other characters and the greater Marvel cinematic universe. For years now, we’ve shared our desires and heard the hints and reports of other characters from Marvel’s vast library getting script treatments and interested talent, but still, there is nothing on the way outside of the ‘big three’ featured in the “Avengers Assemble” logo.

If Captain America 2 takes one of Marvel’s two 2014 release dates, that leaves one left for what will be either Ant-Man or The Avengers 2. So when will audiences get an opportunity to see Dr. Strange, Luke Cage, Iron First, Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy? Do they realistically even have a shot? Perhaps they’ll be utilized for television programs or short films.

The problem is that Marvel cannot simply abandon their core characters – just like Warner Bros. will not settle for having no Batman movie on the way. Iron Man, Thor and Cap sell so those characters are going to keep getting movies. Does Marvel wait until after a trilogy for each and simply stop them to replace with even lesser known characters? No, Marvel needs to tie these other characters into their bankable properties and for that to work – assuming they’re aiming for full feature, live-action theatrical releases for the likes of Dr. Strange and co., then the studio will need to boost its production to even more films per year – perhaps 4, a number dropped previously in discussion of Marvel’s long-term planning.

For now, the foreseeable future is limited to the core characters we know are coming in The Avengers and the success and reaction to it will determine which additional characters – such as Black Widow or Hawkeye – will get a spin-off of their own, or perhaps a movie based on both of them together along with the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Is it good that Iron Man 3, Thor 2 and Captain America 2 may not be weighed down but inter-connectivity? How should Marvel plan their release schedule in the coming years?

For more on present-day Captain America:

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Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes and let me know your ideas and desires for upcoming Marvel Studios projects.

Source: The Playlist

126 Comments

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  1. Well if they have a huge unversal threat like Thanos, they should be able to introduce all sorts of characters that way.

  2. the only way for marvel to successfully introduce 2nd tier characters for their own movies, is the same way they do it in the comics, via introduction in the main stream products. there’s always been 4 main branches of the marvel universe, mutants, heros, cosmic and mystic. with the avengers, spidy, and xmen franchises already in full swing it makes sense to me that even black panther, ant man and iron fist should be shelved. dr strange seems like a no brainer, and a ghost rider cameo would have been awesome. let’s not forget other dark characters that could translate to film like hellstorm (in the vein of constatine), morbius in a genuine horror film could work well, if not cloak and dagger. FF screwed the cosmic angle, but the avengers could re-open that door with the skrulls. if marvel wants to move forward with lesses known character movies, they need cameos or shorts tied to their tentpoles.

    • You do realize that Marvel doesn’t even own the film rights to half of the characters you just mentioned?

      They can’t tie Spidey, Ghost Rider and the X-Men in with the other Marvel movies (Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Cap and Avengers), because Fox and Sony owns the rights to those other characters…

      • all it takes is money baby…the all mighty dollar, they can do it if they really wanted to.

        • yep

  3. Reg TV Shows : I read that The Hulk may be going to return there. I think TV would be a good place to give some other characters a chance to shine – It’s 30 odd years since The Inredible Hulk TV Show…which was classic stuff and showed what can be done with a small budget, good actors and producers…let’s face-it…the TV show is still the one most people think of which had a bit of magic…even tho it was a million miles from the comic Hulk.
    The danger is that if too many movies appear…they could blow-it & have a few flops…stick to the main heroes for big movies…and tv for smaller more detailed characters who we’d love to see.

    • Last I heard Guillermo Del Toro’s working on a Hulk TV show.

  4. i think civil war should be made into a movie or world war hulk or both , but first they got to some how introduce the characters maybe through cameos !

    • and can please marvel buy back xmen and spidey how coool would it be them together!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Dude, Civil War will never happen in the movie-verse! This has been discussed many, many times and there are way too many obstacles that’ll get in the way of a movie of that scale (just look at how long it’s been for the Avengers — now people want a movie about Civil War — which is like 20 times the scale of the Avengers — IT’S. NOT. POSSIBLE.)

        Also, it’s not so simple to “buy back the rights to the chracters” – that would cost MILLIONS, and even if Marvel/Disney could cough up enough money for it, they already have so many projects on the role, they wouldn’t even be able to do anything with said acquired property (Spidey and X-Men for instance) until, MAYBE, 2021…

        In short: it’s not PRACTICAL.

    • I actually speculated on that a while back – I think Civil War could be used and that Sebastian Stan could eventually wear the Captain America costume after he returns as Winter Soldier.

      • Civil War would be pretty easy to do.. Look at Lord of the Rings. Look how those movies all broke down and left you hanging on for the next film. Civil War is possiable IF it is done right.. Meaning you have to find the perfect breaking point for the next movie to pick up..

  5. I agree with some of the comments listed above, the 2nd tier characters should get cameos in film and/or web-pisodes to introduce them to the larger audience. then and only then can marvel expand their universe.

    just out of curiosity, why did marvel sell the rights of spiderman, x-men, fantastic 4 & ghost rider to fox/sony???

    • They wanted to put their characters on the silver screen (for a multitude of reasons: money, exposure, expanding the company, etc.), but at the time I don’t think they had enough money to produce the movies independently… they needed help, and the only way (at the time) they could do that was by selling the film rights.

      Please note that this is only my theory and it’s probably wrong…

      • No that about spot on. Except they more or less leased/rented long term.

  6. Great article Rob, I fully agree with all the points made.

    I’m also very happy about this news because now we (kinda) know that there will be sequels to The Avengers! :D (Something that has never been confirmed, only assumed.)

    I’ve always suspected that we’ll see Cap 2 in 2014 (I’m guessing it’ll get the July slot), but now we still don’t know which film will the the other 2014 spot:
    I seriously doubt it’ll be Avengers 2 (I don’t think Chris Evans will have enough time to be in two huge blockbusters that are released only 2 months apart — the man does need some down time ;))
    And I don’t think it’ll be Black Panther :( since we haven’t heard ANY news about the movie.
    Ant-Man doesn’t seem to be making any (good) progress…
    I’m guessing the other 2014 slot will be filled by Dr. Strange (it’s the only logical opinion left isn’t it?)

  7. Good. I’d rather keep seeing the good characters (thor, cap, IM, hulk) over and over than get into the secondary, less awesome guys.

    I don’t think AntMan would sell anything. A spinoff involving people with no super powers (blackhawk, widow, shield) would be “meh.” Dr Strange… meh.

    Only secondary character i want to see is Black Panther and Luke Cage and I don’t see any of those movies coming anytime soon if ever :(

    • I think you mean “Hawkeye”… and I’d love to see more of him (he’s a fan favorite).
      Black Widow: nnnnnot so much (nice to look at, but she shouldn’t get her own spin-off).

      But saying “A spinoff involving people with no super powers would be meh” isn’t correct… I haven’t seen a good sci-fi/fantasy spy movie in a long time… and Marvel would do a great job with it IMO.

      But I agree, I’d also much rather want to keep seeing characters like Iron Man, Cap and Thor for as long as possible…

      • yeah hawkeye… way too early in the morning

        • A solo movie with people that have no super powers would be meh? are you kidding? I got one word for you, BATMAN… Heres another 2 words, TONY STARK… PUNISHER… KICK ASS… no powers, but they can still kick some major butt

          • Dr. Strange … and give Del Torro whatever he wants to direct it.

          • tony stark has the IM suit.. you could argue his intelligence is his super power

            Batman is a huge exception and the punisher has never caught on with mainstream movie people (although I love the punisher)

  8. The Sentry needs to happen. I say this on almost every article that is posted here about Marvel stuff. He is my favorite character and his story would be so awesome on the big screen.

    • He’s not mainstream for most movie goers, everyone knew about spiderman, hulk and cap… so most movie goers wouldnt know what to expect, have him tied in the universe first through another movie where they mention “that one guy with an S on his belt” another where they mention the void, etc… then maybe he will be introduced into a solo movie, i hope they do…

  9. They could do Luke Cage with a small budget. Doctor Strange’s powers is gonna cost money with all the special effects. At this point they need to add the 2nd tier characters with low cost and a possibly high reward.

    • Good thinking.

      Have a smaller budget superhero type (like cage) in the winter. Low risk, potentially high reward if it catches on.

  10. Out of those six films, if I pop up in one of those [other films], it counts as part of the deal. So if they needed me in a third Cap, and I say, ‘F*** you, give me $30 million,’ well…they want to avoid that.”

    I like the candidness.

    However I think they could write a separate contract for a 10 min Cameo in say MoonKnight.

    What I like/dont like is that type of lock in. Common sense would dictate if you are signed for X amount of movies and you guest/cameo in another that is not the same.

    While I want protection for both the studios and the actors the lawyers can rot.

    • I actually think Evans kind of comes off as an ass**** when he said that.

  11. I’ll be honest and say this news does come as a bit of a disappointment. Both in the limiting of Cap. to his own movies and the Avengers and Marvel only doing 2 films a year. The biggest problem with this for me at least is the lack of future crossover movies. By the time they get around to developing characters like Dr. Strange, Black Panther or Ant-Man, the main characters will be either too old to fit their roles anymore or their contracts will be done. So we either get replacement actors (Batman anyone?) or they limit the movies to encapsulated universes like WB has done thus far with Batman and Superman.

    Hows about doubling up a bit and do a co-origin story with Ant-man and Black Panther?

  12. I was thinking about Marvel possibly bringing out more movies every year, but there’s just one problem: after just 4 or 5 superhero movies released this year, people got tired of em’… and Cap: TFA suffered because of it.

    If Marvel starts bringing out 3 or 4 movies a year, along with Fox and Sony’s superhero movies (Spidey, X-Men, etc.) AND still have a DC movie or two every year… then that means we’ll get an overflow of comic book movies (at least 8 a year by my guess). And if there are so many, then, by logic, the studios will lose A LOT of money.

    Like a lot of you’ve mentioned… I’d like to see smaller, low-budget movies that could introduce characters (Luke Cage, Moon Knight, Dr. Strange, etc.) OR maybe (like Mongoose said) make “co-origin” movies like a Ant-Man & Black Panther movie or Heroes For Hire movie (featuring characters like Iron Fist, Luke Cage, etc.)

    • I believe that if the other characters aren’t weighed down with forced tie-ins to other films (a la Iron Man 2) than they won’t get tired of them.

    • I agree it’s a bit of a double edged sword. With DC, Sony, FOX and Indie companies also making superhero movies, there is a risk of over saturation and burnout. What that happy medium is I haven’t a clue but I’m willing to risk just one more Marvel movie per year ;)

      The most important factor in this isn’t the sheer number per say but more the quality of the films. People WILL go see them if they’re good, period. So first and foremost they have to be willing to keep their standards high and not cave to silliness like retooling their characters to unrecognizable levels (Wonder Woman TV series jumps out at me). Keep it simple stupid. If you have a particular character that has worked well in the comics [as is] and has been popular, do NOT mess with them.

  13. I’m praying for another Punisher movie with Tom Jane in the lead.

    Give it a medium sized budget and have John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Regeneration) direct it. The action would be violent and well shot.

  14. DEADPOOOL!!!!!!!! What’s the deal with that movie? Thats what I’m most anticipating.The script that was leaked was epic.

    • I REALLY want to see this but I think the failure of Green Lantern might be causing Fox to not rush anything on that front. They have the script, the actor and the director – Unsure of why it’s taking so long for something concrete.

      Fox also has to work in Wolverine 2 first.

  15. Adam, I agree with you.

    Universal Soldier: Regerenation was one of the best movies of 2010, I was amazed and it was better than I expected.

    The action was great, the stunts were real and well done and the fight scenes were the best part of the movie.

    John Hyams is a great director, I hope he does more big budget movies because US:R was way better thana average straight to dvd movie.

    Hyams would do great with a Punisher movie, it would be violent and have great action scenes.

    • I’d rather see a Punisher TV adaption on HBO or F/X.

  16. I hope they continue to get these superhero movies rolling. Marvel Comics have very diverse and rich character. There are also so many untapped storis. I would like to see for example Planet hulk and World War Hulk or even Civil War put on the big screen.

  17. The issue some of you are not getting is the stretching of the talent, be it actors, directors, writers, SFX, etc.

    One hiccup in the great big ball of wax will bring it all down leaving a bad taste in peoples mouths. While not people like ‘us’ who live for this stuff but people like the every day watcher.

    It takes a great deal of people to create a movie. It takes a great deal of GREAT people to make a GREAT movie. There are not that many great people out there to be able to field 4 or more great films a year. Not to mention comic book movies.

    This will be the death of the comic book hero movie. Not that there are a lot of films coming out but the quality of those films.

  18. I hope marvel introduces other marvel characters it’s gonna be a long wait for another marvel movie after avengers

  19. Over saturation is definately a problem. The comic book movie was never going to last forever. That’s not to say that the subgenre would truly die, but rather, the frequency of such films would decrease.

    The thing is, you can do so many things with a comic book film. Iron Man and TDK really took the genre in a different direction. Watchmen went in a different direction yet, and Kick Ass did sort of the same.

    Who knows what Snyder has done with Superman, or what Marc Webb will do with Spider-man, but in 2012 we could yet again have another genre shift on our hands, which would indicate new life for these types of movies. The Avengers, according to Joss Whedon, is going to be his take on the traditional superhero film before the genre gets deconstructed, and Captain America was a really good, old fashioned take on the super hero action adventure movie. So, even with genre shifts (which have been great so far), there’s still stuff to be mined from the classic angle.

    And as far as talent goes, directors surprise people. Jon Favreau wasn’t expected to come out with something as good as Iron Man, yet he did. He’s probably got a few more good films left in him, in spite of his recent work (which I still need to check out). Johnston had a lot of people worried because of his recent work, but look what he did. The point is, the talent is out there, it’s just that some people are off the radar at the moment.

    • Comic book films will survive if they learn to adapt. Cut in dry simple superhero vs villian will feed the popcorn crowd but to make noteworthy film they have to evolve. Ironman was more of character piece about a man attempting to right his wrongs. TIH reminded me of The Fugtive with Harrison Ford. Blade was a bad @$$ version of Abraham van Helsing. And of course,TDK had multiple themes going on.

      In the essence of evolving, Iron Fist could succeed as a true martial arts film. Luke Cage could pay homage as a pseudo Shaft/redemption film. Black Panther could serve as a revenge film like The Quick and the Deas while also being a culture piece as was The Last Samurai. Dr Strange could do well still with low budget liking the absurdity of learning magic to Daniel-son learning karate (kung-fu). A SHIELD movie could be a complicated spy thriller like Spy Games or The Bourne Idenity. Basically, comic book movies need to stay as diverse as the comic books they originated from, if not deeper in order to stay fresh.

      • I totally agree. It would be as if it was the norm once they evolve. They would be adapted from comic books but we wouldnt necessarily have to label it “Comic Book Movie”. If the right people are in charge this could happen. With so many characters and epic stories to work from the movie industry can be making these sort of films for decades. There is just too much material not to have some studio figure this out eventually

      • Very well said Ignur.

  20. They have been making war and mob films since the beginning of cinema. I believe comic book movies will be continued to be made for years to come. What Marvel is doing with their universe could set the precedent. And with Disney behind Marvel their movies should continue to be financed. Not sure bout the quality but thats to be seen. As far as the lesser known characters, if they make those smaller budget films I think it could work. Theres no way a big studio production of someone like Iron Fist would recoup its budget. Only the true comic fans like ourselves would support it and thats not enough to please the studios.

  21. Second tier characters should be introduced the same way as Hawkeye was in Thor. Maybe give them a little more screen time but introduce them in small parts along side A-list characters. Then after the release take in fan reactions on sites such as this. I would rather see Iron Fist for 15 minutes in a blockbuster film than not at all.

    • I like that idea.

      • I like this idea as well. I am concerned that 2nd-tier characters getting their own films would dilute the product, especially if they’re not done well. What we really want to see are CA and ‘special guest’ films, whether it be Ant-Man, Luke Cage, or even Uatu The Watcher. 2nd-tier characters as stars would feel like Underworld Rise of the Lycans.

        • Exactly!

          Completely agree with Alpine…

          Although… you guys aren’t talking about Hawkeye though are you?
          Because he can very easily be seen as a “”First Tier character”
          (I’ve never thought of him as a secondary character)

  22. What about SPIDERMAN 4??? I know it’s not “Marvel Studios” but heck! It’s MARVEL, and it’s next summer… That’s gotta count for something! And besides, they probably want to keep all hype focused strictly on the epic that is AVENGERS

    • You mean The Amazing Spider Man, right? Got confused for a second.

      • The Amazing Spider-Man actually IS Marvel Studios, but Sony Movies still owns the rights to the character name as far as movies go, so it won’t be included in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man, Thor, and Cap.

  23. I wonder if Evans can bulk up a bit more before Captain America 2.

  24. I don’t get Evans. How does a, maybe minute long cameo count? I say this because I think RDJ is on for 3 IMs and 3 Avengers. What about his cameo in The Hulk, then?

    • Well, it’s not really Evans, it’s just how the standard Marvel contracts works… Sam Jackson signed on for 9 films and his contract is already almost half way done: IM, IM2, Thor and Cap (all those small roles and cameos still count, believe it or not…)

      I agree with you guys that it isn’t right, but this is due to lawyers and agents (not the actors).

      (Aknot said it best on page 1)

  25. It’s easy they all tie into each other somewhere the next avenger movie could have something to do with vibranium and Wakanda bam! Hello T’ Challa or Loki opens a door to another galaxy or dimension and hello Guardians of the galaxy or Dr. Strange there is literally hundreds of ways to into new hero’s it shouldn’t be that hard

  26. And they do team up more in twos then form super teams like the avengers I don’t see why they can just team a A list hero with a B lister and solve a lot of the problems there

  27. Whatever happened to The Incredible Hulk 2? Kevin Feige said it’d be coming after The Avengers, but nothing’s been announced. With all the careful planning they’ve put into setting up the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’d be a little surprising to let the cliffhanger with The Leader fall by the wayside. Or maybe he’ll pop up in The Avengers, who knows.

    • I think The Incredible Hulk 2 will happen sometime after The Avengers, depending on the peformance of Ruffalo and other things. I’m still holding out for a Hulk sequel. I loved the first one and even the Ang Lee one. :)

      • Yup, there are quite a few reasons to why TIH2 isn’t at the top of the “priority list”, but rest assured, it’s still ON the list, but unfortunately we’ll likely see it in 2015 or 2016…

    • @Ian, I think it would be cool to see Leader and Abomination in a SHIELD prison real quick

      • Ah man that would be awesome :D

        Like maybe, when Nick Fury is on his way to Loki’s prison room (from the D23 footage, we know that he got captured by SHIELD and was being held on the helicarrier), he walks past a few other rooms where we see the Leader being held captive!

        (Since “The Consultant” short confirmed that SHIELD doesn’t have the Abomination in captivity, we probably won’t see him in the movie)

        • I have a feeling they might. They have the perfect opportunity to. Nick Fury walking by a few holding cells, one labeled STERNS, SAMUEL, another BLONSKY, EMIL, and then a few more classic villains for fun, kind of like how they did it in the Avengers TV show. Even if you don’t see them physically it would still be pretty rad (mostly for us fanboys, regular movie goers might not get the references).

  28. I would not pay to see a SHIELD movie. Not even if Scarlett Johansson pranced around completely naked. Where’s the appeal in a SHIELD movie? No Black Panther for SHIELD? What about making the Civil War comic a feature film? C’mon Marvel Studios.

    • How could they possibly make a Civil War movie? They don’t a one tenth of all the characters involved in the story (Spider-Man, X-Men, FF). And It’d be like 5 hours long.

      • *don’t have

        • Cap: we might as well stop trying to talk sense into these hopeless fanboys… ;)

  29. That would be pretty cool if The Leader had some part in The Avengers, but his character provided a lot of comic relief in The Incredible Hulk. If they keep him that way, it may throw the movie off a little, but nothing’s impossible and there’s so little known right now so I’ll just leave that where it is.

    But as far as Incredible Hulk 2 is concerned, I think that Marvel probably wants to gauge the audience’s reception of Mark Ruffalo first. The Ed Norton thing is still a sensitive subject for some fans, and even when Ed Norton was on board, people didn’t exactly bite at the opportunity to see the film in theaters. But I dunno, did the film get a lot of love in the blu ray/dvd department?

    • Agreed. :)