You may be one of those fans who wishes that Marvel Studios held the rights to all its superhero properties, but it is only because of the fact that multiple studios house certain characters that we now can enjoy a 2014 spring/summer season that is filled with Marvel characters both familiar and new to moviegoers.
Indeed, it seems that every day one of the “big four” of 2014 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy - are making headlines in an attempt to sell their movie as the best superhero experience. But as you can tell from today’s new Captain America 2 featurette and a new international Amazing Spider-Man 2 TV spot, this year’s lineup of Marvel movies aren’t going to be cookie-cutter clones of one another. On the contrary: they could be vastly different in the best possible way.
(Admittedly, the Amazing Spider-Man 2 TV spot above is pretty much just a condensed rehash of the most recent trailers. But then again – we’ve seen enough potentially spoilerish material from this film already.)
Clearly Winter Soldier and Amazing Spider-Man 2 are the pair we know the most about at this point (almost too much) - Guardians and X-Men have yet to show a lot of footage. Even only having half the discussion it’s clear from the videos above that Amazing Spider-Man 2 is going for a more pulpy, comic book fun feel (with serious elements peppered in); meanwhile, Captain America 2 looks like a darker, more serious political thriller-type film (with comic book elements peppered in).
Marvel Studios in particular is pushing hard into a new phase of “genre-blending” comic book movies. The political thrills of Cap 2, the Star Wars space adventure of Guardians - these films could earn prestige and respect from a whole new audience by the time summer is done. Meanwhile, Sony is going with a “go bigger or go home,” approach, blowing their Spider-Man franchise open into a whole cinematic universe, where even villains will headline spin-off film installments.
Typically, I’m tempted to instigate “which approach will be better” debates, but today I’m more positive; if variety is the spice of life then I’m happy we’re getting different flavors of superhero films – and from the looks of it, the experience will be better than the last “big four” superhero movie marathon (2011 with Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, X-Men: First Class - and that Green Lantern movie I vaguely remember…).
Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be in theaters on April 4, 2014.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be in theaters on May 2, 2014.
Sources: Marvel Entertainment