It seems that there's no escaping the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's hard to imagine that it all started in 2008 with the release of the first Iron Man movie. Since then, Marvel has released an impressive 16 movies, with at least 8 more on the way. On the TV side of things, there have been seven shows, and they don't show any signs of slowing down either.
There's no denying that when it comes to superhero movies, Marvel has a large slice of the market. They've set the standard and revolutionized the film industry with their shared universe approach. Much of the credit has to go to Kevin Feige, President of Production for Marvel Studios.
But after so many movies, you might begin to ask yourself " should they go on?" The old saying tells us that everything has a beginning and an end, so when is the MCU's time to end? It's so popular now that perhaps it's hard to see the end. But just because the MCU can go on, does that mean it should?
The critics seem content with MCU releases and the box office numbers don't lie. Fans love these movies. For now. But all empires fall and even the mighty Marvel Studios may topple one day. So why not go out with a bang instead of end with a whimper?
To support that argument here are 15 Reasons Why The MCU Should End After Avengers 4.
14 Freeing Up Talented Directors & Actors
There have been several talented directors and actors who have been, and are still involved with, Marvel. Directors like James Gunn and the Russo brothers have encountered huge success with the studio, and have sequels on the way - Guardians Vol. 3, Avengers 4 - these films are going to be tying up these directors until at least 2019.
It'd be interesting to see what other projects these talented artists could produce - particularly the Russo brothers, because their only films outside the MCU are 2006's You, Me and Dupree and 2002's Welcome to Collinwood. Same goes for several actors.
You have to wonder how many interesting projects they have had to turn down because of their restraining contracts. They're compensated well, but it might be frustrating if they want to spread their wings and do different things.
13 14. Too Convoluted
As much as Marvel tries to keep each movie as its own thing, it's hard to not feel like things have gotten a bit too convoluted. As great as Civil War was, it wasn't any easy viewing experience if you didn't have prior knowledge of the Avengers films. It makes sense to have the third Captain America movie tie into its predecessor, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but why is a knowledge of The Avengers or Ant-Man necessary to really understanding Civil War?
This becomes an even bigger problem when some films seem to exist solely as a prelude to the next Marvel movie. At that point, many fans may just begin to become uninterested or confused. On the one hand a movie like Civil War was incredibly important to bridge the gap for the next film, but a movie like Ant-Man didn't quite feel as important to the overall story. There are still times where Marvel puts out a movie that feels self contained - Doctor Strange is a good example of that.
12 Quality Over Quantity
Marvel's films, by and large, have been pretty good. They haven't had too many bombs, but there have been a fair share that have felt very mediocre and have even bordered on bad. This could've been in large part due to the obligatory task of having a sequel for every character. Iron Man 1 was great, but 2 and 3? Thor's first movie was enjoyable but not very memorable, his sequel even less so.
A more focused approach might've mitigated a few mistakes and even helped to have made more of their films great. It's still important to note that Marvel still manages to make the majority of their films good! That, in and of itself, is an impressive feat. Still, maybe it's time to adhere to the age old phrase of " less is more."
11 Leave fans Wanting More, Not Expecting More
There are so many Marvel films released each year that it's hard to not take them all for granted. At this point, it would be extremely weird not to hear about some Marvel movie coming out soon. Marvel has certainly created a brand that keeps people coming back for more, but there's something a little bit habitual about the releases at this point.
There was a time when having a Marvel movie come out seemed like such a privilege for fans. It was a huge deal. Who could forget the excitement and buzz around the first X-Men and Spider-Man films? Superhero movies were no sure thing back then so you watched each of them, not knowing if there would ever be a second or third installment. Daredevil was a prime example of that.
Things have definitely shifted today. But the problem has now become why watch Doctor Strange when we can just wait to see him in Avengers 3?
11. Stan Lee's Can't Live Forever
Stan "the man" Lee is one of the granddaddys of the Marvel universe. He had a direct hand in the creation of every Marvel character and fittingly, he's had a cameo in nearly every Marvel movie. In fact, X2: X-Men United is the only Marvel film that Stan Lee hasn't had a cameo in thus far.
He's even appeared in all of the Marvel TV properties, in one form or another. It's a fun tradition that fans have come to enjoy over the years. Stan Lee is now 94 years old. It'd be incredibly nice if Marvel ended their run of films having Stan Lee cameo in all of them.
It's going to be a tall order for that to happen If they continue on past Avengers 4. Stan Lee's comic book creations may be immortal but unfortunately, he isn't.
Having a consistency in style and tone does help when having a shared universe. When every movie starts to look and feel the same, though, things can get dull prety quickly. Sure, every film has almost the same beats and structure but at least Marvel knows how to do it very well.
It's clear that Marvel has a very specific way of doing things. If a particular actor or director doesn't stick to the plan, they get the boot. During the production of Ant-Man, director Edgar Wright famously left the project after citing "creative differences". Wright had been involved with the Ant-Man film from it's inception and it was a real shame that he invested so much time and energy into the movie only to see him pull out near the end of its completion. One can only wonder how much better Edgar Wright's version could've been had he stayed on.
Films like Doctor Strange have tried to push the envelope, but the movies feel and tone still scream Marvel.
9 Not every Character Needs Their Own Movie
There was a time when fans could only wish to have a character like Captain America star in his own movie. Today, all bets are off. Even obscure characters like the Guardians of The Galaxy have their own films. Somehow Ant-Man had a major film before Wonder Woman!
That's not to say that the characters mentioned are bad. Not at all. In the Guardians' case, it actually worked. But does every character deserve their own movie or show when some of them scarcely even hold their own regular comic series?
This year will mark the release of Cloak & Dagger's TV series. Nothing against them but... Really? Why not focus on telling the best stories you can with your core characters and build the rest as support. Do we really need every corner of the Marvel universe explored as a film or TV series?
8 Marvel's Network TV shows Aren't On The Same Level As The Movies
It has to be said that aside from Netflix, Marvel's TV properties just aren't up to snuff. A
gents of S.H.I.E.L.D seems to be mired in mediocrity, although it has certainly overachieved and stuck around for more than 4 seasons. Agent Carter wasn't as lucky despite being a slightly superior show. Unfortunately these shows don't seem to help the Marvel brand very much in terms of quality.
There may come a time where people will ask if we really need another mediocre Marvel show just for the sake of having another Marvel show.
7 Allow For The Return Of Original Cinematic Content
The movie industry is at a low point when it comes to popular, original material being produced. There's still a good number of original indie films being made but audiences aren't flocking to the theaters to see them. "Adaptation" is the name of the game now. To be fair, Hollywood has always adapted material for the big screen but nothing quite like these days.
Marvel's dominance could be a major reason why so many studios are pushing for shared universes now. DC is well on their way to having their shared universe and Universal planned on doing the same with their Monster franchise. King Kong will face off against Godzilla and if the Dark Tower movie is any hint, Stephen King films may yet start a shared universe on their own.
Couple this trend with sequels, reboots, and remakes and there doesn't seem to be a lot of room for original films like this year's fantastic Baby Driver, made by former Ant-Man director, Edgar Wright.
6 The Movie Format Was Never Meant To Emulate The Comic Format
The shared Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a revolutionary success, but was it meant to sustain itself as long as it has? Superheroes were created directly for the comic book medium and are the backbone of the industry.
They presented an engaging and entertaining alternative to other forms of media. In comics, heroes don't seem to age, and death is never final. The film industry doesn't quite work the same way. It thrives on telling a plethora of different stories for different age groups.
Movies feel more like novels, while comics seem better suited to TV. That format lends itself to countless stories all sharing the same universe. There's a certain expectation of multiple seasons spanning several episodes. TV also affords creators more time to flesh out multiple characters and villains. When you boil it down, are movies really the best avenue to tell team-based stories like Avengers?
5 Marvel Overload
It just seems that you can't escape Marvel. They taken over the movies, TV, Netflix, video games, toys, and more. The world is within their grasp thanks to Disney's deep pockets. It gets to a point where the overexposure is too much. Perhaps this is exactly what makes them successful, but eventually people will begin to tire of seeing Marvel everywhere.
Comic fans from the '90s should remember a character called Venom. He was a great antagonist to Spider-Man who became so popular that he became an anti-hero. He was cool at first, but then he was absolutely everywhere. It became quite annoying for many fans and is just another bad trend that happened in the dark age of '90s comics.
Marvel seems to be teetering dangerously close to the overexposure line with each new TV or movie they release.
4 Avengers 4 Is The Perfect Way to Conclude The Story
20+ films and years of continuity have built up to this moment. Why not give it the finality it deserves by giving the universe a break - or a complete end. The epic scale is already very high when it comes to the next two Avengers films - just imagine how much more crazy it would be if Avengers 4 was confirmed as the last MCU film. Box office records would surely never be the same again.
Not to mention Thanos - arguably the most dangerous and awesome villain the Marvel Universe has ever seen. It's not like Marvel has the rights to Galactus, so how do you top Thanos?
Marvel has already announced sequels to Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, so high could the stakes really be?
3 Fans May Not Embrace New Actors
If Marvel's plan is to follow the comics current trend of having other people take the mantle of their core heroes, then they best tread carefully. The MCU has a tall order when it comes to replacing someone as popular as Robert Downey Jr. He is ingrained in the minds of nearly every Marvel fan as Iron Man. Downey Jr. is one of the few actors that really seems irreplaceable.
At this point it's even hard to picture anyone other than Chris Evans wielding Cap's shield. but it's not as unthinkable as Robert Downey Jr. It'd be a bold approach for Marvel to take, but it'll have to happen at some point as many of the actors have remarked on their Marvel journey ending very soon.
2 Know When To Stop
Know when to stop. It seems to be easier said than done for some franchises. In Marvel's case, not only does it make sense story-wise, but it makes sense in terms of legacy. Marvel has done what many believed could never be done; made superhero movies the most popular type of movie.
The studio has nothing left to prove after Avengers 4. Even if Avengers 4 was a disappointment, their legacy would be great. It's better to go out on top rather than burn out slowly over time. Perhaps an extended hiatus would be enough, but a definitive end would be that much more remembered.
Marvel Studios should never get to the point where it is milking its characters and audience while telling the same tired stories over and over again. What season is The Simpsons on now?
1 Superhero Fatigue
Superhero fatigue. The dreaded term no movie executive wants to hear right now. Superhero fatigue is a very real possibility and everybody knows it. Marvel isn't the only company who needs to worry, though. DC/ Warner Bros. is just starting to build its shared universe but they may have already arrived at the party too late.
Marvel is at the forefront of the superhero film. Add DC, Fox, and Sony and that's just too much. Nobody wants the genre to die like the Westerns did way back when.
In this year alone, there are 7 superhero movies that have been released or are scheduled for release. That number grows to 10 by 2018. it's clear that studios seem hellbent on pushing as many out as they can while the iron is still hot. Take a bow MCU, while we still love you.
Do you think the MCU should end? Or keep going? Let us know in the comments!