The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the highest grossing franchise of all time - by a lot. It’s made over a billion dollars more than the runner up. With each of the movies making hundreds of millions in ticket sales (even when they're bad), it looks like the guys at Marvel will be in business for a long time.
Currently, the movies have begun what is known as Phase 3, a.k.a. the time to rake in more money with more sequels. Phase 3 will focus on the Avengers and the fallout from the Age of Ultron, starting with Civil War and ending with The Infinity War. Fans are hyped, and rightly so, seeing as Marvel hasn’t missed with a movie yet. Unfortunately, this string of hits will eventually come to an end, and there is a good chance that this end could come around sooner than you think. There are a lot of things that can destroy a good movie franchise and unfortunately that’s all the MCU is, a good movie franchise. Here are 10 things that could ruin the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Phase 3.
10 Big Stars Are Quitting
First Robert Downey Jr. wants more money, then Jeremy Renner wants more screen time, and then Chris Evans wants to focus on other movies. Eventually, someone will not be happy with his or her standing in the MCU and that’s where the trouble will start. The actors have become so synonymous with their roles that even the comic books have designed the art to look more like the actors. Let’s say Chris Hemsworth decides he no longer wants to be Thor (this is speculation, calm down) - do you think fans will just be fine with a replacement for the God of Thunder? No, we won’t. An untimely disappearance from one of the big stars could completely derail the franchise, and rumors about Mr. Downey Jr. not being on the cast list for Iron Man 4 make this fear one of the more serious problems.
9 Too Many Superheroes
So we got the obvious Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man who all demand the most screen time. Then Black Widow, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Vision will all be there. Ant-Man was a success; chances are Dr. Strange will be as well so they both will be getting sequels. Spider-Man is coming back, as will all the Guardians of the Galaxy. Oh and The Inhumans are joining at some point. There are so many characters that all demand their own plot lines and screen time. It would be one thing if they were to only have a cameo or two, but Civil War proves that we’re looking down the tube at more and more team up movies. And we haven’t even covered all the TV Shows.
8 Involving the TV Shows
We know that the TV shows are directly related to the movies, but kind of like in a way that Scarlet Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. are directly related to my life, if they came to my city and just destroyed it. The TV show heroes should stay on the small screen because they take on crimes on a much smaller scale. While Jessica Jones fights criminals, Thor fights off world destroying aliens, and Iron Man fights… Captain America, I guess. The shows are great and the heroes are gripping, but the audience is much smaller. Less people watching the show means more origin stories in the movies or else the plot will just get too convoluted. Unless they don’t include the shows, then only the movies would convolute the plot.
7 Too Many Movies
As mentioned above, there are a ton of superheroes entering the MCU. Each of the big heroes will be getting an origin story. If the origin is a success, then a sequel will inevitably be made. Then Marvel will do everything in their power to force the hero into a team-up movie with anyone they can afford to pay. Think about where the movies are currently at for a second. Imagine that your first MCU movie will be Captain America: Civil War. To get a basic understanding of what the movie is about you’ll have to at least read the Wikipedia synopsis of Captain America and its sequel, The Avengers movies, all three Iron Man movies, and Ant-Man. That’s 8 direct prequels to one movie. Adding movie onto movie is incredibly lucrative, but it’s become such a chore just to understand the plot. It’s just lucky for the studio that everyone and their grandma have already seen each movie, but will that be true 5 years and 15 movies later?
6 A Lot Of No-Name Characters
As alluded to already, Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy were smash hits and have already gotten the green light for sequels. Characters like Falcon have become popular enough to become mainstays in anything related to the Avengers. Lesser known characters have become commonplace, not only in the MCU but anything Marvel related. It begs the question: “What happens when they run out?” Dr. Strange, The Inhumans, and Black Panther are already scheduled for movies, and what do you expect to happen after that? The studio really hasn’t missed yet and seems eager to take chances on more characters, they just have few good ones left. Will the next movie be someone like She-Hulk? What about Sunspot, or Squirrel Girl? Could it be Ms. Marvel? Oh wait, they’re already are working on that…
5 Too Childish
Here’s a huge difference between the MCU and the more recent DC movies. Superman breaks the neck of his enemy after destroying an entire city in a dark turn for the movie. Thor takes Loki home and makes sure that he’s relatively happy in the next movie. MCU has aligned itself to a younger audience by showing unrealistic fights with limited violence and no “bad words.” If Deadpool has proven anything, it’s that there is a high demand for R-rated, adult oriented, superhero movies. Comic book fans are growing up and the younger fans might shift their attention to something else cool. If Captain America and Iron Man are forced to stick to their current family friendly roles, then the MCU could get really boring, really fast.
4 Too Many Villains
Speaking of Loki, will he ever go away? He’s been one of the main antagonists in three movies, and is looking to make if four in Ragnarok. I’m not knocking the character (and bravo to Tom Hiddleston for his performance), but there are so many more villains to use. The MCU refuses to dispose of any villain, and then continues to add more. I get that in the comics heroes are fighting against dozens of super villains at any given time, but this needs to be turned back for the movies. Adding in more bad guys, each with their own backstory is similar to adding in more heroes. What this mean is that it’d be nice to see a new villain (Enchantress maybe?) for Thor, but if Loki is there too and they decide to add more bad guys, then fans will start walking out. You don't want to go down the Spider-Man route...
3 Not Enough Villains
Having too few villains is probably worse than having too many. The problem is that there just might not be enough good villains to go around. That’s why we are stuck watching Thor vs. Loki over and over again. Who else should they use, The Wrecking Crew? The bad guy needs to be almost as compelling as any of the heroes. Fans don’t want some evil dude trying to overtake the world; we want the misunderstood badass who doesn’t quite understand what they are doing is wrong. There are only so many “good” bad guys to use, and with the sheer amount of movies, there just may not be enough to go around.
It’s no longer the great unknown. Space travel and aliens have been a major asset in the Marvel world. Moving it onto the big screen was a no brainer for the studio, and after hits like Star Wars and Star Trek, the sci-fi genre is back in full swing. MCU is right there with them. The problem is everything ties back to aliens now. Thor and Loki? Aliens. HYDRA is studying alien tech. Hell, there’s a major franchise called Guardians of the Galaxy that is just getting started. The problem is that fans may get tired of it. Every blockbuster wants to be a space travel movie, but Marvel could take it too far. Iron Man can go to space, but if Captain America teams up with the Guardians, I’m not sure if fans would love it. They’d sure as hell pay money to see it, though.
1 Death Means Nothing
No one will die. It’s a comic book thing, I know, but seriously, someone should die already. We thought Coulson died, but he got a TV show instead. We thought Loki died, but of course he’s fine. We saw Pepper fall off a building, only to discover she has super powers. As of now, any major character that appears to have died is alive and well. If this keeps up then what suspense are we ever going to feel? You can shoot Captain America in the face at this point and we’ll expect him back. Marvel needs to make death permanent or the movies will become a group of moments where no one is ever really in any peril.