“You think you’re the only superhero in the world? Mr. Stark, you’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.” – Nick Fury, Iron Man
Ever since Iron Man ended with Nick Fury talking to Tony Stark about joining the Avengers Initiative, comic fans have been talking about how amazing the Avengers movie is going to be. Never before have characters crossed over with one another like this in a movie. This is largely because different studios have the rights to different characters (Sony owns Spider-Man, Fox has X-Men, etc.). But Iron Man was the first movie owned completely by Marvel and they were free to incorporate anything else they saw fit that wasn’t still owned by another studio. So just after Iron Man’s release it was announced that it, along with The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger will all be leading to The Avengers, set to be released in May of 2012. And so far we haven’t been disappointed as Iron Man appeared in The Incredible Hulk and Nick Fury and Black Widow were included in Iron Man 2. Even S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson, who was present in Iron Man and Iron Man 2 is set to appear in next summers Thor movie. The directors also threw in some small nods as Captain America’s famous shield was used in both Iron Man movies and his body was briefly shown frozen in the ice in a deleted scene for The Incredible Hulk. Plus Iron Man 2 ends with a scene showing Agent Coulson finding Thor’s hammer. Not to mention the many other references thrown in the three movies.
But the whole point of these little nods and Easter eggs is to build up to The Avengers. So Marvel made their smartest move yet and got Joss Whedon to re-write and direct The Avengers. It is rumored that he will also be polishing the Captain America script. This is a perfect job for Whedon and I have no doubt he will pull it off. Joss Whedon is a talented writer and comic book fan and even wrote Astonishing X-Men and Runaways for Marvel. And while he may have only directed the low budget Serenity, various television shows and of course, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, a big budget Marvel movie is something he will be perfect for. If you watched any of his shows you can see that Joss knows how to balance an ensemble cast, which is exactly what he would have to do for The Avengers. This isn’t an Iron Man or Captain America movie, every one of the main characters must recieve near equal screen time and have an important role in order for this to work. Another thing Whedon has mastered is how to work with small budgets and create something incredible. For proof of that check out anything he directed, whether it be Serenity, Dr. Horrible, or the Dollhouse episode “Epitaph One.” If he can create such incredible pieces of work on a low budget, just imagine what he can do with the hundreds of million dollars he will have to assemble The Avengers. And being a fan as well as a writer of the comics shows that he understands what makes a good story and should be able to translate that onto the big screen.
The Avengers should be the start of the next generation of Superhero movies. Not only will this lead to more team movies but also characters can start teaming up with other characters. Having heroes appear in each others movies is a great idea and can lead to countless more stories. This can be much like the Marvel Comics series’ Marvel Team-Up, where one character teams up with another to handle multiple villains or a threat too large for just one hero. DC Comics has already completely changed their movie plans to seemingly mimic Marvel and build up to the eventual Justice League movie like Marvel is doing with The Avengers. Nest summers Green Lantern movie will be introducing characters found throughout the DC Universe who will be crossing over into DC’s other movies. There’s no word on whether the next Batman and Superman movie will be building to the Justice League movie, but it would be foolish not to. Crossing over is huge in the comic world so incorporating that idea into the movies is a no-brainer. I just hope one day Marvel can regain the rights to all of their characters so there won’t be any restrictions and anything will be possible. Marvel mentioned that they’re working on that. Seeing Spider-Man teaming up with Wolverine on the big screen is every comic book fan’s dream, I just hope we won’t have to wait too much longer for it to be a reality. But knowing we’ll finally be hearing “Avengers Assemble!” in just two years will make the wait much easier.