Marvelling at the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvelling at the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Jack Marchesani

Marvel Universe Story - from JackMarvel Studios, one of the biggest movie production groups in Hollywood, has grown vastly in the past few years.

John Magargee ’18 and Jack Marchesani ’15 co-wrote this story.

This summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy was the second highest grossing movie ever, only beaten by another Marvel film, The Avengers. For a studio with so much success, many would say they’ve already done their part in adding to the newly growing genre of superhero movies, but Marvel recently announced a major expansion.

Exciting times are ahead for Marvel. Created in 1996, Marvel Studios found little success with movies released prior to 2008. In an unprecedented organization, Marvel has set up all movies interconnecting in what is known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU began with the 2008 release of Iron Man which helped to refocus popular culture on superhero movies. In years following, Marvel would release Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, sequels to both of these, Guardians of the Galaxy, and others, all building an interlocking universe. Heroes are seen together in various movies and storylines are interconnected.

On October 28th, nine movies were announced to hit theaters by 2019. First to be announced were a series of sequels. These included The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, Thor; Ragnarok, Captain America: Civil War, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, The Avengers: Infinity War (Parts I & II). Marvel also released new characters and teams in stand-alone films. These include The Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Captain Marvel, and Inhumans. In addition to the previously announced Ant-Man starring Paul Rudd, Marvel plans on releasing 11 movies before the end of the decade.

In fact, Marvel hype is so great that the long awaited The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron trailer was released online by a third party. It was intended to be aired on ABC during Marvel’s Agents of Shield. Marvel has been forced to take legal action for the early release.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron is the first movie to be released. Continuing the tale of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, this film will center around Ultron, a robot created by Tony Stark who will attempt to destroy all sentient life. This film will introduce at least three new Avengers, (Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision, and Black Panther rumored) and the new villain Ultron who is a robot who is ever seeking to improve himself and destroy sentient life. Due to rights issues with Fox, Vision is the only new character whose origins story is directly from the comic books. This film is set to release on May 1, 2015.

Next summer, the long awaited Ant-Man will finally be released. Being ignored by Marvel Studios for years, Ant-man is one of the biggest players in all of Marvel’s comics. In the comics, he is a founding member of the Avengers, is married to another Avenger, formed the West-coast Avengers with Captain America, and created yet another group of Avengers in the 60’s. Many theorize that Ant-Man has been ignored because teens now-a-days don’t find ant-based powers “cool” and “hip” like they surely did in the 60’s. The movie is taking a completely different route than the original storyline. Half of the film will be based on a 50’s storyline, and half will center on a 21st century graphic novel. The movie is expected to focus on Hank Pym, a down-and-out criminal forced to steal for his family’s sake who comes across a suit that allows him to shrink to the size of an ant, but maintain his strength. This film will be released on July 17, 2015.

In The Avengers Two: Age of Ultron trailer, many scenes were shown of Avengers fighting each other, such as the unveiling of Iron Man’s new Hulkbuster armor. Captain America: Civil War is expected to elaborate on this. Based directly off a comic book dispute originating with the Avengers but eventually affecting the whole universe, this stories tells the tale of The Avengers being divided into two factions. Fans are worried that this movie will forget its comic book origins, due to the prominence of Spider-Man in the comic books, who cannot be used due to ownership by Sony. This film will be released May 16, 2016.

Marvel also has a large list of unanticipated movies that were recently announced. Doctor Strange (released November 4, 2016) will star Benedict Cumberbatch and tell the tale of the surgeon turned “Sorcerer Supreme.” Guardians of the Galaxy Two (released May 5, 2017), will continue the story told in it’s predecessor, and bring the guardians closer to the Avengers. Thor: Ragnarok (released July 28, 2017) is a story straight out of Norse Mythology. Ragnarok is the Norse word for “the end of all things.” This story involves a great fire demon erupting from a volcano and destroying Asgard and the nine realms. Black Panther (released November 3, 2017) will star Chad Boseman (Jackie Robinson in 42) and will focus on the African king of the fictional country Wakanda. Captain Marvel (released July 6, 2018) will center on perhaps the most powerful of all the Marvel heroes, Captain Marvel. The Inhumans (released November 2, 2018) will tell the tale of a society of super powered beings.

In the near future, the MCU will connect all introduced characters in one final struggle. With expansion to the known universe in Guardians of the Galaxy, the heroes we know will face a threat greater than anyone could have imagined when Marvel first began with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. This threat will be…purple. Yes, purple. Thanos, the “Mad Purple Titan,” is expected to be the focus of the final movies. Basic plot outlines have been laid out, such as the fact that Thanos will attempt to destroy the Universe with the Infinity Gauntlet, an incredible weapon that combines the powers of previously introduced items including the Tesseract (The Avengers), the Ether (Thor: The Dark World), and the Power Stone (The Guardians of the Galaxy). Kevin Feige, President of the Studios, has expressed a desire to begin again with an entirely new fleet of characters after Infinity War.

With many exciting movies to come, Marvel surely has a powerful set-up. While many things are up in the air, it is certain that people of all ages will be lining up outside theatres to watch these future classics.

John Magargee ’18 and Jack Marchesani ’15 co-wrote this story.