I understand why some fans of characters like the Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Spider-Man and The Avengers want to see all their favorite heroes on the screen at the same time. Imagine the Avengers..avenging, when Spider-Man swings by or the X-Men encountering Iron man or Captain America? It’s not impossible, though it is very unlikely because Iron Man and Captain America are owned by Marvel Studios, while Spider-Man is licensed to Sony/Columbia and the X-Men, which includes Wolverine, are licensed to 20th Century Fox.
As I said, I get it, though unlike some what I also understand is that there are even more reasons why it shouldn’t (any time soon, at any rate).
Let’s look at this on a studio-by-studio basis.
Marvel Studios was the first, in their so-called Cinematic Universe, to create a series of individual movies–related only in that they all involve Marvel characters–that exist in the same place and time.
What this means is that Iron Man can “crossover” with Thor, or the Hulk, or even television shows, like Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D (Lady Sif, from Thor and Thor: The Dark World has already turned up) as well as the upcoming series based upon Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones that will launch on Netflix in 2015, which will culminate in an event of their own, The Defenders.)
Despite how revolutionary it may appear, this idea of a ‘Cinematic Universe’ isn’t new. I remember when growing up I watched serials like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers on late-night television, though similar serials used to air in front of movies, offering a series of interconnected adventures before the main feature.
Marvel Studios’s greatest innovation was to, instead of having small, interconnected opening adventures, was to instead have an entire film that focused on one character, but dealt with events that would effect other characters. And there was the famous (or infamous, if you were unaware it would be there) “button,” which was most often used as a lead-in to other films in the series, or introduce a greater threat that everyone would eventually have to deal with.
The Last Choice Is From 20th Century Fox, Because ‘The Schmoes’ Are Being Studio-Agnostic
20th Century Fox is the license holder for the X-Men and The Fantastic Four, and there’s no reason that they should be talking about crossing over with Marvel, mainly because they’ve barely invested the effort and time in the properties they do have control of to make it anymore than a publicity stunt.
X-Men: Days Of Future Past has earned almost $700 million dollars at the box office, but the thing is, the film is less an X-Men adventure than an episode of Wolverine And The X-Men cartoon for the big screen. As I have stated elsewhere, Wolverine was shoe-horned in situations and positions that he shouldn’t have been in (if the movies were even pretending to be faithful to the comics, that is).
For instance, Shadowcat has nothing to do with time travel, and Bishop does, so who get’s chosen to travel back in time? Wolverine, quite possibly the worse choice for such a mission.
But, you see, Wolverine is popular, so why even bother with the other characters? Sure, there’s always the chance that a movie based on Cyclops or Storm wouldn’t be as popular, then again Fox’s current strategy guarantees it. But think for a moment: if a movie featuring Cyclops or Storm (or some other X-Man, because there are lots of them) were successful, and I personally don’t think that there’s any reason why they shouldn’t be, think about how it would open up the X-Men universe.
It should be a no-brainer, which is why I am mystified that it didn’t happen yet.
So their X-Men shouldn’t crossover with any other characters, be they from Marvel Studios, or even other properties managed by 20th Century Fox for that matter, because they can barely manage the properties that they do have.
It’s an argument that I have made before, but it bares repeating.
And speaking of the X-Men, the franchise has just earned over $3 billion dollars. That’s a lot of moolah and another reason why the producers should better develop the characters, never mind adding others from different studios.
The last Marvel Comics licensee released by Sony/Columbia Pictures, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released a few months ago, and has just about finished its run in theaters, both domestically and overseas. It’s earned just over $703 million, which is a pretty decent haul.
The problems are two-fold, though. First off, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 earned almost $200 million LESS than Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, not exactly a good sign when you’re franchise-building.
Another is that the Spider-Man franchise was rebooted just five years ago, which means that all the continuity build up from the three prior films is gone, as if it never were.
It’s hard to talk about crossovers when you haven’t invested the time in your own characters, which is sort of similar to what’s going on a 20th Century Fox with the X-Men.
The same thing applies to The Fantastic Four, except even more so because they’re in the process of being rebooted.