Friday, November 27, 2015

Rebooting Marvel's Cinematic Universe

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is hugely popular. There's no question about that. But it is extremely formulaic and thrives on the popularity of the characters rather than actually compelling storytelling techniques. See if this sounds familiar:

The Formula:
A Snarky genius protagonist.
A bad guy with the same exact power as the hero.
Plenty of jokes.
Easter Eggs and set up galore. 

It's all just a little bland at this point. It worked well enough for a time, but I say we're done! Let's start fresh! Wipe the slate clean after Infinity War and begin anew! And I have the game plan!

Captain America:
Start at the beginning. With good old Steve Rogers. But start the movie with a clip or two from the present with Cap in charge of the Avengers - a big cast of Avengers this time. The opening scene should be huge, but don't reveal the villain. Just show the team working together and then show the sky- airplanes transition from futuristic to modern to old timey and we finally rewind to the 1940s. Pearl Harbor. Show the whole scene in a big set piece - escalate the tension and the action until it climaxes and then cut to a newspaper and Steve Rogers.

Give the story of his transformation in flash backs. We want action! And we don't need an hour of wimpy Steve before we see Cap punching Nazis!!!

This will be a war-epic. Make it a character study, period piece like Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan etc. but with a dash of Sci-Fi comic stuff. 

He'll go after Hitler of course and then uncover a conspiracy, Red Skull, Zola etc.

Once he faces off against Red Skull, he will crash in the ice with the baddy and both will be frozen. Then end.

And no more after credits scenes.

Our second movie will be the first Thor flick. Again, it will begin with a scene of the Avengers together. This time we will see the enemy forces as an army of Skrull. The transition will be on Mjolnir this time instead of the airplanes.

2500 B.C. - Asgard
This is a fantasy epic. Thor should go on a hero's journey, not being banished, but setting out to reclaim a stolen treasure. He will travel the 9 realms in search of it, bringing him at one point to ancient Earth where he will leave behind a relic - one of the Infinity Stones!

He won't stay long on Earth, moving quickly to the next realm. And near the end of the film, he will awaken Fin Fang Foom, the dragon, who will flee him and get away.

Then the movie will end as Thor steps into the Bifrost to find hunt the dragon.

Iron Man:
Again, begin with the Avengers. This time have Iron Man call upon the aid of a few dozen bots from the Iron Legion. Skrulls will fight them. The battle is reaching a climax. Iron Man flies past the camera. Jump to a press conference a few years earlier.

We find Tony announcing that he is Iron Man. A series of flashbacks will tell the story of how he becomes Iron Man, but his main villain will be the Mandarin.

The Mandarin will be a mysterious character, hidden in shadows and not shown for most of the film. His disciples will mostly do his bidding and Iron Man will be searching for clues as to the Mandarin's whereabouts.

His disciples will be men with unique powers. Someone from the comics. The whole movie will be a sort of Sci-Fi mystery film. Rhodey will help in a buddy cop way, but won't become War Machine. He'll provide Tony with some important insider info and help crack the case.

The final showdown will have the Mandarin fighting Iron Man with the power of the 10 Rings and then summoning Fin Fang Foom. As the dragon shoots a huge burst of fire, Iron Man is protected by a purple force field. Zoom out to see a red cape and the slight impression of Dr. Strange floating above.

Dr. Strange:
Start with the Avengers again. Showcase a few scenes of the Skrulls before ...

Let's come back to this next time!

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