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Things that will ruin Marvel's Phase Three

For the past seven years, Marvel's cinematic universe has consistently been the most fun you can possibly have in the theater, with one crowd-pleasing hit after another. Which is why we're so sorry we have to inform you that it's all about to come crashing down. Why? Well, here are six things that will ruin Marvel's Phase Three.

Superhero Fatigue

Every studio in Hollywood is rushing to get a piece of the superhero pie, and the results are proving that you can in fact have too much of a good thing. Or, in the case of box office disasters like Fantastic Four, too much of a bad thing. And Marvel itself has to shoulder much of the blame for this oversaturation. While Phases One and Two totaled 12 films over a period of seven years, Phase Three is going to pack an additional ten films into just three years. Enough is enough.

The Weight Of Continuity

When the first Marvel movies came out, half the fun was picking up on the little teasers and Easter eggs that tied the universe together. Now those bits of continuity are the entire point. Upcoming films like Captain America: Civil War and The Avengers: Infinity War parts one and two won't just reward you for knowing your Marvel history—they're going to require the audience to have an intimate knowledge of the past dozen movies in order for the stories to make any sense whatsoever. Going to the movies shouldn't feel like cramming for finals.

The Big Stars Are Quitting

Robert Downey, Jr. has spoken publicly about being burned out with the whole Iron Man thing. Chris Evans wants to focus on directing, not acting. And Thor: Ragnarok is set to be the final film in Chris Hemsworth's franchise as well. Yeah, they might still show up in cameos, ensembles, or lesser roles, but the focus is about to shift away from the stars that made the Marvel cinematic universe so awesome to begin with. And do fans really care about a universe without Downey, Evans, and Hemsworth?

Nobody Has Heard Of These Characters

Being obscure isn't necessarily a bad thing; just look at how great Guardians of the Galaxy was. But as Ant-Man's comparatively tiny box office earnings showed, it doesn't necessarily help, either. With Marvel's biggest stars poised to step aside, it also means that Marvel's biggest characters are likely going to depart with them. Instead of Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, fans are about to get a slate of films revolving around The Inhumans, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange—at the same time Warner Bros. is poised to roll out Wonder Woman and The Justice League. Betting the farm on completely unknown characters is a big gamble. And this time, it may not pay off.

Creative Differences Are Driving Away Top Talent

It's not just the stars in front of the camera that are leaving in droves. It's the talents behind the camera as well. Avengers mastermind Joss Whedon has bowed out after talking publicly about his disappointment with Avengers: Age of Ultron, while Edgar Wright famously quit after working on Ant-Man for eight years. Even Jon Favreau, who kicked off the whole shebang with Iron Man, is no longer directing films for Marvel. Why? Creative differences with head honcho Kevin Feige. Keeping a tight rein on the Marvel brand is one thing, but the result is films that are starting to feel like they're being made by committee instead of artists.

Marvel Fired...Marvel?

One committee that won't be making movies, though, is Marvel's own Creative Committee. Made up of the guys who actually create and publish the comic books, the whole point of the Creative Committee was to make sure the movies kept the spirit of the comics alive. In other words, to prevent them from becoming soulless, empty corporate exercises like DC's Green Lantern or Man of Steel. Now, though, Feige has disbanded the Creative Committee entirely, just in time for Phase Three. With Marvel Studios no longer accountable to Marvel for its content, Feige only needs to satisfy one group now: the bean counters at Disney. What could possibly go wrong?