Shared universes are quickly becoming the new trend for film franchises. If anything we’ve seen how successful they cam become when they are planned, well thought out, and executed by intelligent studio heads. Then there are those who want to have the same success, seize the opportunity by striking while the iron is hot, but failing to replicate because of haste and poor execution.
The more we hear about these shared universes, the more in danger we are of seeing it become a very short-lived trend. Now Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has come out to talk about studios rushing to create a shared universe without building an actual fanbase, and how it might do more harm than good. Hit the jump for more.
Here’s Gunn’s reaction to studios building shared universes, a business model he calls “flawed” and something that “gets in the way of making a single great film.”
Now, you may say that Gunn should know better since he directed a film that is part of a larger universe. But Guardians of the Galaxy really stands on its own, and has very few threads that connect to the Marvel Universe. If anything that films is more likened to Iron Man, because Guardians will connect more to the Galactic world.
Gunn never calls anyone out by name, specifically, but we’ve seen plenty of successful and failed shared universes before. We’ve also seen some that have yet to prove themselves to be viable business practices that the studios hoped they would be.
WB has their DC Comics franchise, which kicked off with Man of Steel. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice may have switched release dates twice before settling on a March 2016 release, but the Wonder Woman, Flash, Batman, and Justice League films that have been announced pretty much means they will follow through with their shared universe. They have already started to work on Suicide Squad by hiring David Ayers as the director, and cast Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.
Sony has had plenty of time to work out on their The Amazing Spider-Man universe, but has had done nothing but announce titles and get themselves involved in rumors like the solo Aunt May movie. They haven’t even started the casting process for Sinister Six yet, and have pushed back The Amazing Spider-Man 3 to 2018.
Universal will have a shared Monster universe, which started out with a tepid Dracula Untold. The Mummy and Frankenstein films are in the works, with more classic monsters to be announced.
Gunn does have a point though. Marvel Studios weren’t exactly the first to launch a shared universe, but they are one of the few to craft it as a successful business model. This doesn’t mean that all films who fall under the shared universe umbrella are destined to be bad, but some are attached to terrible franchises. Even Marvel might experience a bad film.
But just as we’ve seen YA novels be constantly adapted into bad films, the idea of more shared universes are becoming more of a bore than something to be excited for.