Jody Michael
(Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Marvel)

There is nothing wrong with franchises, or blockbusters, which at their best basically embody nearly every pleasure humans seek at the theater — at least once the temperature cracks 80 degrees. But as the pitiable 2011 summer-movie slate and the long, awkward run-up to Avengers showed, there is a cost to doing business like this beyond the typically cited homogeneity of the type of films we get when everyone is forced to wear a cape. With huge amounts of studio money, not to mention idea guys like Whedon and actors like Robert Downey Jr. tied up and off the market for years’ worth of byzantine contracts for sequels, spin-offs, and product tie-ins, movies like the Avengers don’t just need to be good; they need to compensate us for everything we don’t see in their place, not to mention the inevitable lackluster attempts to replicate their outsize success. Because with every year that goes by, we have fewer and fewer other options.
The Avengers is already a smash. Our reward? Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2, and if the obligatory post-credits sequence in Avengers is any indication, Avengers 2. Whedon did something near miraculous, making Avengers into something entertaining. But that is an awful lot of a good thing.

Making sense of Marvel’s mega-bet on ‘The Avengers’ - Grantland

(Photo by Zade Rosenthal/Marvel)

There is nothing wrong with franchises, or blockbusters, which at their best basically embody nearly every pleasure humans seek at the theater — at least once the temperature cracks 80 degrees. But as the pitiable 2011 summer-movie slate and the long, awkward run-up to Avengers showed, there is a cost to doing business like this beyond the typically cited homogeneity of the type of films we get when everyone is forced to wear a cape. With huge amounts of studio money, not to mention idea guys like Whedon and actors like Robert Downey Jr. tied up and off the market for years’ worth of byzantine contracts for sequels, spin-offs, and product tie-ins, movies like the Avengers don’t just need to be good; they need to compensate us for everything we don’t see in their place, not to mention the inevitable lackluster attempts to replicate their outsize success. Because with every year that goes by, we have fewer and fewer other options.

The Avengers is already a smash. Our reward? Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2, and if the obligatory post-credits sequence in Avengers is any indication, Avengers 2. Whedon did something near miraculous, making Avengers into something entertaining. But that is an awful lot of a good thing.

Making sense of Marvel’s mega-bet on ‘The Avengers’ - Grantland

  1. jodymichael posted this