Ever since The Avengers took the world by storm back in 2012 the connected, cinematic universe is the hottest thing to do in Hollywood. While it has worked extremely well for Marvel it isn’t working so well on other fronts with the Dark Universe being the big one that stumbles out of the gate. There are all sorts of Cinematic Universes out there now and director Joe Russp was asked by Variety if he had any advice to someone else starting their own universe. It turns out that he does but it’s not the advice studios want.
“Yeah, don’t do it,” Joe Russo says. “Not everything can be sustained through a cinematic universe.”
The world of streaming and on-demand has fundamentally changed the way we consume media. A television show that once needed to make each episode stand on its own because there wasn’t a way for audiences to catch up if they missed an episode is a thing of the past. The idea that each movie needs to stand on its own is also going away with the Marvel Cinematic Universe proving what the Harry Potter series started years ago.
“I think all of this — Netflix, Marvel, ‘Star Wars,’ this massive moment of disruption we’re in — is really a function of audiences craving new kinds of storytelling,” Russo says. “I think we had a really nice run for 100 years of two-hour, two-dimensional storytelling, but I think over the next decade, decade-and-a-half, you’re going to see a radical shift in how stories are told.”
The shift has already started with even casual Marvel fans wondering why their favorite Netflix characters didn’t show up in Avengers: Infinity War. Russo was asked if he had any advice for people wanting to tell stories in this changing media landscape and his advice was to always look for new ways to get your story out there.
“The advice would be to continue to look for new ways to tell stories, because I think the audience is open to it,” he says. “There is traditionally a generational divide, but I think this new generation is going to advance storytelling in a way we haven’t seen in a long time because of the tech advancements in their lives and the way they are used to digesting content on YouTube and social media in much more compressed formats, more facile, fluid. And they like longterm emotional commitment, but there’s lots of ways to engender that that do not involve building out a universe.”
This advice isn’t going to stop us from getting something like the Hasboro Cinematic Universe and now that Infinity War is on track to be one of the biggest movies of all time studio heads are only going to see the money. However, there is always a chance a cinematic universe could come out of no where and surprise us. A steady and guiding hand is extremely important and it seems like people are finally starting to understand that part of the equation.
Summary: As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.
Avengers: Infinity War, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, and Anthony Mackie. It’s out now.