Marvel is known for keeping secrets. They go to great lengths to keep specific details of their new films under wraps. Some methods include confidentiality agreements, takedown notices, scripts printed on read paper, etc. You name it. The new release of a film centers both on its promotional plan as it is does on its ability to conceal spoilers. All are very hush hush.
However, things within the Marvel Universe have gotten a whole lot more passionate ever since it was acquired by The Walt Disney Company back in 2009. The jumps and hurdles both the studio and talent alike have to go through to satisfy some of the new demands seems blatantly overdone at times. Some would say borderline ludicrous. Not your typical fairytale and superhero collaboration, some might say. I guess this is the new Mickey Mouse and Hulk mash up people haven’t really asked for.
17 Time to hit the gym
Every superhero looks like some old Greek artist forged them out of marble to resemble that of an Adonis. Naturally, you’d expect the actors to morph themselves into such imagery. Seems only fair, right? Disney would agree with you on that one.
Even the most unlikely of heroes can reach superhero bod status. Chris Pratt is only the shadow of how he used to look like back when he was on Parks and Recreation. After being cast in Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt made it a point to shed the weight and gain the muscles just for the role. We hardly recognized him! Most of these actors are just as chiseled underneath their shirts as you'd imagine any other superhero to be.
16 The most magical place on Earth
When you think of Disney World, your mind instantly conjures up picturesque images of Mickey and Minnie Mouse prancing their way into Cinderella’s grand castle. People lining up to take pictures with a soft felt Goofy costume. Ice cream in the shape of Mickey ears being consumed in alarming levels by small, bouncing children in every corner of the park. That’s the general idea of the happiest place on Earth aesthetic.
Now, picture Iron Man flying around the castle and Thor stomping his way around the park. Do you have that visual image in your head? Well, so does Disney. With the acquisition of Marvel comes a plethora of opportunities to involve the Avengers within the park itself. You can now find your favorite action hero paraphernalia at your local Disney store as well as take a picture next to your favorite Avenger. Maybe Walt Disney himself envisioned this back when started the brand, huh?
15 Less is not necessarily more with Disney
Sometimes Hollywood is known for taking the slogan “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” and taking it farther than it should. This would apply to Disney and its endless supply of Marvel films. MCU is hitting that 10 streak in their franchise conglomerate. From the first Iron Man to the much-hyped Avengers: Infinity War, there doesn’t seem to be any breaks coming anytime soon. The films just keep on rolling no matter what. Hence the fixation with the slogan.
Cranking out big budget blockbusters will continue as long as Disney has a say in it. They have a long list of scheduled Marvel films. They won’t simply stop making their most profitable assets just to appease others. Not as long as they continue to make money. Especially now that with Marvel, they’ve also bought properties from Fox. I guess business will continue to be business.
14 A Disney Channel and Marvel collaboration we never asked for
Picture every other collaboration you could imagine. Just let that image form in your mind and then multiply it times ten. This is truly the most ambitious collaboration of all time, not Infinity War. In order for Disney to truly exploit every aspect of its Marvel acquisition, children are also an integral part of their audience. Perhaps their biggest target audience. What better way to mix Marvel into the Disney family than by having the Avengers literally cameo in one of their Disney shows. Sure, they advertise quite heavily the newest Marvel releases on the Disney Channel, but why stop there?
The most ambitious of all their crossovers with Marvel is that of Phineas and Ferb which had the entire Marvel universe shaking. The two chaotic brothers had to team up with the Avengers in one episode in other to taken down villains such as Dr. Doofenshmirtz and Venom in a single episode. Just the mere thought of that group of characters in one episode is enough to send your mind reeling with all the possibilities. That’s just what happens when to two huge companies collide.
13 It’s a Disney egg hunt within Marvel
A spin in any fairytale is always a memorable phrase or line. Whether it’s “a dream is a wish your heart makes” or the most iconic of them all “Ohana means family, and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” Naturally, Disney wouldn’t hesitate to incorporate their favorite tidbits and sayings within some of the Marvel films.
I mean, we all know superheroes and cheesy slogans go together hand in hand.
During Avengers: Age of Ultron, of course the robot had to solidify his authenticity as a conscious being under his own control by referencing Pinocchio. “There are no strings on me.” Talk about an on the nose reference. You have give it to them for accuracy, though. Seems like a fair comparison. All kidding aside, Marvel is riddled with Disney references that can be pointed out should you pay close attention.
12 It's the runway show over at Marvel
Seems like every time a new superhero movie hits the theaters, the costumes of the latest superhero changes. They may be subtle at times but the changes are there. It’s like watching a slow morphing of the models in America’s Next Top Model as the season progresses. They just keep getting better and edgier.
This is not completely unusual since the writers of the comics tend to amp up and change the costume design of their superheroes with each new issue. Disney saw the opportunity to sell more action figures of the same avenger just with different costume designs. You have Iron Man in all its seven different compilations of the same original design. Add that silver Iron Man to the already growing collection of different shades of red and maroon that Iron Man comes in.
11 You may come in, but you may never get out
Signing on to do a nine-film deal seems absolutely ludicrous to any actor. It’s like being stuck on a rollercoaster for ten turns straight. Fun the first three times; a little disconcerting the last seven. Borderline nauseating. Well, that’s how it is for some actors within the MCU/Disney universe in terms of contract deals.
Samuel L. Jackson had to sign nine-film deal with marvel in order to play the role of Nick Fury within the Marvel universe. This is how we arrive ten years later with a nineteenth film release of a Marvel film with the same cast. More shocking is Robert Downey Jr’s extensive film credit raging from Iron Man to Infinity War. He has signed to appear in nine films and one separate cameo appearance in Spiderman: Homecoming but his future is still undetermined as to whether or not he’ll continue. However, ten years seems like an awful lot of time to dedicate to one franchise.
10 It’s all about that careful balance of angst and laughter
One wouldn’t think to equate early Marvel films with comedy. I mean, those films were filled with some truly heartbreaking moments that rivaled the ending of Titanic. Too much? Perhaps. However, the comedy aspect of some of the more modern Marvel films are noticeable ever since it was acquired by Disney.
Modern Marvel films are quite well versed in comedic timing.
Just look at what Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man are doing? They’re a well balance of serious action thriller and comedy all in one. Most of these new Marvel films are filled with funny one-liners and comedic moments. Even a film like The Winder Soldier has some flare of comedy in it. Unbelievable, right? The power and magic of Disney and Marvel collaboration.
9 Is Mickey Mouse a superhero now?
Mickey Mouse hurdling himself through giant buildings as he shoots spider webs through his fingers? Sound familiar? Or maybe just like a bad AU fan-fiction gone wrong? Well, maybe not to those extremes, but Disney references have now started to pop up in the actual comics. More as an advertising method than anything else. Sort of like having Marvel film trailers appear on Disney Channel ads. Pay it back? It’s a balancing act between Disney aesthetics and Marvel.
The two companies came together to forge the Disney Kingdoms comic series that made a major throwback in Disney nostalgia. Artists from major Marvel comics who took part in the series were part of the major art and illustration of the series. Not exactly a one-sided deal when it comes to this mashup.
8 Compromising to make it work
One would think that two giants of the entertainment business merging together would be smooth sailing, right? Well, not so much for this Disney and Marvel duo. Especially for some of the directors and producers involved. Egos are at stake. Reputations are on the line. Money is involved. As you can see there’s a lot at stake here for both brands, now owned by one. It’s like holding an umbrella with the rain on the inside.
You know what I mean.
According to Joss Whedon, a huge director and writer within the Marvel universe, making the Avengers films “broke” him. The director had constant conflict with higher ups in Marvel which are in direct association with Disney higher ups. This put a lot of pressure in the making of both Avengers: Age of Ultron and his exit during Avengers: Infinity War. Edgar Wright who was also involved at one point, but quit Ant-Man because of problems with the studio.
7 Resurrect Marvel comics? Why not their animated shows, too?
As mentioned before, with the Marvel acquisition comes a plethora of possibilities. Doors to open. Collaborations to exceed. You name it. With it comes the Disney Channel. One of Disney’s greatest assets in terms of reaching its young demographics. This is almost like non-paid advertisement for Marvel, so it opens an even wider door for the studio.
Bring in the reboots and animated shows.
Releasing the cartoons was of a mutual decision by both Disney and Marvel. They took the MCU universe and unleashed it unto the Disney Channel viewers. However, reality did not reach the high expectations as both Disney and Marvel could’ve hoped. Numbers aren’t high and the new cartoon reboots could end quite sooner than later.
6 Fear not, every Marvel show on Netflix will remain edgy
Marvel films aren’t the only thing at stake after being bought from Disney. The Marvel universe has expanded into quite a few successful television series. These range from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Jessica Jones, The Punisher, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Iron Fist. All heavily raved about and loved by their fans. All the revenue made by these shows goes back to Disney so there’s no real change in them. Their formatting and creative techniques won’t change at all due to this Disney acquisition.
These shows were specifically expanded upon its acquisition by Disney.
This just means that Disney, after acquiring Marvel, is in serious gear to expand their brand across every single platform. This goes for television as well as streaming services. The universe of Marvel will be seen for quite some time.
5 When Disney says jump, Marvel replies, “how high?”
There really is no polite way of saying that Disney quite literally controls everything regarding Marvel. That trickles down to the creative process and character ownership, which often times can seem constricting. Should Disney want certain superheroes to team up in other films that don’t revolve plot wise on the Avengers, they have every single right to do so. Legally speaking, of course.
Some would argue that the only reason this hasn’t become a major problem within the franchise is because the writers at Marvel are in it for the long haul. The long con, as some might call it. Their overarching plot point is not at risk should Disney decide to add a few superheroes in other stand-alone films here and there. The long-term plan is solid in lock. But don’t forget, Disney is the Tony Soprano of this family. They have the final say. You got lucky there, Hulk, being featured in the latest Thor movie.
4 Hands off Big Hero 6, Marvel!
We all remember Guardians of the Galaxy as the unlikely underdog in the Marvel universe. You take a couple of truly obscure characters and have them team up together to battle against some arguably shady forces of evil. Who doesn't love an underdog? There isn't a large group of people who are part of that group. This is why the idea of Big Hero 6 seems like such an appeal for a large movie franchise such as Marvel. Who wouldn't love to see a live-action take on these superheroes? Well, that would be Disney.
Marvel is not allowed to touch any of these characters and involve them in any way into the greater scheme of Marvel films. Unfortunate, isn't it? However, it isn't all negative. There is a possibility that Disney will allow for some of these characters to make an appearance in future Marvel films. Who knows what the future holds for these particular underdogs.
3 Staying on brand... the Disney brand
When you sit down to enjoy a night of binge-watching your favorite Netflix show, more often than not, you're gonna see pretty graphic scenes. That just comes with the territory of original Netflix series. Okay, so "technically" shows like Daredevil and The Punisher are owned by Marvel. Yet, they're also owned by Disney. You may think that because these Marvel shows on Netflix don't hold back in terms of, well, everything, that's what you'd expect at the movie theaters. You'd be utterly wrong to make that assumption.
Disney has a specific brand that is mostly used to target the largest possible audience. This is the same concept as shooting multiple birds with one stone. So in reality, this just means that they want children and teenagers and adults alike to flock to the movies to watch one film. This creates a larger amount of revenue. This is why you will not be seeing the same kind of style such as the ones you're used to in these Netflix series as you will in the films. The films will be more familyish friendly and will cast a wider net. See, Netflix shows are more niche and have more creative freedom to take the darker route.
2 Secrets, secrets and did I mention secrets?
Seems repetitive, doesn't it? Secrets are literally what keeps this entire operation in place. The entire marketing and advertising ploy behind the launches of these films is based off how much they don't say. About anything. There is a general idea of who the film is about but the details concerning the film are limited. Getting one is like pulling a tooth without Novocain. Excruciating.
Casting someone in a lead role or even in a voiceover role is close to the biggest secret of it all. This is Disney's masterplan within the Marvel universe. Keeping mostly everything under tight wrap. This is heavy duty lifting kind of secrecy. It wasn't until a week before the film Infinity War came out that people found out Carrie Coons would be one of the main villains within the film. That is how extensive these details are kept in secret. Imagine a 007 Mickey crossover? That's Disney for you.
1 The one true hero of Marvel: Stan Lee
Whenever you see a well-tailored old man cross the screen in a new Marvel film, you can guarantee that's Stan Lee. Former editor-in-chief of Marvel comics and legend of all Marvel film cameos. The man has cameoed is several Marvel films and will probably continue to do so, since the Marvel studio has now considered him a staple in every film. I mean, seems obsolete not to do so at this point, right? Well, Disney and Marvel alike agree.
Stan Lee has gone as far as being cast as an actual character within the Marvel universe. He is what is known as a watcher informant and will continue to reprise his role. Disney will just find a way to continue to capitalize on this. Seems a shame not to, I guess.