Rumor: Marvel to Introduce Second-Tier Superheroes Through Short Films

     June 21, 2010


Disney’s Marvel Studios is looking to press its advantage over Warner Bros’ DC Entertainment in the Marvel-DC comic book cinema wars.  Only two years away from releasing the ambitious The Avengers, Marvel is looking to expand its cavalcade of stars.  All the familiar faces (Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Captain America, etc.) have headlined or will headline their own feature-length films.  Now, according to a rumor that Latino Review attributes to a well-placed source, executives at Disney/Marvel are considering making short, ten-minute films that introduce lesser known superheroes (like Luke Cage or Dr. Strange) that would play before features like Thor or Captain America: The First Avenger.  Until we see the press release, this report is more speculation than anything else.  That said, hit the jump to hear my thoughts on it.

Of course the studio wants to tap as much latent superhero potential as it can.   After all, superhero movies often turn a profit at the box office and, if done right, turn into a gold mine.  That is precisely why Disney/Marvel would be better served by the previously rumored plan of  introducing their second-level heroes through lower budget films with promising directors.  Unless the plan is to release an Animatrix-style compilation film that introduces a bunch of characters and serves to flesh out the so-called Marvel Universe, a single ten-minute film is likely going to be more trouble than it is worth.

As it is, the only reason that Animatrix and the compilation film Batman: Gotham Knight were enjoyable is because the world and the characters in it were already very well known by the audience.  If Disney/Marvel goes through with this rumored plan, I have a hard time seeing it as anything more than a ploy for publicity which, all things considered, just might be the goal.

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