Universal fashion sense
Having an extended movie universe is so in right now, you guys.
70 percent sure Independence Day 2: Resurgence is a prequel to the Power Rangers movie. That’s probably the most optimistic thing that I’ve said all decade, and maybe the nicest thing anyone has ever said about ID2. If you haven’t seen it, you missed a B-moviequality disaster flick that felt like nothing was really at stake.
Near the end, ID2 sets audiences up for the next two sequels (gulp). Wait, what? That’s like ordering a set meal based on the salad appetiser only to find out the main is a bale of hay and dessert is the head of Great Old One, Cthulhu. The only way that this will make sense is if, in the sequel, Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher decide to morph into blue and red Power Rangers. And why the hell not? It’s not like everyone else isn’t clambering to be part of an extended universe.
Nowadays, to make a profitable film, you simply need to be associated with an existing franchise. Let’s face it; if someone made a movie about checking stock levels in a Manchester bottle cap factory but linked it to the Star Wars universe, we’d go see it. So naturally, every movie wants to make a bigger deal out of the universe that they create.
Does anyone remember Dracula Untold? Universal have decided that a Marvel-like universe would be the best way to revive the old-fashioned monster genre, with Mummy, Wolf Man and The Invisible Man reboots planned. These guys are perhaps more deserving than others to “steal” Marvel’s idea. Their first crossover movie, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, came out in 1943. The New York Times called it “a great disappointment” because the fight between the two monsters came too little, too late. Now, why does that sound familiar?
Because that’s the exact reaction to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Building a universe isn’t necessarily a recipe for success, and the more franchises do it, the less impressive the feat becomes. BvS did an awful job of introducing their universe—liter- ally five video gifs attached in a single email—but at least it made sense. It’s an established brand with recognisable characters.
But how will a Call of Duty movie universe make sense? We have plenty of war films featuring privileged white people killing poorer, darker-skinned people—what can CoD add? In fact, when the Hasbro universe gets going, with GI Joe, MASK and Micronauts, we’ll be inundated with movies about white people feeling insecure behind their heavy weapons.
These fashionable movie universes might make things look a little bleak right now (except for Marvel and Star Wars, of course), but stay optimistic! If we carry on this way, the studios will end up combining all their intellectual properties into one massive movie featuring everything! It’ll be the movie adaptation of Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny (google it) and it’ll be freakin’ amazing. Fingers crossed ID2 and Power Rangers decide to do that and become the catalyst for awesomeness.