With the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios did the unthinkable: it recreated the shared continuity of superhero comics on the big screen. Just like in the source material upon which it’s based, the MCU feels like a cohesive reality, complete with a rich history.
Unfortunately, the MCU also has something else in common with the comics: namely, the timeline is a bit of a mess. It’s easy to see how this has happened – thanks to the growing number of films and TV shows in the franchise, it’s virtually impossible to make these competing stories fit together neatly.
Of course, for most viewers, this isn’t much of an issue – all they’re interested in is watching an entertaining story. This stance is shared by the studio itself, which – as illustrated by the Phase Three slate of movies – is clearly interested in storytelling first, and accurate time-keeping second.
While this is the right approach to take, part of the MCU’s appeal is its interconnected nature. When the overall sequence of events in the franchise doesn’t add-up, it’s a bit disappointing.
With this in mind, here are 15 Things That Make No Sense About The MCU’s Timeline.
When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice arrived in cinemas back in 2016, it represented a landmark moment. Sure, both the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel had already appeared in films previously, but never before had DC’s two biggest icons – undeniably the two most famous and influential superheroes of all time – shared the big screen together.
Unsurprisingly, given the pair’s history of comic book team-ups, Warner Bros. had previously attempted to feature both Superman and Batman in the same live-action movie. Of these failed efforts, the most significant – which is to say, “bigger than a cameo” – was Superman vs. Batman, which was in development between 2001-2002.
Written by Se7en screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (with rewrites by A Beautiful Mind scribe Akiva Goldsman) and with Troy’s Wolfgang Peterson set to direct, Superman vs. Batman is at once similar and wildly different to Batman v Superman.
Although the plots of both films call for a showdown between the two legends and count Lex Luthor among the main villains, that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
Here are 17Ways Batman V Superman Was Almost Completely Different.
Given the seemingly endless stream of comic book movies released in recent years, it’s hard to imagine that any film projects like these ever get canceled. Yet plenty are, with spinoffs the most commonly scrapped.
There are several reasons why these cinematic offshoots wind up on the chopping block so often. The most common motivation for a studio axing a spin-off is that the film which spawned it has underperformed financially.
Then there is the disappointing scenario where a character who was expected to be a break-out hit with audiences fails to impress, with their ability to carry their own solo outing appearing a lot less feasible.
And finally, there are those instances where the overall plans for a superhero film franchise change. Suddenly, a spinoff that once made perfect sense fails to align with the broader slate of scheduled films, and is either re-worked into another movie, or dropped entirely.
Whatever the reason, this means that we sometimes miss out on some potentially amazing superhero side projects – even as we dodge a few that look pretty awful! With this in mind, here are 8 Canceled Comic Book Spinoffs That Would’ve Been Bad (And 7 That Would’ve Been Great).
The prevailing wisdom among movie fans is that a big-screen blockbuster lives or dies based off the quality of its main villain. It’s not hard to see why – after all, if the baddie in question isn’t a memorable or credible threat, watching our heroes triumph over them isn’t particularly satisfying.
There are exceptions to this rule, of course. With the exception of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, the rogues gallery of the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe have largely proven a disappointing bunch. But even so, the marketing machines behind virtually every blockbuster film – including those released by Marvel Studios – put a significant amount of effort into generating pre-release excitement around the supposed awesomeness of their villains.
Sometimes, these big bads really do live up to the promotional buzz. Brilliantly twisted creations like Heath Ledger’s Joker have since gone on to become iconic examples of what a cinematic antagonist should be, far exceeding audience expectations along the way. But more often than not, the hoopla surrounding these nefarious characters turns out to be grossly exaggerated.
Check out our list of 15Major Movie Villains That Didn’t Live Up To The Hype.
Over the course of nine years, 22 films (including shorts) and 10 TV shows, Marvel Studios has wowed fans by creating a shared cinematic universe to rival its comics counterpart. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is – much like its source material – built around telling interconnected, ongoing stories that branch across several franchise installments. Sure, some MCU entries fit into this bigger picture better than others, but broadly speaking, all of Marvel’s properties are tied together, and regularly introduce (or further develop) narrative threads designed to pay-off further down the line.
To its credit, Marvel has done a pretty good job of making everything fit together, considering how many different sub-franchises are in production at any given moment. Even so, cracks in this supposedly unified front have started to show as the MCU has expanded – heck, not even the in-universe timeline makes sense anymore!
That’s not the only thing that’s gone awry, either. While Marvel has done a great job of keeping its major, predominantly Avengers–related narrative elements bubbling along nicely, the studio has also ditched several others along the way. The reasons for this vary – maybe the filmmakers involved convinced the studio to go in a different direction, or perhaps the actors required were no longer available.
Regardless, here are 15 MCU Plotlines That Were Completely Abandoned.
When it comes to costume design in movies, it used to be the case that filmmakers were limited by what could be achieved using real-world fabrics and prosthetics. Basically, if a design couldn’t be made using existing materials – and even if it could be made, if it was too unwieldy to actually wear – it was back to the drawing board!
Following the advent of computer generated imagery, however, all of that changed. Now, whatever costume designers can dream up can theoretically be made a reality, thanks to the magic of visual effects. Indeed, in a post-CGI world, actors regularly find themselves attired in the most otherworldly clothing imaginable, especially those starring in fantasy and sci-fi outings.
However, while the current trend towards CGI costumes has yielded some truly breathtaking results – bringing to life characters we never expected to see in a live-action film – more than a few have fallen flat.
Typically, this is because either the digital “tailoring” and “make-up” involved failed to convincingly portray whatever it was intended to mimic, or it’s because the end product wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. Either way, this usually suggests that the filmmakers might have been better off going down a more traditional route!
Here are 6 Terrible CGI Costumes That Ruined Movies (And 9 That Are Amazing).
Everybody makes mistakes from time to time – and that includes the heroes of the big screen! While even the most severe screw-up can usually be overlooked, sometimes even the good guys do things that are flat-out unforgivable.
There are plenty of reasons why an otherwise virtuous movie character might not deserve to have their sins absolved. Perhaps their actions have horrific consequences (unforeseen or expected) which are so terrible that even the most noble of goals just can’t provide justify things. After all, as they say: the pathway to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Or maybe they committed their dastardly deeds before showing remorse and returning to the side of the angels, which still ends up amounting to “too little, too late.” And then there are those instances where what has been done isn’t so appalling, but – for whatever reason – it affects another character so deeply, that character will never be able to forgive our hero for their actions.
Whatever the reason, the end result is invariably the same: no amount of apologizing is going to let these do-gooders off the hook with audiences! In the time-honored tradition of naming and shaming, we’ve pulled together this list of 15 Unforgivable Acts Committed By ‘Heroic’ Characters.