What else could UGF be talking about today but The Avengers, opening in movie theaters all across North America this coming Friday?
It's already opened overseas and raked in about a zillion-kajillion bucks so far, so no need to worry about whether there's going to be an Avengers 2. In fact, Chris ("Captain America") Evans is reportedly under contract to make a total of six films, including two more Captain America sequels and two more Avengers sequels. Along with that Iron Man 3 either has begun or is shortly to begin filming, Thor 2 is already in the works, and Samuel L. Jackson reportedly is unhappy he's not getting his own Nick Fury movie, so if the Marvel universe is your thing, you're set for a good long time to come.
They'll eventually jump the shark, of course. Hollywood being Hollywood and Marvel being Marvel, sooner or later they're absolutely bound to make another Spider-Man 3, or X-Men: First Class, or Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The history of cinematic franchises is littered with such miserable wreckage. Consider, if your stomach can handle it, Star Trek: Nemesis, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, or Blade III: Who Cares What the Subtitle Was? If your memory reaches back that far you might even consider Powell & Loy's Thin Man movies, Warner Oland's Charlie Chan movies, or the only seemingly endless series of sequels spawned by the original Boris Karloff film, The Mummy.
Sooner or later, a successful franchise inevitably turns on itself, and invariably, you wind up with a Charlie Chan on Broadway or an Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy.
So there's today's UGF challenge. This coming Friday, of course, we will all be in the theaters, with a jumbo bucket of popcorn in one hand and a bladder-buster size Coke in the other, eagerly taking in every thrilling moment of The Avengers. But just for today, I want you to imagine that you are in charge of the Marvel universe, and it's a couple years down the road, and however unwittingly, you're about to make the franchise totally jump the shark.
What's your idea for the movie that will kill the franchise for a generation to come? Thor Loves Jane: The Sit-Com? Iron Man Meets Emo-Spider-Man? The Incredible Hulk on Broadway?
Let the arguments begin...
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