The Marvel Cinematic Universe has cemented its place in popular culture as one of the biggest tent-poles in Hollywood. Love them or hate them, Kevin Feige and the team have accomplished a lot since 2008’s Iron-Man. With this, other studios would obviously try to emulate the success and attempt to build cinematic universes of their own. To this, Avengers: Infinity War director, Joe Russo has warned against doing so.
Russo spoke to Variety when asked to give advice to other studios attempting to build up a cinematic universe on their own. To that Joe responded with a discouraging, “Yeah, don’t do it“. He further elaborated:
“Not everything can be sustained through a cinematic universe“.
Joe Russo further clarified, saying that Marvel’s attempt was not to merely offer a cinematic universe but as “a function of audiences craving new kinds of storytelling“.
Crossovers and shared universes were not introduced by the MCU but they are undoubtedly one of the most successful ones. The crossover between the Alien franchise and the Predator franchise resulted in a critically panned example of cash-grabbing. A somewhat more critically successful one (although it is more theoretical) would be the Tarantino-verse as many of his films such as Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs are somewhat inter-connected albeit far more subtle with it.
The MCU, however, has resulted in other competitions attempting to mimic their success. A ubiquitous example would be Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe resulting in some critically panned films with a handful of successes. Being competitors and all, Marvel’s approach as averse to the DCEU was properly crafted, taking their time and allowing for an emphasis on storytelling instead of an attempt to compete with rivals.
However, Joe’s comment may seem a little narcissistic and perhaps discouraging as it can sometimes come off as an attempt to deter other studios from taking over Marvel’s “throne” in the blockbuster scene. However, there have been cash-grab attempts but there have also been some fairly interesting attempt such as the recent (spoiler alert, by the way) M. Night Shamalayan film Split that alluded to his older film, Unbreakable. That is honestly and an interesting shared universe to explore.