“Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe” Special Recap

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Posted March 18, 2014 by Kenneth Rodriguez in Movies

some "Guardians of the Galaxy" concept art

some “Guardians of the Galaxy” concept art

In place of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this week  (which I was bummed about, since the show had a great cliff-hanger ending, check out the details here), we got a one-hour documentary about how Marvel Studios came to be, and the journey they went on to develop the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We got a great look at some behind the scenes happening during the filming of all the Marvel Studios films up to Thor: The Dark World and some great interviews form the directors, writers, producers, and actors involved.

I loved seeing the thought process behind the Marvel Films, and their trepidation about creating a shared universe, something that has never been done in the world of cinema before. Iron Man 1&2 director Jon Faveau described the initial stages as the biggest independent movie you could think of, and that has been the thought process ever since. They also explained the idea behind the Marvel One-Shots short films that have been included on the DVD releases of the main Marvel films, as they were conceived as excuses to do some of the smaller ideas they fell in love with that don’t necessarily call for their own big-budget feature. A few standouts include: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To Thor’s Hammer expands on Agent’s Coulson’s day to day life, Agent Carter expands on Peggy Carter’s loss of Steve Rodgers and how she becomes a bad-ass agent all on her own, and Hail To The King explores the life of now celebrity Trevor Slattery after being imprisoned for impersonating The Mandarin; if you haven’t watched these films go do it now, they are fantastic expansions of the main films and their contents are sure to pop up in the later films in one way or another. The chronological look back was fun, but the real juicy bits came as we reached the next film up to bat, Captain America: The Winter Solider.

Anthony Mackie as Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Solider

Anthony Mackie as Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Solider

We got some great behind the scenes looks at the filming of the next Captain America film, and some expansions on how it will influence the larger universe going into Avengers: Age of Ultron. Kevin Feige stated that the film will heavily impact the world as the Avengers know it, most likely through the possible corruption of S.H.I.E.L.D. that has been heavily hinted at in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Cap trailers. They also expanded on Falcon’s involvement and background, as he will be a member of an elite military para-trooper unit, which the wingsuit was developed for. The actor portraying Falcon, Anthony Mackie, stated he was looking forward to the red spandex uniform the character classically wears in the comics, but this interpretation was more practical.

We also got a sneak peak at the highly-anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron, with the first reveal of concept art  for the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). I personally love the takes on the characters depicted here, they look true to their comic counterparts, but it’s still reasonable to believe they would organically grow out of the universe that has been developed. Scarlett Witch’s classic costume is a tad… revealing and impractical on screen, and while Quicksilver’s is simple, we have seen how that can go very bad (look at Fox’s version in X-Men: Days of Future Past eww). We also got a great shot of Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor (a version of the Iron Man armor specially outfitted to take a full-on brawl with Hulk), so could this hint to some real inter-team hostilities during the film, or maybe setting up the Planet Hulk storyline from the comics!?

Concept art of Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Concept art of Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Concept art of Iron Man's "Hulkbuster" armor taking on its intended target Hulk

Concept art of Iron Man’s “Hulkbuster” armor taking on its intended target Hulk

Concept art of Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron

Concept art of Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron

We also got some talk about Guardians of the Galaxy, but sadly nothing more than we have already seen from the trailers. The last little nugget came from the ending montage as we got the first official look at the test footage for Edgar Wright’s Ant Man movie that was screened at Comic-Con last year. It looked cool, and gives a good little morsel to tide us over until that film debuts in Phase 3.

Ant Man changing size, very cool in action

Ant Man changing size, very cool in action

Ant Man in action in this test reel

Ant Man in action in this test reel

A look at Edgar Wright's conceptual reel for Ant-Man

A look at Edgar Wright’s conceptual reel for Ant-Man

 

Rocket Racoon and Groot concept art, just for fun

Rocket Racoon and Groot concept art, just for fun

Overall, this little documentary was a great refresher for those intently waiting for the next film, and gave little hints toward the future. Expect Avengers: Age of Ultron to focus heavily on the personal struggle heroes like Tony Stark, Thor, and Captain America have felt in their post-Avengers films, and set up a new status quo at its start, (according to director Joss Whedon, there will be a good mix of comedy and more grown up drama, as well as some punching). Head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige tells his team to treat every movie as their last, and it certainly shows, and this fan personally cannot wait until April 4th when Captain America: The Winter Solider hits theaters.


About the Author

Kenneth Rodriguez

Kenny has been completing his pokedex since Pokemon Yellow, ever ready for his next test, comics in hand. He thinks Mass Effect is the best game series ever,.. period and loves TV and Movies dearly. Follow him on Twitter @k_rod14