Friday, August 8, 2008

Marvel Animated Feature's Future Plans

In case you haven't heard, Marvel Animation and Lionsgate Films has four more films to release before the end of their eight picture deal. The contract stipulates that each feature must be a good seller right off the bat or the contract can be canceled.

The studio's first three pictures, Ultimate Avengers, Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Black Panther and Invincible Iron Man did really well in their initial sales. In fact, Iron Man continues to sell well twenty months after its release, no doubt due to the blockbuster movie.

Doctor Strange, the studio's fourth picture, didn't do so well. Likely due to the Sorcerer Supreme not being an A-List superhero like the Hulk, Iron Man or Captain America. The DVD didn't sell well and there were rumours of Lionsgate pulling out. But lucky for everyone that didn't happen.

Next to be released is Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow on September 2 which is expected to do much better than Doctor Strange. I think this is partly because the movie will feature Iron Man and the Hulk, two heroes that had successful motion pictures this summer. They are surefire winners.

It's that fact that two out of three of the next three films will feature the Green Goliath. The Hulk will be the focus of the upcoming Hulk vs. to be released January 13, 2009 which pits the Hulk against Wolverine and Thor. Fans will also be able to see the Hulk return in Hulk: Planet Hulk in 2010. Sandwich Thor: Tales from Asgard in the middle (just in time for the live action Thor movie) and we have the rest of the eight films!

My question is if the studio is willing to take a risk with their films so that we can see some of the more obscure characters? The Hulk will be a featured character in five out of eight of these movies. Do we really want to see another Hulk movie? Or would we rather see Cloak & Dagger, Generation X or the Age of Apocalypse? Every movie doesn't have to feature the lesser known characters, but it would be nice to see them take a little risk.

Rumours are that Ultimate Avengers 3, Invincible Iron Man 2 and Captain America will be on the list if the contract is renewed for another eight films.

Thanks to Marvel Animation Age for some (most) of the information for this article.


Chip Chief said...

Don't get me started. This project started of nobly enough with The Ultimate Avengers. But, while I think profits should be considered, it quickly devolved into a cashing in on the live action movie marketing (sans Doc Strange, how did that get the green light?).

I am sure that Iron Man DVD has sold well more on the popularity of the Iron Man movie than on its own merits. As a result, I am sure we can count on a slew of Captain America, Thor, and even more Iron Man (starring in 4 of the 8) tie ins.

I like DCs approach so far. They have hit each of the obvious properties (Supes, Bats, WW, and JL) but have done interesting, albeit varying in quality, titles. Marvel so far has made 3 pilots for Saturday morning TV shows and one so-so sequel (UA2). The versus title, i admit, has me interested and I wouldnt mind a follow up (Hulk v Thing, or Cloak v Dagger :) etc).

As you say they could do Gen X or maybe X-Force or X-Factor, or a good Daredevil, or if they must do Avengers, why not House of M, or an even better idea, The Infinity Gauntlet!

As for DC, I will not scream "success" until I see how they follow up WW. But a GL movie, or adaptations of Kingdome Come or Superman Red Son would be preferable to a Next Justice League.

Sorry for the long comment. Ill shut up now.

Anonymous said...

Hi is there going to be a Saturday morning cartoon of Batman and Superman or Green Lantern. Last year we had the Batman series but it was really filled with DC stars Like Flash and Green Lantern,Superman and other's what is this years Saturday Morning Lineup?

Is the justice league series over for good?

What about Spidey and Iron Man and Thor and Hulk?

Kurtis said...

The only show DC has coming out is Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Justice League is finished and no Green Lantern series is being planned (although he may get a direct-to-dvd movie).

There will be four new Marvel shows on the air in 2009: Spectacular Spider-Man Season Two, Wolverine and the X-Men, Iron Man: Armored Adventures and Black Panther.

Hulk was going to have his own series this year but it is looking like it might be canceled.

You will be able to see the Thor in Hulk vs Thor direct-to-dvd movie.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? You all are nuts. Complaining about the Ultimate Spiderman cartoon? Seriously? That's the only decent Spiderman cartoon to date! It's well animated. It's funny. And, it doesnt alter the villians costumes, like those jerks, Sam Raimi and Joss Whedon. If Marvel TRULY cares about what us TRUE fans want, here's some good advice. 1) Keep making episodes of the "Ultimate Spiderman" cartoon. Don't cancel a good show. 2) Stop making movies around individual XMen characters. Umm...they're boring. No one, with any taste, wants to see a "Magneto" film. 3) Stop making Hulk animated dvds...or "Hulk vs." animated dvds. Hulk is cool...but damn...enough already. Make an animated feature on someone fresh, and untold, like Cloak & Dagger or Daredevil. 4) Stop ruining the Spiderman legend on the big screen! I mean, seriously, how hard is it to make a Spiderman film, without making the villians look stupid? First, Marvel stood by and let Sam Raimi completely defecate on the Green Goblin, turning him into the lovechild between Darth Vader and the Power Rangers. Then, as if that wasn't shameful enough, Stan Lee just stood by and watched Joss Whedon turn Hawkeye into Robin Hood. Why couldn't the Green Goblin have a mask, instead of a helmet? Why couldnt he have the purple jester outfit? Why couldn't the Lizard have a white lab coat, a snout, or...pants?! And why couldn't Jeremy Renner grow up a bit, be mature, and wear a costume and a mask that came close to resembling anything that was Hawkeye? Seriously, folks. Enough is enough.