Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Crossover films?

Lately here at CMS HQ we've been discussing what one media type has to offer over another media type, or what makes one type of media better than another for different types of stories (or, in my case, for different chapters of a single story). One characteristic of comics that doesn't seem to be appearing in other media is the crossover event, like this summer's 52 from DC or Civil War from Marvel. In a crossover event, some big happening impacts the storylines for multiple books, and characters from one book often appear in other books – hence the "crossover" moniker. Aside from the occasional publicity stunt (like when Dr. Ross and Dr. Green from ER showed up once in Friends, for example), this isn't something that you see a whole lot in other media.

Now, however, Marvel may be bringing this concept to the big screen. According to Cinematical, the next year-and-some-change will see film versions of Iron Man, Captain America, Ant Man, a new The Incredible Hulk, Black Panther and Thor. The geeks among us will note that this lineup reflects the majority of the superteam The Avengers (minus maybe Hawkeye, Wasp and Vision). Cinematical has mused about this before, but the idea of one big uber-movie was blocked largely by the film rights for the different franchises being in different hands. However, now that Marvel's handling more of its own IP rights, an Avengers movie is looking more likely. It's vaguely possible that some studios will team up for crossover films (Universal would have to team up with Fox for a Hulk vs. Wolverine movie for instance), but that may be the only way to pay for the requisite actors' fees. Can you imagine the cost of an Avengers vs. X-Men film?

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out from a narrative structure. What if the studio opted to release each of the individual films in the summer of 2007, each one planting clues to some bigger story arc, and then feature a trilogy of Avengers films in the summer of 2008? This is likely too ambitious a concept right now, but man, wouldn't that just be an impressive piece of work?