Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Disney: Bringing The Franchises We Love To Heel

Star Wars canon had become unbearably bloated. We need look no further than Jaxxon for a prime example of said bloat (even if he was a very early one!). 

I loved the Expanded Universe. But the Galaxy had become too full and too busy. There was little space left for a fresh perspective. At least in Star Wars you could go out of the original timeframe to create new epics like the Star Wars: Legacy comics. Still, Disney's decision to cut the fat and do away with anything outside the movies and Clone Wars will do for Star Wars what a reboot has done for Star Trek: create exciting new possibilities for stories (and money making opportunities for Disney too, I'm not forgetting that... everyone wins!). 

And now it would seem the same "refresher" is coming to the Marvel Universe. With Secret Wars Disney is "ending the Marvel Universe". Again, like with Star Wars, it doesn't appear to be a "reboot". Instead it looks like a re-jigging of overly complicated canon (in this case Marvel's thousands of different realities) into a shape that better pleases the investors (and hopefully new fans too). 

With today's major announcement that Marvel will get more oversight of Sony's Spider-Man franchise (and have it form a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe) I think it likely the same clear-cut vision is focussing policy there too. Given Marvel's complex fictional universe and its almost as complex licensing agreements in real life, Disney is taking it slow but I think it is getting on with the job of cleaning house in order to allow fresh ideas to thrive. You have to prune the weeds after all before something new can grow. 

I've got two predictions: 

1) Fox will be under pressure to follow Sony's lead and bring the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That'd need to happen after X-Men: Apocalypse and the new Fantastic Four movie but as long as Fantastic Four's movie doesn't contradict anything in the MCU and once X-Men: Apocalypse closes off the second X-Men trilogy it could be easily achieved. 

2) The Marvel Universe will be brought ever closer in line with the MCU and I think there will be a new "Ultimate" like line of comics that exist within that universe. 

All this tidying up suits me fine. I look forward to the next set of adventures...