The superhero industry is experiencing a slowdown in its audience. To overcome this problem, the producers have put on the table a risky and striking idea: recreate a crossover between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe through a film or television adaptation.
This collaboration between the franchises would allow for the integration of various superheroes that would, in theory, collide with each other. While this idea is appealing, there are several questions that need to be answered in order to bring a project of this magnitude to fruition.
The words of James Gunn, recently in charge of the creative side of the DC Extended Universe, hint at an openness to this possibility. “I'm sure it's more likely now that I'm in charge of DC. Who knows? But it won't happen for many years. I think we need to establish what we do in DC first. I would be lying if I said we haven't discussed it. But all the discussions have been very, very light and fun.” However, aesthetics, narrative quality and viewer fatigue are all complexities to consider.
The aesthetic issue is paramount because each franchise has its own style, its own aesthetic that fans recognize and appreciate. How then to merge the two franchises without one being affected by the other? In addition, the DC Extended Universe, which is in the midst of rebuilding, has yet to find actors to play iconic heroes such as Superman and Batman, and will have to establish its own narrative. As for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it has been criticized for its repetitive narrative formula that needs to evolve into more maturity and depth.
Finally, viewers have expressed weariness with a high volume of productions that lack narrative depth. Both franchises will have to take this into account in an attempt to offer more mature and complex stories.
A Marvel/DC crossover is a tantalizing idea, but one that won't come to fruition without a good deal of thought. The DC Extended Universe needs to present itself as a solid story, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs to step up in terms of maturity and narrative depth. If that happens, the crossover could be a great success.
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