The Avengers movie will be coming to theaters in May 2012. A lot is riding on this movie as it will determine the future of Marvel Studios and the direction they take in adapting their characters. Last week Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment, said Marvel has decided not to go the team route with their superhero movies. Yet, Marvel Studios is banking everything on a team movie; The Avengers in 2012. Once that movie rebuts, what's left? I have some good news for you.
== TEASER ==
Paul Gitter, President of Consumer Products recently spoke with Advertising Age about Marvel's plans. He says "Avengers Assemble" logos and icons will be taking prominent positions on different products and packaging.
The big play here is that Marvel is really looking at our films more as brands and less as films. The goal here is to become more of a household name similar to Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. We want Marvel to take a much greater position in the minds of the consumer when they are thinking about our properties.
That might sound like the market will be flooded with random Marvel products. Hopefully it will be done in a tasteful way and not simply annoy everyone into not wanting to see the movie. The more attention Marvel can get, especially in reaching those millions of movie-goers that don't read comics, the more successful the movie and the future of Marvel & superhero movies will be.
What makes this marketing blitz interesting is Gitter alludes to "a plan in development" that will hit in 2017. Obviously the success of The Avengers will determine how intense these plans could get. What could they do to top the momentum they're already building with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Avengers? Will Marvel Studios continue with the existing characters by making Iron Man 3 and other spin-off/sequels? Will we see more focus on other "brands" such as Black Widow, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange? Perhaps the stage will be set up to take on an ambitious project such as Civil War.
The problem with thinking about 2017 is it is seven years away. As great as all the current actors are, will they still want to do the roles and would we still want to see them in those roles? Comic characters don't really age. Sure Hollywood has some tricks to slow down the aging process among actors but I feel like we'll see some recasting if they continue with these core characters. Shouldn't be a problem since we're already seeing so many different Hulks, right? Either way, I think it's great (even if it's an obvious move) that Marvel is indeed looking beyond The Avengers. Obviously comic book movies have never been better and I just hope that this fun won't end any time soon.
What would you like to see after The Avengers comes out? What could and should Marvel Studios do to keep the momentum going?