I’m not going to defend Marvel. Instead, I’m going to say this to hopefully (long-shot here) stop other studios from endlessly trying to make their own cinematic universes. Here is why they will always fail.
In essence, it comes down to cinematic diversity. Not every movie in the MCU takes place on Earth, not every movie takes place in modern times, and not every movie is about someone gaining superpowers. Look at each franchise within the MCU…
- Iron Man: The most grounded superhero and the de facto main character of the franchise. His movies take place on Earth, in modern times, in real-life places. His powers are based on his genius and ambition.
- Captain America: The MCU’s spy thriller franchise. Mostly realistic action with characters who have mostly-realistic powers.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: The MCU equivalent of Star Wars. Takes place all over the galaxy with a large variety of aliens and worlds.
- Black Panther: A superhuman who comes from a nation within Africa. Little emphasis on superpowers in general and is mostly about the events that nation faces.
- Ant-Man: A huge waste of time.
- Thor: A god, who came from a different realm where people receive their powers through mysticism.
- Hulk: (Who will never have a solo movie again) A man who doesn’t have powers, but rather has a condition he can’t really control.
See? Diversity. Not all the same, yet similar. It’s a universe. They branch out to differing genres, different scales, etc. Other film universes don’t have this and therefore will always fail.
You may think DC could do this too, if they wanted. That is true, but their biggest problem is the fact that Marvel did it first. Nobody wants DC to make 20+ superhero movies because we already have those.
There is also the fact that these are comic book movies. They’re not based in reality, and they’re a genre that people of every age can enjoy. You can’t make a cinematic universe (of equal popularity, or the same number of movies) based in horror, or high fantasy, or regular drama. Not only can the comic book medium have a greater interconnected universe, but they kind of need to be, inherently. No other medium can. I mean, they can try, but it will never be nearly as effective.
So, face it DC. Marvel beat you to the punch.
Now, there is a possible exception to this. I will be devoting an entire other article to talking about it. I will release that next.