Monday, July 16, 2012

Marvel Studios: Guardians of the Galaxy

Okay, I've got to admit, I'm a little leery about the marketability of this one...  Marvel Studios announced recently, and then pushed at Comic-Con, they would be making a movie of their Guardians of the Galaxy property.

The what?  Unless you're a major Comic Nerd (and I say that lovingly...) you probably never heard of this team.  That's a potentially brilliant move on Marvel's part.  There's no baggage -- just pure storytelling possibility.  They are banking totally on the brand recognition they've built during what they call "Phase 1" which consisted of Iron Man through The Avengers.  There is no doubt in my mind that people will go see this movie.

But the risk is that the movie is bad.  I mean horribly bad.  It stars a Raccoon for Odin's sake...  But Marvel has made five hits (I'm not counting The Incredible Hulk) that a.) pleased the geeks, and b.) convinced non-fans to put their butts in the seats.  If it is bad, people will probably forgive them.  Especially if Iron Man 3 is satisfying.  (Which is different from saying it's "good" though not necessarily exclusive.)

But I don't think it will be bad.  I think it will be something new that people haven't seen before.  How often do we get that in a movie these days?  New, certainly, but wrapped in the warm familiarity of a Disney/Marvel brand.  Besides, they've made five hits.  Consider the fan buzz about Friday's release of The Dark Knight Rises:

"But what if it's bad?"
"What?  Are you kidding?  This is Christopher Nolan!"
"But it's the third in a trilogy...  What if it's bad?"
"Have you been watching Christopher Nolan's movies?  Name a bad one."
"But what if it's bad?"
"Then I'll be disappointed and wait anxiously for the next Christopher Nolan movie."

I don't think Marvel will make a bad Guardians of the Galaxy movie; this is a calculated move on their part and essential to Phase 2.  (BTW, do you hear geeks grousing too much now about The Incredible Hulk???  No?  Point made: fans get over a miss, especially if the story recovers.)  I think they know what they're doing.

And I remember the Rocket Raccoon mini-series back in the '80's.  It was pretty good and he was a better character than you might think.

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