A summary of cinematic universes: the future of Hollywood

Rami Chaudhry & David Han, A&E Editor, Staff Writer

Less than a decade ago, the idea of a “Cinematic Universe” was just a comic book nerd’s fantasy. After a little film called Iron Man was released in 2008, those dreams became reality.

Superhero films have been getting theatrical releases ever since Adam West donned the cape and cowl of Batman in 1966. Marvel was not bringing anything new to the table with Iron Man. They were, however, beginning phase one of a three phase release cycle of action-packed comic book films.

Iron Man was followed by The Incredible  Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America. In 2012, four years of filmmaking came together with The Avengers: an awe inspiring superhero film starring all four comic book characters. Clearly, these films were not just trilogies or direct sequels. These films were all connected through intertwining characters, plotlines, and villains.

Ever since Tony Stark built Mark 1 of his Iron suit, Marvel has grown in popularity and is one of the highest-grossing film franchises in America. Their recent releases included Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. The former two were some of the highest-grossing films of 2014, and the latter is projected to shatter records.

Studios like DC and Sony have felt the pressures of Marvel, and have given into building their own cinematic universes. DC is already in the midst of one, with 2013’s Man of Steel and the hotly anticipated Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Sony, however, has recently announced  a cinematic universe similar to Marvel and DC. What well-known property are they calling upon?

A Ghostbusters sequel has been endlessly rumored since the release of Ghostbusters II in 1989. A male-led sequel has finally been made official, with rumors swarming that Channing Tatum might star in it. The directors of this new movie are going to be Joe and Anthony Russo, who are famous for directing Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Community. In addition, Channing Tatum, who was famous for being in multiple movies including 21 and 22 Jump Street, will take part in producing the new Ghostbusters and might even act in the new movie.

Before the news about the Ghostbusters movie featuring an all-male cast, there was an official announcement that an all-female cast for the Ghostbusters film was already being planned for 2016 and officially stars Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. This new movie will be directed, not surprisingly, by Paul Feig who was the director of Bridesmaids. Sony will produce these new movies in an attempt to build their own “cinematic universe” with the newly-founded “Ghost Corps” company.

It is a no brainer for a struggling studio like Sony to get on the lucrative cinematic universe boat. Ghostbusters is a universally adored film franchise, and as long as you have a well-known property to work with, the films will make it big at the box office.

A Ghostbusters Cinematic Universe sounds great on the surface. However, the message Sony has sent other studios may ruin the once epic concept of a network of interconnected films.

On March 27, Paramount Pictures announced that a Transformers cinematic universe was in the works, with various directors and screenwriters already on board for the project. Moviegoers went crazy on social media, since Transformer films have never been up to par with Marvel and DC films. In fact, the Michael Bay movies have been the laughing stock of big budget cinema ever since its release in 2006.  What people really do not want is an entire universe of these mind-numbing movies.

From Ghostbusters to The Avengers, from Transformers to The Justice League, cinematic universes are now the norm in Hollywood filmmaking. Most studios will make money off of their multiple movie release schedules, and many of these films will be deserving of such a generous helping of release dates. Will all of these movies deserve the amount of money they make? Probably not. Regardless, Transformers spin-offs and new Ghostbusters team-ups are inevitable.