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Monday, June 21, 2010

Marvel to Debut Short Character Films

Not films about Wolverine, or Puck or their other short statured characters, but short films that will debut before their big tent-pole features. Those scoopsters over at Latino Review have it on good information that Marvel might be introducing some of their lesser known characters to movie-goers in short film form, so I put the question to some of the Write Clubbers laying around the clubhouse today:

Who, out of the Marvel 2nd string stable, would you love to see on the big screen in this format?

Write Clubbers? GO!


I want to see Heroes for Hire and Dr. Strange. Over the top martial arts action, maybe do it up 70's style with a grindhouse feel. Dr. Strange should be quiet, understated, yet be a total mindf@#k. They really should experiment with tone with this, think outside the box.

Kurt, did you see this?

Patrick Dempsey wants to play Dr. Strange. So...that's going on.

For my money, I'd love to see a Captain Britain and M1-13 short (big surprise right)? You wouldn't even need much of an intro, just show the team f*cking up monsters and Dracula. It could really be filmed as a horror/fantasy short. They could film the story around him finding Excalibur, and include fun team-based stuff like the Black Knight feeling tormented by the Ebony Blade's blood lust. Plus, the Mindless Ones would be really easy monsters to film. Anything with the John Lennon Skrull and Pete Wisdom would make me happy enough. There's a buddy-cop team for the ages.

I know that Vampires are overdone by this time, but that scene in "Vampire State" where Dracula launches vampires at Britain from the goddammed moon is just too good. Plus you could throw some Blade action in there as a tease for the planned Blade reboot. That being said, I really think the Mindless Ones would make for a creepier and more ambitious short.

After the double debacle of X3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I think ol' Hugh Jackman should be limited to ten minute shorts, and they should have no dialogue and be brutal, R-rated affairs. This, of course, will never happen, because Marvel/Disney will never make an R-rated anything.

These little films will only help the hype machine, but I think the best way for Marvel to handle them is to make them be crossovers with appearances by the big boys, like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Edward Norton. Remember, not everyone who saw Iron Man has read the Armor Wars and knows why Tony is such a dick to Hawkeye sometimes, and seeing Robert Downey Jr. will help newbies understand that this is a big, shared universe, and I think that's the whole point. Get 'em in for Iron Man, get them to come back for Black Panther.

This project does raise a number of questions, like, since these are "secondary" characters, and they are limited to ten minutes each, what kind of actors will Marvel get for these characters? I imagine they'll be of higher caliber than a SyFy original movie, but who knows (Ben Affleck Matt Murdock, I'm lookin' at you).

Ugh, I'm still pissed about that one.

I think this is actually a pretty great idea. If we get a nasty, violent little Moon Knight short out of it I'll be happy.

PLUS that huge Iron Man audience who would have never seen Khonshu's Avenger will be clued into one of the strangers characters in the MU. Also short films aren't restricted the way a huge 3 hour epic summer blockbuster is, you don't need character arcs, you don't need to pay off on plot threads, for the most part you just throw a bunch of provocative images and ideas at people and they're hooked.

I also don't think they should limit themselves to live action. Doctor Strange might come out kinda silly as a dude in a blue tunic and a porn-stache, but if it's a bad-ass animated short you can do a ton of mystical mind-blowing insanity that will make total sense (on drugs)!

I certainly think that any movement into furthering this Marvel Movie Universe is a cool idea, I'm just not sold on this 10 minute mini-movie tacked on to the bigger film. After 20 minutes or so of trailers I don't wanna sit through another 10 minute film since I came to just see Thor.

I believe a better avenue would be a web series. Hosted on a new website, linked to youtube, twitter, FB and anywhere else. A sort of mini-movie universe that exists solely to promote the lesser knowns. It would be an easy catalogue to build and promote a fledgling audience. Then package it per series ender and sell on DVD! WHAK! Marketing! Hosting a web series website would also allow for additional material to help get the word out on these minor characters. Production photos, hero diaries, mini games, diggity do....

I don't really care who gets a 10 minute mini spot or not, though, I guess I would like to see the absurdity of fishscale briefs brought to the big screen (Namor).

I suppose an argument would be lack of big monetary gain. But this is Marvel/Disney. They have shit-load of money and would make a profit on DVD sales and advertising.

My first thought was how much better comic books might be suited to short film anyway, since they tend to be episodic in nature. When most people read a comic book, they are starting the middle somewhere, enjoying a segment of a story without having to know what happened before or comes after. The short films should definitely not try to start at the beginning and cover origins or anything, just drop us in the action.

My second thought was that it also might be a fun way to explore the Marvel alternate universes that probably don't need a full length movie. A Marvel Noir short anybody?


Well, that's the chatter around the Clubhouse. What do you guys think? Who would you like to see star in their own 10-minute short film?


  1. Screw it. I want to see THAT Namor in a 10-minute film about him buying groceries and trying to hail a cab.

  2. Ditto. There should be conspicuously displayed seafood in his grocery bag.

  3. Can we talk about the multi-faceted "fishpurse" he's carrying?

    P.S. Nice ears, asshole.

  4. It doesn't seem very sea-friendly, does it?

  5. I like his expression; it's like he just opened his front door, and you're the one imposing on him.

    And that trident is FIERCE.

  6. I think Rick's got the right idea. Keep it online, webseries, low(er)-budget. I mean, look what these guys are doing with Mercury Men: http://www.mercuryseries.com/

    Patrick Dempsey as Doc Strange? Meh, I prefer House.

    That Namor's body...is weird. His thighs...