Marvel has had hit or miss success with many of their properties, but they’ve pretty much all had one thing in common; They all have massive budgets. Luckily, the success of films like Spider-man and Iron Man have paid for the flops like Fantastic Four and Hulk. Sure, those films didn’t do awful, but compared to their counterparts, they flopped big time. With a heavy slate that still sees the release of Iron Man 2, and the release of Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel looks to be on its way to even more success. So, why are the focusing on doing some smaller films?
Marvel Studios is currently taking meetings with writers and directors to work on small scale movies based on some of their third tier characters. The movies would cost in the range of 20 to 40 million dollars (very small when we’re talking studio films) and would allow them to take risks with less obvious characters and with interesting talent.
Filmmakers are being offered their pick of characters whose names are only familiar to comic fans. Properties like Dr. Strange, Ka-Zar, Luke Cage, Dazzler and Power Pack are among the many that are being tossed around right now. And the attitude seems to be that Marvel is open to bringing any of their characters to the screen at the right price point.
This is a great strategy. They take a low risk on a third tier character, and have the possibility to see breakout films like Iron Man. Many people forget that Iron Man was not a top tier character when release two years ago, and many people in the industry thought the movie was doomed to flop. If one of these films were to enjoy the $150 million domestic gross that Fantastic Four had in 2005, it would be considered an amazing success.
The only fault I can see is that not many people would want to see a movie about someone like Dazzler. I could definitely see interest in a Doctor Strange movie though. I like seeing high risk projects with new talent both behind the camera and in front as well.