What’s next for Marvel after The Avengers? That’s the big question for me; the studio has to begin planning their post-2012 movies, but without knowing if Captain America, Thor or The Avengers work they can’t really do much in that corner of the shared universe. So they have to start looking towards other characters.
Ant-Man is one of those characters, and it’s possible that once he’s all wrapped up with Scott Pilgrim vs the World Edgar Wright will turn his attention to that. Another property that Marvel is moving on is The Runaways, perhaps the last great original series to come from a major publisher*. The concept is great and simple – a group of teens discover their parents are supervillains and band together to deal with the evil.
The pitch for the movie is ‘The Breakfast Club with superheroes,’ and some people on my Twitter feed are blanching at that, but I think it’s perfect. Each kid represents a different aspect of the comic book world, with origins ranging from being aliens to being mad scientists to being mutants to being from the future to simply being criminal kingpins. Like The Breakfast Club it’s the differences between these archetypes, along with the differences between the characters – a jock, a nerd, a beauty queen, a brain, a young kid – that makes The Runaways feel so special.
Marvel is in talks with Peter Sollett, who directed Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, to helm the movie. I’m not that fond of Nick and Norah - it’s just so slack – but I like that this is the world to which Marvel is looking. I’m actually surprised that Joss Whedon, who wrote The Runaways for a while, isn’t the guy they’re talking with.
This could be the first film Marvel Studios makes at Disney (the films up to The Avengers are at Paramount), so it’ll be interesting to see how, if at all, that new relationship impacts the process. If anything, a teen-oriented movie is a great first choice for this new partnership.
* by original I mean more or less completely invented from the ground up, not a rehashing or rebooting or reworking of a previous character or idea. The reason for this? Creators don’t get to own their creations at the Big Two, so why bother spending a lot of time coming up with something wholly original that will only benefit a corporation?