Posted on Sunday, August 9th, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
The Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier recently told the Los Angeles Times his dream of collaborating on one part of a quadrilogy of Avengers films for Marvel, which would be released over the course of one Summer:
“To work with Joe Johnston and [“Thor” director] Kenneth Branagh and Jon Favreau and make like a triptych. We do four movies. We release them one a month for the summer. Or even every two weeks or three weeks. And the whole summer would be Avengers summer. So we do it the way they make television shows. One story arc but told in installments by different directors. So all of the directors that touch part of the Avengers world would do a part; we could make the movies shorter, maybe less than an hour and a half, and we use the same sets and save Marvel money.
This idea is crazier and more implausible than Mark Millar’s pitch for an 8-hour epic Superman trilogy which ended with Superman being the last man on Earth. This is one of those ideas that clearly couldn’t ever happen, but that isn’t going to stop me from writing about it. How cool would it be to have a summer of superhero films where one bleeds into the next, each separated by only a few weeks or a month of time? Using the same sets, and filming at the same time would be complicated. Even if the films were shorter than normal, an hour and a half, or even an hour, photography would probably take over a year total. You’re essentially making the equivalent of two long movies. But releasing four special effects-heavy superhero films over the course of one summer isn’t very practical. Even a trilogy of films would be tough to pull off.
Lets forget practicality for one minute. Is there an Avengers story big enough to fill four films? Would you pay to see four Avengers movies in one Summer? I would. Hollywood often talks about striking while the iron is still hot. Summit pushed a Twilight sequel into production before they even had a script. A new Saw sequel hits theaters every Halloween. The theory is that the longer you wait between sequels, the more of a chance that moviegoers will grow away from the material, the franchise.
But big blockbuster films often operate on a different release theory all together. More time in between future sequel releases, allows studios to promote the films as cinema events that don’t happen too often. Would four Avengers films in one Summer dilute the event-nature of the superhero team-up, or would it propel and build as each film is released, month by month? It’s an interesting idea, fun to talk about, but it probably isn’t likely to ever happen.