What a difference a week makes…

Just seven days ago, the clip below was unveiled to much anticipation. It was the first raindrop of a storm that has been gathering since May 5th of 2012. Back then – one day after the film got its North American premiere – we had already begun looking at what was to come. We wanted more Ruffalo, a lot more Loki, more schawarma, more Whedon, more, more more. The 2+ years from that moment to now have been quite good to us, with every entry in the series working beautifully with what came before and after…give or take a THOR 2.

Even though we already knew a little bit of what would come after, getting this first taste of a dessert that’s been baking for so long seemed especially sweet.

That brings us to yesterday…when Marvel showed their hand on Phase Three.

Just one week after giving us a forkful of that sweet confectionery, Marvel  detailed a cavity-inducing plan to hit us with eight films through the next five years. Ten titles (three of which we already knew about), five completely new properties, now writers, no directors, few stars, and two Avengers films to close it out*.

I don’t know about you, but reading all of this news in one fell swoop made me feel…sick.

I’ve never been one to complain about “the amount of comic book films we are getting”, and I’m not about to start now. To me, a superhero being the inspiration for an action film is no different than the soldiers/mercenaries that were the inspiration for such things in the 80’s and 90’s, or likewise the wizards and mythical creatures that made up most of the first decade of this century. Comic books are a largely unmined source, and the filmmaking technology that has been engineered in recent years finally allows us to bring them to life properly. So if Hollywood wants to dig, let ’em dig. Let ’em dig until the mine is dry.

No, what sits uncomfortably with me is the way much of this information arrived in one big drop – and to be fair, this moment was made ten times worse by Warner Brothers pulling the same trick just two weeks ago. At the time, I was willing to turn a blind eye to Warner’s announcement because it was DC’s first full foray into a cinematic world. But no longer.

Warner/DC at least is taking on a huge risk. They haven’t had a non-Nolan-helmed hit in a long time, and the project currently filming that will start this train down the track is something that everybody is having a field day second-guessing. So while their info-dump is likewise uneasy, it gets the same benefit of the doubt I gave Marvel in the summer of 2008 when they revealed their plans for four more films as their first two became hits.

Marvel, meanwhile, are slowly becoming the kid in the classroom that points at every shiny thing and says “that’s mine”. They are my Italian in-laws who don’t believe in the term “I’m full”. The are the DJ at the club ramping up the music for an absurdly long time, when all that everybody dancing wants them to do is get on with it and drop the fucking beat.

As yesterday’s news sank in, I felt gross. I felt as though someone just told me that tomorrow night we’d be hitting ten different diners to sample ten different cheeseburgers. Worse, I felt like somebody was looking six years into the future and saying “Nope, nothing’s possibly going to change that could affect something this audacious!”…when in reality we seem to be living in more and more uncertain times by the minute. Shit, for all I know, showings of INFINITY WAR pt 2 might be postponed due to lights out orders.

But don’t tell Marvel that. In their eyes, “everything is awesome” and there is no such thing as too much of a good thing.

Really, at the end of yesterday’s announcement, Kevin Feige could have closed his presentation by saying “On behalf of The Walt Disney Corporation, and everybody at Marvel Studios, we’d like to thank each and every one of you for your $130”

So yeah, here’s the AGE OF ULTRON trailer. I dearly wish I’d posted it last week; things seemed so much happier then…