"Guardians of the Galaxy" footage, copyright MARVEL STUDIOS and ABC STUDIOS

"Marvel Studios: Assembling A Universe" Recap

"Avengers: Age of Ultron" concept art, Copyright MARVEL STUDIOS

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” concept art, Copyright MARVEL STUDIOS

If there’s one thing the Marvel Studios: Assembling A Universe special did last night, it was make me want to marathon all of the Marvel movies.

Last night, ABC aired a special all about Marvel Studios instead of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is down to its last handful of episodes for this season. Since it hasn’t been renewed just yet, fans wait with bated breath and hope these aren’t the last episodes we’ll ever get, especially with the turnaround the last five episodes have taken.

Let’s be honest, we know how these specials tend to go. The previews hype them up in hopes that people will tune in to see brand new footage for upcoming Marvel movies. In actuality, we know not to expect much. All the new footage came in the last twelve minutes of the special (and I’m not counting new things with Captain America: The Winter Soldier because it comes out in two weeks).

Concept art for the Scarlet Witch in "Avengers: Age of Ultron," copyright MARVEL STUDIOS

Concept art for the Scarlet Witch in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” copyright MARVEL STUDIOS

Assembling A Universe starts at the beginning with the announcement of Iron Man, the casting of Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc. and all of the hype around it. Yes, there was a lot of self-pats on the back with the huge risk Marvel took and how it literally exploded into something none of them could have ever imagined. There wasn’t a lot of focus on The Incredible Hulk (I don’t recall them ever actually showing Ed Norton on-screen), though they made mention of the Tony Stark cameo.

The success of Iron Man led them to wonder what other characters they could do this with. The Hulk. Thor. Captain America. And hey–all these characters just happen to be in the Avengers. That’d be a cool movie!

The special focused a lot on the lead-up to The Avengers and how they managed to pull it off. With Nick Fury popping up for a few seconds in every movie (or as someone put it, “Sam Jackson’s been cool for about two minutes and then leaves…”), we get continuity.

Clark Gregg and I need to be best friends. He talked about working on Iron Man 2 and Coulson having the line about going to New Mexico and asking someone what’s in New Mexico, with the producers saying, “Oh! Thor’s in New Mexico! Did no one tell you?! You’re gonna be in Thor!” He makes mention of getting the call to be in The Avengers with all the top-notch, top-billed cast, saying, “Yeah, Agent Coulson is gonna pop in and hand someone a slurppee…”

Then they touched on the love of Agent Coulson by fans and how that brought about his resurrection. There wasn’t much focus on the future of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but they touched on the smaller screen, smaller focus of the stories. Commercials for the next few episodes make it look like everything’s coming to a huge, explosive climax. We’ve already guessed that it’s going to set up The Winter Soldier and also focus on the outcome at the end of the movie (sounds like that’s why it’s taken so long to get the show ramped up because they don’t want to spoil anything).

What We Found Out: This special pretty much cemented the rumors I’ve read around the internet. The Winter Soldier very solidly sets up for Age of Ultron, much like the first Captain America set up for the first Avengers movie. And by the looks of the previews, we already guessed this.

They made mention of the different genres in each of the films. Yes, they are all blockbusters and yes they all focus on superheroes. But Age of Ultron is more grown up than the first Avengers film, scarier, funkier, but still with the same solid characters we know. The Winter Soldier is a political thriller. Guardians of the Galaxy is nothing but an action/adventure sci-fi.

And it’s great.

Concept art for "Ant Man," copyright MARVEL STUDIOS

Concept art for “Ant Man,” copyright MARVEL STUDIOS

We get a lot of concept art for upcoming movies. Scarlet Witch from Age of Ultron is further up on this page. They showed some of the test footage that’s been leaked for Ant Man.

Joss Whedon describes Age of Ultron as, “Can the paradigm sustain after the shawarma?”

Chris Evans discussed the dynamic between Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff in The Winter Soldier. After the events from The Avengers, it’s obvious that they have built up a rapport. “Natasha has questionable morality. And he’s a Boy Scout,” Chris Evans said.

Overall, the special made you feel good about being obsessed with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They make their future look bright and make us think that they’ll never stop.

Things I Probably Missed Covering: The Marvel One-Shot movies (I’ve only seen the most recent one and I feel like I’m failing at life now). More comments on the success of Iron Man.  The impact of Comic-Con. The amount of Tom Hiddleston on my TV last night (quite a bit, but not enough). I don’t even want to start on the “hate to love but love to hate Loki” line that one lady said because that’s just stupid–everyone loves him. When will Clark Gregg be back in Marvel movies? The lack of Rocket Raccoon footage for Guardians of the Galaxy.

No, seriously. I’m trying to find a weekend where I can marathon all of the Marvel movies. I’ll keep you posted.

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