They’ve just recently recovered from their last misstep, when they forced Mike Pecci’s Punisher tribute The Dead Can’t Be Distracted to shut its doors on production, for which they received a lot of negative press (we may have stirred that bee hive a bit).
Marvel’s been so incredibly successful over the past few years, wooing the usually wrathful fanboys and fangirls with their carefully crafted humorous cinema, but every time they push the little guys around, the House of Ideas flirts with disaster. How soon until we look at Marvel Studios co-president Kevin Feige with disdain, casting him in the same pool as other meddling Hollywood evil-doers like Jon Peters (that dude who wanted to put a giant Spider in Kevin Smith’s failed Superman Lives script)?
Before I delve to far into my rant, here’s some screengrabs from Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness fan film, which we managed to snap before the video was removed from Youtube:
And don’t get it twisted fanboys and fangirls, I completely understand Marvel’s predicament. These ‘fan films’ have broken the mold of traditionally low quality films. Instead of the blankets-to-capes, backyard movies of old, we’re now treated to fan flicks produced by actual film creators: professional stuntmen, professional directors, professional actors, professional effects.
The quality of these fan films even rival some of Marvel’s own projects (ahem, Agents of SHIELD, I’m looking at you). So to avoid brand confusion, how else should Marvel respond? Sure, requesting the removal of a passionate fan project sucks (and I’m sure the creators shed a manly tear or two), but Marvel wants to ensure that their potential audience isn’t confused about their brands. After all, these characters BELONG to them. Even though I’m a pitchfork carrying member of the Fanboy Alliance, and I’m pretty damn pissed about the crusade against fan films, I’ve gotta respect Marvel for executing a brilliant cinematic universe. And whether we want to admit it or not, these high quality fan films threaten its stability.
Also, I should probably point out that these fan films aren’t simply passion projects. As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve moved far past the point of creating silly punch-em-ups in our parents’ backyards… these are straight up Hollywood productions created by professional film makers. I’d be willing to wager that they’re less about ‘passion’, and more about showcasing their talents.
Thanks to our friend The Comic Book Jerk for informing us
@Marvel how many FAN FILMS are you going to remove? The Fan Film “Marvel Zombies vs Army Of Darkness” Didn’t do anything to you.
— comicbookjerk (@Comicbookjerk) November 27, 2013