Before the weekend was out on the Guardians of the Galaxy’s successful box office debut, Marvel Studios released some news the size of an oak tree. Or, perhaps a Groot. The reasoning is also likely to enrage DC fans. Marvel’s Phase 3 will include ‘I am Groot,’ to be released in the summer of 2017, which all but guarantees that the plant from Planet X gets his day in the sun before “Justice League.”
“We are Groot!” Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige said at a press conference late Saturday. “It’s a go. It’s happening. I know a lot of people are wondering how we’re going to pull this off, but I assure you that ‘I am Groot’ has an amazing creative team behind it. The screenplay is great and we’re close to sealing the deal with a director who I’m sure will knock it out of the ballpark.”
The Hollywood Reporter reached out to ‘Man of Steel’ producer Wesley Coller for a response and was told that a reply would be forthcoming. Entertainment Weekly likewise said that calls to DC’s front office were not returned.
DC’s silence, in many ways, speaks louder than words. ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is scheduled to be released May 6, 2016, which would put Marvel Studios in a position to have ‘I am Groot’ in theaters before fans ever get a chance to see an official Justice League movie. While all comic fans can rejoice at the sheer volume of superhero films being made, it’s sure to inflame the rivalry between the two industry giants.
In a recent article with the Belfast Telegraph, actor Vin Diesel said that playing Groot was a challenge for him as an actor, due to the character’s limited vocabulary. When asked about the ‘I am Groot’ movie by the Los Angeles Times, he said “I love the character. He’s challenging, but it’s worth every second. The world fell in love with Groot this weekend because he’s innocent and pure and good. I consider it an honor to be able to bring this character to life in his very own movie.”
Besides DC fans, diversity activists voiced “serious concern” with Marvel’s decision.
“I…I can not get behind this,” said Eileen Einhorn, a Gender Studies major at U.C. Berkeley. “It’s troublesome that although Vin Diesel is not white that his true nature must be hidden behind tree bark. I’m worried that Groot’s limited vocabulary sends a coded racial message about the mental acuity of minorities and, worst of all…Groot is a man. Until Black Widow gets her own movie I urge anyone who loves diversity to boycott ‘I am Groot.'”
When asked during his press conference if Rocket Raccoon would be getting his own movie, Feige just smiled and said, “Phase 4 may have some surprises to your liking. That’s all I’ll say right now. Sometimes I feel as if all of this isn’t real. Like it’s satire. The fans have been good to us. As long as they keep seeing Marvel movies, we’ll keep making them.”
Related: Guardians of the Galaxy: Marvel gets its heroic misfits right on the first try
Ha! Great satire, man. I especially got a kick of the Gender Studies major objecting to Groot’s speech patterns. I can actually see someone like that making such a statement.
Thanks, Carl! When I woke up this morning I thought about that, and then my brother sent me a similar email. I took it as a sign to just fire away with a little bit of satire. 🙂
The feminist’s decision to boycott all Marvel movies until a Black Widow movie is released also sounds like something a certain diversity-obsessed commenter/blogger said recently, too.
I do think it’s funny that the Guardians of the Galaxy, a group of characters who were completely unknown to the general public, got a movie before the Justice League and it’s only because of Marvel’s success with their cinematic universe that DC is finally getting their own off the ground.
I give Marvel massive kudos for having the long-term vision to create one cinematic universe for these characters, and then finding a way to see it through to completion. It’s a hard enough task just to get a single movie franchise off the ground, let alone find a way to juggle multiple franchises and tie them all together into a relatively seamless whole. Two box office bombs early on in the process could have essentially stopped the plan in its tracks, but Marvel Studios took its time (more or less), hired the right people and found a way to keep the ball rolling. It really is an impressive run.
“As long as they keep seeing Marvel movies, we’ll keep making them.”
There is a grain of truth to this, actually. How long can MS keep the train going – will we see an Avengers 4? Iron Man 5? Guardians of the Galaxy 2? Avengers 6? Surely things will get stale at some point or another.
The one thing that could rub salt in DC’s wound is if we see an independent comic get a blockbuster movie – maybe Locke and Key or Bloodstrike. (I don’t know if those would make good films.)
“Surely things will get stale at some point or another.”
Or you realized that they already were by the time of Iron Man two’s second half and the first Thor movie, got a fresh boost in the arm with The Avengers, and have been slumming it a delayed, but nonetheless regressive pace thanks to the goodness of Cap 2 until Avengers 2 can come along to give another shot in the arm to the universe.
Marvel Studios’s hubris may be unlimited, but their success at the box office will not be, though it will likely set a precedent for other cinematic universes. My guess is that their arrogance will come back to bite them when they make another Howard the Duck Film or, God help you, another Elektra movie. Then again, they didn’t have anything to do with the Catwoman movie, and I’m not sure which one was worse. Elektra was more well put together… barely, but quite boring and forgettable, while Catwoman was far more stupider yet more entertaining in how awful it was.
“The one thing that could rub salt in DC’s wound is if we see an independent comic get a blockbuster movie – maybe Locke and Key or Bloodstrike. (I don’t know if those would make good films.)”
Didn’t they already have two good Hellboy movies? Also, I think what would REALLY rub salt in the wounds would be if Image comics actually had a blockbuster with one of their dozens of generic ‘Blood and Guns’ type characters that aren’t Spawn, though he admittedly is a lot cooler and actually has something resembling a personality and back story.