Chapter 4 : Captains America

Flanagan, MJ ORCID: 2016, 'Chapter 4 : Captains America' , in: The Marvel Studios Phenomenon: Inside a Transmedia Universe , Bloomsbury Academic, New York and London, pp. 97-118.

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Marvel Studios has provided some of the biggest worldwide cinematic hits of the last eight years, from 'Iron Man' (2008) to the record-breaking 'The Avengers' (2012) and beyond. Having announced plans to extend its production of connected texts across various media platforms until at least 2028, with solid releases set until 2020, the new aesthetic patterns brought about by Marvel’s ‘shared’ media universe demand analysis and understanding. A different and dynamic business structure was a prerequisite to this success. Marvel Studios has evolved from a conventional licensor of intellectual property, to a production entity able to house Marvel’s connected ‘cinematic universe’ (known as the ‘MCU’). In asking what makes this project different from norms of media franchising that draw cynical responses and accusations of bottom-line driven artistic sterility, the ‘shared universe’ principle itself is proposed as the major point of difference. Marvel Studios thus seems to contradict post-classical Hollywood fragmentation, ‘vertical disintegration’ and a culture of one-off deals. PR discourses on behalf of the studio amplify this notion, constructing a ‘heroic narrative’ which positions Marvel as central to efforts to resurrect the notion of the creative movie studio. 'The Marvel Studios Phenomenon' evaluates the studio’s identity, as well as its status within the structures of parent Disney. With a combined approach of textual and industrial analysis, Marvel Studios is appraised on its capacity to build a transmedia story universe that meets both commercial and artistic criteria, satisfying niche fan communities, financially invested parties and popular audiences alike.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
ISBN: 9781501311857
Related URLs:
Depositing User: MJ Flanagan
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2017 08:58
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:35

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