MCU And DCEU Pioneers Who Shaped A Decade Of Cinema

Joseph Gioeli Joseph Gioeli
Expert Contributor
July 22nd, 2017

ComiConverse Expert Contributor focusing on film and television.

MCU And DCEU Pioneers Who Shaped A Decade Of Cinema
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When thinking of the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes, many people associate a few key pioneers with their success. Whether it be an actor, director, or a top executive within the production company, each of these people have had a very integral part in the commencement and success of these universes. ComiConverse contributor, Joseph Gioeli, analyzes how these important individuals improved and expanded their respective universes.  

MCU And DCEU Pioneers Who Shaped A Decade Of Cinema

MCU

When the MCU is mentioned, often it is immediately associated with one of it's first pioneers, Robert Downey Jr. and his iconic role as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Downey Jr. has brought this genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist to life on nearly 10 different occasions over almost a decade of films. His portrayal of Tony Stark was almost  universally loved when he debuted in 2008, and is still popular to this day. In 2008, with the directorial guidance of Jon Favreau, Iron Man was brought to the silver screen and the MCU was born. RDJ’s Stark has been the centerpiece of the MCU since 2008, but after the second Infinity War film, his tenure of donning the metal suit will come to an end and according to President of Marvel Production, Kevin Feige, the MCU after Phase 3 – post-Captain Marvel (2019) – will look “drastically different.”

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pioneers

Credit: Marvel Studios

Feige is another MCU pioneer and while he has had a credit on every single Marvel film since 2000, he has been a producer on every film within the MCU since its inception. One of the things that Feige is credited with is planning the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He claims that Marvel knew they wanted their big conclusion to this chunk of time to be as many characters as possible fighting Thanos, which has been hinted at since 2012 and will come to a head in Avengers: Infinity War as the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange come together in an epic two-part team film over two years.

pioneers

Credi: Marvel Studios

The third, and often most under-appreciated pioneer of the MCU is Jon Favreau. Favreau directed the first film in the MCU, Iron Man (2008) as well as its less-loved sequel, Iron Man 2 (2010). He has also been a producer on all three Iron Man films and both Avengers movies. Favreau is also the reason that Robert Downey Jr. played Tony Stark. According to him, Favreau had to fight “tooth and nail” to get RDJ the role, and in the end, I think every fan can agree that we owe Favreau a debt of thanks.

pioneers

Credit: Marvel Studios

DCEU

Some fans, and most critics, do not like many of the films the DCEU has put out recently. If there is one thing even the most bitter of fans can agree on, it’s that their films are very true to the panels of their comic books. This is due to two of the DCEU pioneers; Geoff Johns and Zack Snyder.

Geoff Johns was a highly acclaimed comic book writer for DC, winning the Wizard Fan Award for Writer of the Year in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well as the CBG Writer of the Year in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008. He has written some of the best stories in DC history starring heroes such as Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Teen Titans and Justice Society of America. Johns has since become the Chief Creative Officer for DC Entertainment.

pioneers

Credit: DC Entertainment

The other founding trailblazer for the DCEU, and perhaps the one with the most conflicting fan base, is Zack Snyder. Before his reign as “DCEU Director Supreme”, Snyder was behind the camera for popular films such as 300 (2006), Watchmen (2009), and Sucker Punch (2011). All of these films had a very distinct feel, including stylized action, heavy CGI and epic slow motion scenes. His DCEU reign includes the first film, Man of Steel (2013), the borderline disastrous Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and most of the soon-to-be-released Justice League (2017). Many critics were not overly excited about the first two DCEU films of Snyder’s, but faithful DC fans have sworn by both of those films as being some of the best in the last decade. Love him or hate him, most fans can agree on one thing about Zack Snyder; his love and passion for comic books is unrivaled in the directing world, and because of that, he has made some of the most comic-accurate films ever.

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pioneers

Credit: DC Entertainment

The third DCEU pioneer is Gal Gadot. Most moviegoers who saw Batman vs Superman agree that the best part of the film was Gal Gadot’s role as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Godot delivered again starring in the critically praised Wonder Woman (2017), which broke several box office records as well as receiving one of the best Rotten Tomatoes score of any comic book film with a 92%. This film was also historic in that it was the first comic book movie to have a female play the lead role as well as the first directed by a woman.

pioneers

Credit: DC Entertainment

Without these six people, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe might still, but they would not be anywhere close to what they are today.

Do you agree?

Was there someone more important to these Cinematic Universes that we may have missed?

Let us know in the comments below!

Joseph Gioeli is an Expert ComiConverse Contributor. Follow him on Twitter: @joegioeli

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