When Will We See “Smaller” Marvel Films?

By  · Published on July 23rd, 2014

Marvel Studios

One of the many highlights of Guardians of the Galaxy (out next week) is when the gang pays a visit to The Collector. James Gunn’s film already had shades of strange, but Benicio del Toro kicked it up a few notches. Once you visit his black market, you don’t want to leave it. Maybe the film’s biggest problem is del Toro: he’s not in it enough. They’ll likely incorporate him more in future Marvel movies, but he’s a character you want to see more of. Take one look at that guy and it’s pretty obvious he lives an interesting life.

Him wheeling and dealing with that funky outfit on could be as exciting as any huge set piece. The fact of the matter is, we need a movie about The Collector. It wouldn’t have to be a super expensive tentpole movie. The Collector is the kind of character we don’t need to see in action. He’s engaging enough on his own.

In the past there’s been talk of Marvel movies making smaller scale pictures. They recently announced their release date schedule for the next five years. It’s doubtful any of those summer and fall releases aren’t huge blockbusters. That’s fine, of course, but wouldn’t fandom turn up for a smaller Marvel movie? A little slice of life kind of story in the life of a hero or villain? Will we ever see those movies from Marvel in the future? “Well, someday,” Marvel’s Kevin Feige tells us at the press day for Guardians of the Galaxy.

“That’s what the One-Shots are for. With the TV stuff happening, you’re going to see more of that. Also, and equally importantly, I think there’s a place for that within the body of the movie. My favorite scene in Guardians is the seven minute sequence of the Guardians arguing, trying to come up with a plan. You don’t see that a lot in movies. Joss [Whedon] also does that in The Avengers. Those are the most entertaining things. That could be in a small independent talky movie, but it just happens to be in a big Marvel movie. Again, it’s a balance.”

That’s well put. Marvel’s better films are the ones driven more by character than action. The Avengers joking around or arguing is infinitely more exciting than them fighting a bunch of CG aliens. That’s fun, too, but not as enjoyable as the characters hashing out their problems, and the same goes for Guardians of the Galaxy.

However, don’t we want to see The Collector wakeup in the morning, take his sweet time putting on that outfit, and go to work? Where does he live? Where does he buy his clothes? How’d he get into the business? Why does he look like Little Richard? Is he a Little Richard fan? Does he even know who Little Richard is? These are questions that need answers. Not only in a One-Shot, although that’d be more than welcomed, but in a feature length film. Perhaps he’s a less is more character, like most great supporting characters, but there’s others out there like The Collector there that maybe could work as the star of a smaller Marvel movie.

Longtime FSR contributor Jack Giroux likes movies. He thinks they're swell.