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    終局之戰已經結束,漫威宇宙還會如何演進?

    Hugh Hart 2019年08月10日

    講述復仇者聯盟超級英雄團隊的作品雖已結束,但漫威電影宇宙還未出現任何收縮的跡象。

    黑豹、奇異博士、雷神和蜘蛛俠。圖片來源:Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Everett Collection (4)

    (注:本文包含某些漫威角色后續情節的劇透。)

    《復仇者聯盟4:終局之戰》有望成為有史以來票房最高的電影,盡管其戰績是一個難以復制的神話,但漫威電影宇宙在上月來了個異常漂亮的回馬槍——《蜘蛛俠:英雄遠征》。上映兩周以來,該影片在全球攬獲了8.47億美元票房。

    這部超級英雄的驚險游記打破了困擾其他續集所謂的“體系審美疲勞”,而且屬于迪士尼漫威影業與索尼/哥倫比亞影業之間的罕有合作,它講述了《復聯4》之后的故事:蜘蛛俠發現,他的導師,也就是不幸去世的“鋼鐵俠”托尼·斯塔克(小羅伯特·唐尼扮演)把最強大的打怪科技的使用權留給了他。《英雄遠征》使用如今漫威電影慣用的手段,通過其片尾字幕彩蛋推動了故事情節的進一步發展,并利用邪惡的神秘客(杰克·吉倫哈爾扮演)所捏造的反轉情節,為第三部湯姆·霍蘭德參演的蜘蛛俠電影埋下了伏筆。

    《英雄遠征》劇本的合著者克里斯·麥肯納和艾瑞克·索莫斯此前曾經執筆漫威電影《蟻人2:黃蜂女現身》和《蜘蛛俠:英雄歸來》,他們花了不少氣力才將蜘蛛俠的過去與未來融入了漫威宇宙電影系列。索莫斯向《財富》雜志透露:“當我們開始制作這類電影時,漫威工作人員通常都會匯編一篇文檔,然后進行內部討論,例如他們希望看到什么內容,需要為此前的電影支付多少費用,以及需要插入什么新內容。”

    麥肯納稱,在《英雄遠征》中,漫威電影宇宙的延續性集中在兩條橫貫始終的故事線上。“我們通過多部電影來構建蜘蛛俠與鋼鐵俠之間的關系,這樣,這部電影在交代鋼鐵俠的身后事以及他的(死)對蜘蛛俠的影響時,人們的腦海中就不會存在任何疑問。這也是為什么鋼鐵俠對本部電影有著如此大影響的原因。”

    麥肯納與前電視喜劇編劇索莫斯還使用粗暴的尼克·弗瑞(薩繆爾·杰克遜扮演)作為一個無所適從的喜劇性調劑,以改變其更為沉重的戲劇氛圍。作為漫威電影宇宙的固定角色,這位神盾局領袖還出現在了令人驚訝的片尾彩蛋中,而這也暗示了復仇者聯盟的后續故事。

    索莫斯說:“觀眾們喜愛弗瑞,我們也喜愛弗瑞,因此我們非常高興將他融入《英雄遠征》。他的確屬于那種定調式的人物,能夠讓觀眾們知道自己是在觀看一部漫威電影宇宙的電影。”

    《英雄遠征》為漫威影業總體規劃的“第三階段”畫上了句號。這部講述復仇者聯盟超級英雄團隊的宏偉敘事作品催生出了23部電影,但漫威電影宇宙還未出現任何收縮的跡象。

    對于“第四階段”,漫威影業的總裁凱文·費吉準備逐步推出一系列受漫威角色啟發的電影,其中既有知名的也有不知名的角色。費吉向《洛杉磯時報》透露:“制定五年計劃從一開始就讓我們受益匪淺。我們在過去四年中一直在探討(第四階段)……打造……未來的系列影片,并力求繼續給粉絲們帶來驚喜,同時將眾多角色搬上熒幕……除非是鐵桿漫畫粉絲,有些角色人們可能都沒有聽說過。”

    這些新面孔包括《永恒族》。這部電影由《騎士》的導演趙婷執導,安吉麗娜·朱莉主演,講述的是有關一個神秘永生族群的故事。此外,改編自1974-1983年漫畫《功夫大師》的武打電影《上氣》據稱正處于制作階段,由華裔美籍作家大衛·卡拉哈姆執筆,導演德斯汀·克里頓(執導過《少年收容所》)執導。

    漫威于7月20日在圣迭戈舉行的動漫大會上公布“第四階段”細節,該公司將繼續奉行“白人緊身衣英雄概念”的多元化路線,而這一概念曾經是已故斯坦·李和其合作者在20世紀60和70年代漫畫作品中的主打思想。繼奧斯卡提名熱賣影片《黑豹》之后,《黑豹2》再次力邀查德維克·博斯曼出演瓦坎達國王特查卡,由萊恩·庫格勒擔任導演。布瑞·拉森有可能回歸,在今年《驚奇隊長》(全球票房11億美元)的續作中扮演動作英雄卡羅爾·丹弗斯(驚奇隊長)。今夏在歐洲拍攝的《黑寡婦》將重啟娜塔莎·羅曼諾夫(斯嘉麗·約翰遜扮演)的征程,并作為獨立影片系列由澳大利亞導演卡凱特·休特蘭(執導過《柏林綜合癥》)執導。

    即將拍攝的還包括《銀河護衛隊3》,依然由詹姆斯·古恩(他此前曾經就2009年和2010年發布的無禮推文道歉)執導,以及由本尼迪克特·康伯巴奇主演的《神奇博士2》。

    編劇家扎克·施坦茨在2011年撰寫《雷神》劇本時親身體驗了漫威影業整體性的敘事風格,他把漫威電影宇宙比作是“一個異常昂貴的電視劇,每一年僅制作兩到三集。”施坦茨的作品還包括電視劇《危機邊緣》,他向《財富》雜志透露:“費吉就像是一位有著遠見卓識的制片人,他會在故事的切入方面給每位導演很多空間。正因為如此,諸如《冬日戰士》這樣的冷戰諜戰驚悚片,以及像《雷神3:諸神黃昏》這類調侃飛俠哥頓的影片才能夠和諧共存于同一個宇宙。”

    漫威耗費了不少時間才搭建了這樣一個龐大的電影帝國。費吉的前任、出生于以色列的玩具設計師阿維·阿拉德帶領漫威闖入了好萊塢,在這之前,他的老板伊柯·波爾穆特的Toy Biz公司于1998年收購了破產漫威漫畫的超級英雄資產。

    阿拉德在兒童時代變癡迷于漫威漫畫,他覺得自己包裝的這些玩具人偶英雄應該成為電影明星。影業公司一開始對他的提議嗤之以鼻,但在2000年,阿拉德最終說服福克斯拍攝了《X戰警》。兩年后,索尼制作了首部《蜘蛛俠》電影。突然,漫威角色以獨立電影的形式,通過包括環球影視在內的其他制片公司積累了不少人氣,而環球影視在2003年和2008年推出了兩個不同版本的《綠巨人》,分別由艾瑞克·巴納和愛德華·諾頓主演。

    阿拉德零碎的交易方式逐漸被更有凝聚力的方式所取代,當時,費吉站了出來,拍攝了2008年的《鋼鐵俠》。自那之后,漫威電影宇宙所體現的內在關聯被費吉和他的漫威影業團隊認真地勾勒了出來。2009年,迪士尼斥資42.4億美元收購了漫威娛樂公司,隨后漫威影業得以成立。

    與此同時,漫威根據漫畫改編的X戰警系列以及相關作品則在福克斯旗下單獨運作,與漫威/迪士尼創作的故事線沒有任何關聯。例如,由萊恩·雷諾斯扮演的韋德·威爾森讓R級影片《死侍》和《死侍2》在全球攬獲了近16億美元的票房。然而在4月,福克斯制作的X戰警系列電影《黑鳳凰》卻在票房上(全球2.49億美元)遭遇了滑鐵盧。既然迪士尼已經收購了21世紀福克斯,X戰警變種人是否會很快加入漫威電影宇宙系列呢?

    短時間內是看不到了。

    漫威老板費吉在io9的一個采訪中表示:“我們一直在打造的五年規劃在這些(收購)敲定之前便已經開始醞釀了。對我們來說,目前沒必要討論(《X戰警》)什么時候以及在哪里出現這些具體細節,它的回歸更多地只是讓我們感到欣慰,而且也是一件令人欣喜的事情。他們現在都已經回來了,但要與其他作品融合需要很長的時間。”

    《雷神》的編劇施坦茨也曾編寫過《X戰警:第一戰》的劇本,他預測《X戰警》系列將在某個時間點獲得“硬重啟”式的重鑄,并啟用全新的演員陣容。他說:“在我看來,將X戰警融入漫威電影宇宙最大的挑戰在于,很簡單,X戰警是被邊緣化的人,人類對他們又恨又怕,反觀漫威電影宇宙中,那些有著超能力的人都是人類的朋友,保護人類免受外星人的侵略。至于他們如何在這個世界中調和喜歡超級英雄、排斥變種人的矛盾,應該是一件很有意思的事情。然而……我堅信(費吉)一定會找到方法。”

    很明顯,不管有沒有X戰警,漫威的超級英雄帝國有著大量的漫畫書作為支撐,能夠在未來幾年中為影迷們提供觀影動力,前提是每部電影自身都有其突出的實力。《蜘蛛俠:英雄遠征》的聯合編劇索莫斯曾經表示:“我認為漫威不會僅因為連續性而將某些內容加入電影。如果一些元素與故事相悖,他們不會為了大而全而犧牲電影。漫威始終希望盡其所能把故事講好。這才是重點。”(財富中文網)

    譯者:馮豐

    審校:夏林

    Poised to become the highest-grossing movie of all time, Avengers: Endgame is a tough act to follow, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe staged a show-stopping encore last month when Spider-Man: Far From Home pulled in $847 million worldwide during its first two weeks of release.

    Defying so-called “franchise fatigue” besetting other sequels, this superhero-as-tourist spectacle, produced in an unusual partnership between Disney-based Marvel Studios and Sony/Columbia Pictures, picks up where Endgame left off: Spider-Man discovers that his mentor, the dearly departed Tony “Iron Man” Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.), has bequeathed him access to powerful monster-fighting technologies. In a now-customary Marvel move, Far From Home uses its end-credits sequence to kick the saga forward, setting up a third Tom Holland-as-Spider-Man movie via a plot twist engineered by villainous Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

    Far From Home co-writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, who previously penned Ant-Man and the Wasp and Spider-Man: Homecoming for Marvel, took pains to stitch Peter Parker;s journey into the firmament of MCU movies past and future. “When we start on a movie like this, the folks at Marvel have typically assembled a document and discussed internally, what they’d like to see, what bills need to be paid from the previous films and what needs to be set up,” Sommers told Fortune.

    In the case of Far From Home, MCU continuity centered on two through-lines, according to McKenna. “The relationship between Peter Parker and Tony Stark had been built over several movies so there was no question in anyone’s mind that this movie had to deal with the aftermath of losing Tony and how that [death] would affect Peter Parker. That’s why Iron Man looms so large over this story.”

    McKenna and Sommers, former TV comedy scribes, also used gruff Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) as fish-out-of-water comic relief to leaven the heavier dramatic beats. A fixture in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the S.H.I.E.L.D. leader also figures in a surprise end-credits reveal that hints at further Avengers adventures.

    “Audiences love Nick Fury and we love Nick Fury so we were excited to put him in Far From Home,” Sommers says. “He really sort of grounds things and lets you know you’re in an MCU movie.”

    Far From Home draws the curtain on “Phase 3”of Marvel Studios’ master plan. Twenty-three movies into its mega-narrative tracking the Avengers superhero team, the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows no signs of contracting.

    For “Phase 4,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige envisions a steady stream of pictures inspired by Marvel characters both famous and obscure. “Setting a five-year path has been very beneficial to us from the beginning,” Feige told the Los Angeles Times. “We’ve been working on [Phase 4] for the last four years… developing… the next group of films and looking to continue to surprise fans and bring characters to the screen … that people, unless they’re really hardcore comic fans, may not have heard of.”

    Among the fresh franchise faces: The Eternals. Directed by Chinese filmmaker Chloé Zhao (The Rider) and starring Angelina Jolie, the film will introduce a secret race of immortal beings. Further down the road, martial arts project Shang-Chi, based on the 1974-1983 “Master of Kung Fu” comics, is reportedly being developed with Chinese-American writer David Callaham and director Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12).

    Marvel, expected to announce “Phase 4” details on July 20 at San Diego Comic-Con, continues to diversify the white guys-in-tights formula that dominated the 1960s and ’70s comic book stories created by the late Stan Lee and his collaborators. Black Panther 2, following on Oscar-nominated blockbuster Black Panther ($1.3 billion), reunites Chadwick Boseman as Wakanda King T’Challa with director Ryan Coogler. Brie Larson will likely return as action hero Carol Danvers in a sequel to this year’s Captain Marvel ($1.1 billion worldwide). Black Widow, filming in Europe this summer, will somehow resuscitate Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, as a standalone feature from Australian director Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome).

    Also in the pipeline are Guardians of the Galaxy 3, again helmed by director James Gunn (following his apology for offensive tweets made in 2009 and 2010), and Doctor Strange 2 starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

    Screenwriter Zack Stentz, who experienced Marvel Studios’ holistic storytelling methodology firsthand when he wrote 2011 movie Thor, likens the MCU to “an incredibly expensive television show that drops two to three episodes a year.” Stentz, whose credits also include TV’s Fringe, told Fortune: “Feige is like the visionary showrunner who gives individual directors a lot of leeway over their own entries. That’s how you can have a Cold War spy thriller like Winter Soldier and a big goofy tribute to Flash Gordon like Thor: Ragnarok existing side by side in the same universe.”

    Marvel’s massive movie empire took some time to build. Feige’s predecessor, Israeli-born toy designer Avi Arad, spearheaded Marvel’s invasion of Hollywood after his boss Ike Perlmutter’s Toy Biz company acquired the superhero assets in 1998 from a bankrupt Marvel Comics.

    Arad, who’d obsessed over Marvel Comics as a kid, was convinced the characters he’d packaged as action figures deserved to be movie stars. Studios initially snubbed his pitches but in 2000, Arad finally persuaded Fox to make X-Men. Two years later, Sony produced the first Spider-Man. Suddenly, Marvel characters had heat in the form of standalone films from disparate studios including Universal Studios, which in 2003 and 2008 distributed two completely different takes on the Incredible Hulk featuring, respectively, Eric Bana and Edward Norton.

    Arad’s piecemeal deal-making gave way to a more cohesive approach when Feige stepped up to produce 2008’s Iron Man. The inter-connections seen in MCU movies since then have been meticulously mapped out by Feige and his team at Marvel Studios, created after Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment in 2009 for $4.24 billion.

    Meanwhile, the Marvel Comics-based X-Men franchise—and related titles—have operated separately under the Fox umbrella, disconnectedfrom Marvel/Disney-incubated storylines. Wade Wilson, for example, played by Ryan Reynolds, anchored R-rated Deadpool and Deadpool 2 to the tune of nearly $1.6 billion in the worldwide box office. But in April, Fox-produced X-Men movie Dark Phoenix fizzled at the box office ($249 million worldwide). Now that 21st Century Fox has been acquired by Disney, will X-Men mutants be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe any time soon?

    Don't hold your breath.

    Marvel boss Feige said in an interview with io9: “The five-year plan that we’ve been working on, we were working on before any of that [acquisition] was set. For us, it’s less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they’re home. That they’re all back. But it will be a very long time.”

    Thor writer Stentz, who also scripted X-Men: First Class, predicts that the X-Men franchise will at some point get a “hard reboot” recast with entirely new actors. “To my mind,” he says, “The biggest challenge of integrating the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is simply that the X-Men are defined by being outsiders, hated and feared, whereas in the MCU, people with superpowers are our friends who rescue us from aliens. It'll be interesting to see how they reconcile a world that likes superheroes with a world where mutants are persecuted as outsiders. But… I have no doubt [Feige] will figure out a way.”

    With or without X-Men, Marvel's superhero industrial complex clearly has plenty of comic book-based fuel to galvanize moviegoers for the next few years—as long as each movie excels on its own merits. As Far From Home co-writer Sommers observes, “I don’t think Marvel ever wants to throw things into a movie just for the sake of connectivity. If some element is fighting the story, they’re not going to sacrifice the movie for the sake of the overall whole. Marvel always wants to tell the best story they can. That’s the priority.”

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