The week of Valentine’s Day brings us some huge Marvel news, some big developments in other ongoing stories, and the possibility of returning characters in several different series. Plus, some things that aren’t series! Remember when those were a thing? standalone movies?
So, earlier this week I discussed the dark side of franchises, and how all that corporate ownership isn’t always a good thing. In that post, I mentioned Iron Man 2, a film that was burdened by its shared universe connections because of its place in the franchise as a launch point for The Avengers. It had to include flashback scenes with Howard Stark, Black Widow had to show up and bring all of S.H.I.E.L.D. along with her, and Nick Fury evaluating Tony’s potential. And then the post-credits sequence for Thor… Suffice it to say, it didn’t leave as much room for the main plot as most people would have desired, and Whiplash ends up coming off as a silly second-tier threat, at best. But while Iron Man 2 still has plenty of enjoyable scenes to it, not every film is so lucky. Here are 4 films ruined by studios in their quest for franchise creation.