5 Weird Places Marvel Movies Won't Dare Go

Marvel Studios somehow credibly united a viking deity, a weapons manufacturer, a time-displaced super-soldier and an atomic rage-monster to fight an alien invasion, but there are things from the comics they still couldn't/wouldn't do on the big screen...

In Christopher Nolan's Batman films - the rumoured impending resurrection of Ra's al Ghul notwithstanding - the emphasis has always been on grounding the caped crusader within a recognisable world of gritty realism. For instance, Batman Begins goes so far as to dedicate screentime to explaining how he gets the ears for his rubber costume manufactured in bulk and delivered from an overseas factory. The downside of this fastidious and grounded approach is that many of Bruce Wayne's more fantastical villains and adventures will never see the light of the projector so long as Nolan holds the Bat-reins at Warner Brothers, meaning the likes of Clayface, Killer Croc and Man-Bat would never get the honour of being represented by an acclaimed thespian wearing a dour outfit whilst doing a silly voice. The brilliance of Nolan's films accepted, this is one of the reasons comic book fans have been so delighted by Marvel Studios and (the majority of) their six films to date: they seem unapologetic about their pulpy routes by comparison, with films like Thor and Captain America giving a comic book accurate account of their heroes, painted in broad brushstrokes and in bright primary colours. They are like Jack Kirby illustrations brought to life - and what is Joss Whedon's epic mid-battle tracking shot in The Avengers if not the live action equivalent of a splash page? With their helicarriers, Norse gods, cosmic cubes and alien invasions, the Marvel films would seem to be an "anything goes" proposition, giving moviegoers unfamiliar with comic books a real taste of just how weird and wonderful they can be. It's a nice idea, but just how true is it? There are places in the Marvel universe that I'm certain even these intrepid films would never dare venture. Here are five examples of places Marvel's cinematic universe will never go...

Savage Land

In the Marvel Universe there exists a lush rain-forest region hidden within Antarctica... and it's full of dinosaurs. See that picture above? That's Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man and Wolverine fighting a tyrannosaur - I shit you not. Now, nobody loves dinosaurs more than I do, but I think seeing Chris Evans punching a CGI t-rex (whilst awesome) would represent the moment the cinematic universe really jumped the shark. There's also a scantily clad Tarzan knock-off dwelling here called Ka-Zar and a talking villainous humanoid Pteranodon called Sauron, and they're not even amongst the top ten silliest things that roam this remote corner of the Earth. No, that honour is probably split between this guy, this dude and this chap. Magneto has also ruled here from time to time, whilst a mainstay of Spider-Man's extensive rogues gallery also lives here in the form of Kraven the Hunter. From a story point of view I don't think Marvel would find it easy to integrate this place into their films but, more significantly, from a practical point of view: why would Disney/Marvel even bother with setting something like this up? Location shooting in a jungle and spending tons of cash making realistic CGI dinosaurs just wouldn't be as easy as filming in an American city and making our heroes fight robots or men in funny outfits. And the Avengers have plenty of robot baddies and men in costumes who'd be much easier/cheaper to bring to the screen.

A regular film and video games contributor for What Culture, Robert also writes reviews and features for The Daily Telegraph, GamesIndustry.biz and The Big Picture Magazine as well as his own Beames on Film blog. He also has essays and reviews in a number of upcoming books by Intellect.