When Marvel first announced their insanely ambitious plan to build a shared cinematic universe based on their characters, the other studios scoffed. Marvel proclaimed they’d release a solo movie for each of their biggest heroes, and then team them up for an epic event with The Avengers. Mad men!
There are so many ways it could have gone wrong, but against the odds they managed to make it work and have been steadily drowning in money ever since. Once the other studios saw the shared universe thing could actually work they eagerly dived into their dusty drawers, desperate to find properties they could milk countless instalments out of.
DC have obviously been playing catch-up with their own cinematic universe and have sneakily jammed the work of five movies into one with the overstuffed Batman V Superman, though the lukewarm reaction may not bode well for them.
Elsewhere, other studios have announced plans for their universes, and there’s a downright bizarre mix of planned movies incoming; classic movies, old cartoons and even toy companies are getting in on the act, though a few of them look destined to trip right out of the gate.
9. The Transformers Cinematic Universe
The most obvious – and most depressing – upcoming universe is for Transformers, where Hasbro has united a “brain trust” of writers to develop sequels and spin-offs for the property. This brainy group is a real mixed bag of talent; it’s headed by uber-hack Akiva Goldsman, yet features The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, Zak Penn and Steven DeKnight.
Up to twelve movies (!) are in development, with Transformers 5 being the first to kick things off. The movie will feature the return of Mark Wahlberg as whoever the hell he played in Age Of Extinction, and Michael Bay will direct for what he (again) promises will be his last entry. From then on a new movie will come along once a year, including a Bumblebee spin-off, part six and a prequel exploring the origins of the Transformers.
There’s also talk of a crossover with the G.I. Joe at some stage, because why not? Speaking of which...