Why a Disney Infinity Movie Still Needs to Happen
Recent comments by Stan Lee regarding a Marvel/Star Wars crossover got us thinking about how such a project could actually come together, and in the process, we envisioned a world wherein characters from all the Disney-owned properties could interact. If only there was such a place where classic Disney characters could join fan favorites from Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars on an epic adventure. Of course, the company already has such a world in its Disney Infinity video game. [Update, 5/11/16: Per IGN, Disney has announced that its Infinity line of video games will be discontinued.] Could a feature film version be in the cards?
Though nothing has been reported that a Disney Infinity film may be in development, it’s hard to believe that the studio isn’t quietly considering the possibility. Shared universes have never been bigger than they are now, and while such a world is unlikely to work in live action, the possibility of Buzz Lightyear hopping aboard the Millennium Falcon alongside Captain Jack Sparrow and Iron Man may be too good — and financially promising — to ignore for long. A Disney Infinity film would be able to stand apart from continuity of all separate entities, creating one big sandbox wherein all Disney characters could co-exist. Imagine the story possibilities, and let’s not forget the endless merchandise a film like this could sell. Now we’re speaking Disney’s language.
With this many iconic characters in one place, families would flock in droves to see the film, and given the fact that this is animation, the characters onscreen would not be limited by budgetary constraints or contract disputes. Since the film would not fall in line with any other media, there’s no need for Disney to pay Robert Downey Jr. or Harrison Ford millions of dollars to reprise their roles of Tony Stark and Han Solo, respectively. That means an even higher profit margin for the Mouse House and minimal downside. After all, Disney owns the rights to all these characters outright, thanks to strategic acquisitions over the years, with the 2012 purchase of Lucasfilm being the most recent example. There would be no complicated inter-studio issues to work out, like those Disney faced when combining the likes of Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
However, just because Disney can pull off a Disney Infinity film doesn’t address perhaps the biggest obstacle in developing such a project. With few precedents to cite (the aforementioned Roger Rabbit, notwithstanding), the film could encounter difficulty in nailing down exactly what tone and style it should take with its incomparable cast of characters. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has already provided the perfect template with its acclaimed 2014 release The Lego Movie.
Key scenes of that film feature characters from DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and other franchises, wisely incorporating satirical elements gently poking fun at beloved figures like Batman (that “darkness! no parents!” song!). Whereas Warner Bros. is finally set to provide its answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with this year’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, WB has the upper hand as far as mashing up its most popular characters in comedic animated form. Expect Disney to wise up and get a Disney Infinity film on its schedule at some point. It’s really only a matter of time.
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