Avengers: Endgame marks the closing of an unprecedented era of blockbuster filmmaking, the climax of a cinematic universe that has spanned 22 entries. While there are countless examples of sequels, prequels, threequels and more, it’s rare that a franchise get to the 22 film mark while still capturing the public’s imagination. There are, however, a handful of instances – we’ll leave it to you to judge whether Kevin Feige and company turned to any these for inspiration…
The MCU has created an unforgettable legacy, but what it’s really been lacking is a mixture of bawdy humour and gritty real-world politics. While worse times were to come for the Carry On franchise, Convenience was the first film in the series to lose money at the box office. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a triumph though; its portrayal of union workers as lazy, opportunistic and prone to striking at a moment’s notice chimed with the real-life tensions between the unions and British government in the ’70s.
Another part of the film’s undeniable glory is Carry On stalwart Sid James’ character being written as a downtrodden husband, a direct response to complaints about the actor’s treatment of women in Carry On Henry. The Avengers might represent the best of humanity and society, but can you honestly say that Endgame wouldn’t be improved by the team visiting a pub called The Whippit Inn?
Parallels can be drawn between the 22nd instalments of both the MCU and Toho’s Godzilla franchise, given that this 1995 disaster movie featured a passing of the torch. This monumental fight between The King of Monsters and sea creatures known as Destoroyah resulted in the title character’s death, his legacy being carried on by Godzilla Jr. The film was well received, with many considering it one of the best Godzilla films ever made thanks to impressive effects and a reverence to the original film. With the Avengers series now at a crossroads, Marvel may want to take notes from Godzilla’s 23rd instalment from 1998, which pitted the iconic monster against erm, Ferris Bueller.
007’s shortest and most violent adventure is the type of movie that says ‘who needs a script when you can just shoot things?’ Set within the exciting and sexy world of Bolivian natural resources, Daniel Craig’s Bond investigates the mysterious organisation Quantum who, handily, all wear ‘Q’ badges just in case they were in danger of going unrecognised. Released just as the MCU was getting started, the superhero franchise’s tradition of putting small references to other characters in the background was clearly inspired a scene in this film, where an extra can be seen sweeping thin air.
The story of Ash and the other Pokémon attempting to save their town from a forest fire is both the 22nd and 21st instalment in the Pokéverse (2011’s Pokémon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram and White—Victini and Zekrom are two parts of the same story released separately, if we’re getting technical).
Endgame could well have taken inspiration from The Power of Us, as it follows a host of different characters working towards the same goal despite different motivations – though the objective of saving the forest is a slightly smaller-scale than saving the entire universe. The film’s environmental theme proved so effective that the producers of the American Pokémon films have ignored the formula entirely for Detective Pikachu, giving the series’ most beloved character a deerstalker and Ryan Reynolds’ voice.
Every long-running franchise benefits from a glorious return. Matthew Lillard, the live action Shaggy in the James Gunn-penned Scooby Doo films, lent his voice to the animated equivalent as the Scooby gang investigate spooky goings on at a magic academy. The 22nd Scooby Doo movie was a clear inspiration for Marvel’s traditional post credit teases, with those hanging around after Abracadabra-Doo’s credits being treated to the Mystery Machine’s sentient GPS (voiced by comedian Dave Attell) telling them to move on with their lives! Time will tell, however, if Spider-man: Far from Home can possibly live up to the 23rd film in this series, Scooby Doo! Camp Scare.
Published 29 Apr 2019
The founding Avenger could be about to hang up his suit. Who’s ready to become the MCU’s new MVP?
The stars align one final time in this emotional and fitting finale to the Avengers saga.