Since Marvel Studios went into the live action movie business for themselves back in 2008 starting with ‘Iron Man’, they’ve managed to produce a number of films with varying genres. They tried their hand at a monster movie with ‘The Incredible Hulk’, a period piece with ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’, and fantasy with ‘Thor’, among others. Now, after bringing all of those together in the massively successful and totally awesome Joss Whedon blockbuster ‘The Avengers’, they have a political thriller in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and a sci-fi adventure with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ both being released this year. But it appears that the company is looking to expand into other genres even further by journeying into the realm of documentary filmmaking.
During this year’s South By Southwest festival earlier this month, the House of Ideas unveiled their plan for a new short form documentary series called ‘Tales To Astonish’. The idea behind these films is to “investigate the commentary on the world outside that Marvel has never hesitated to offer”. Marvel’s Vice President of Content & Programming John Cerilli goes into more detail about this project while speaking with Marvel.com:
“So many of Marvel’s stories and characters were created by storytellers—editors, writers, pencilers—who like all great artists are often influenced by events happening in the real world. In ‘Tales to Astonish,’ we now have the opportunity to explore all of these influences and, in turn, entertain a wider swath people who may or may not have known about these things, but are interested in entertainment with really compelling narratives.
It was the perfect medium to take a comprehensive look at the impact Marvel characters and stories have had not only on the Marvel Universe, but to real world itself.”
The first installment examines the epic 2006-2007 crossover ‘Civil War’, which finds Captain America and Iron Man on opposing sides of the battle over the Superhuman Registration Act. People such as Stan Lee, Joss Whedon, and political pundit Tucker Carlson share their thoughts on the real world’s influence on the storytelling in that particular series by discussing things such as the Patriot Act and the NSA spying scandal. At the company’s SXSW panel, they debuted the trailer for the first episode, which was directed by Eric Drath. You can watch it below:
Cerilli shared with USA Today that future episodes will cover a wide variety of topics like the modern art community’s rejection of comic art, Tony Stark’s drinking problem, and Captain Marvel’s battle with cancer. However, there’s no word yet on where we’ll be seeing these new docs because “there’s still decisions being made about where we want to distribute this”.
What do you think of ‘Tales To Astonish’? Are you interested in Marvel Studios’ first foray into documentary filmmaking? Are there any topics that you’d like to see explored in future episodes? Sound off in the comment section.