Beaty, Bart: "Superhero fan service. Audience strategies in the contemporary interlinked Hollywood blockbuster." In: The Information Society 32.5 (2016), S. 318–325.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Beaty2016a
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Keywords: Adaptation, Comic book industry, Fandom, Film adaptation, Intermediality, Marvel, Narratology, Superhero
Collection: The Information Society
This article explores the specific textual strategies employed by Marvel Studios to construct insider and outsider audiences of the interlinked film series comprising the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It argues that Marvel Studios is borrowing storytelling strategies developed by Marvel Comics in the 1960s as a means of growing audiences for film franchises in a modular fashion. These strategies include the use of anticipatory postcredit sequences that serve as advertising teases for future releases; “Easter eggs,” or semi-hidden onscreen elements intended to be noticed only by certain viewers; crossovers, or the use of characters from one franchise in the film or television program of other characters; linked repercussions, narrative consequences that play out across multiple media properties; and modular story development, a development strategy intended to reduce economic risk. It is noted, ironically, that the strategies that have led to the current fascination with superhero films are the same ones that caused the collapse of interest in superhero comic books.
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