Now that it's all wrapped up, what's next?
2019 saw two of pop culture's largest and most successful franchises, the MCU and Star Wars, complete their story arcs in bombastic and dramatic fashion. Meanwhile, DC Comics have (at least for now) pulled away from having their films be interconnected, Warner Bros. Animation has decided to stop making additional Lego theatrical movies, and the Wizarding World franchise has eased up on how rapidly they are making new installments to their series. The 2010's saw many intellectual properties brought back to see if any remaining nostalgia juice remained left to be squeezed out of them, and the demand for any new additions has run out.
If you look at the film slate for not only 2020 but in the next few years, there isn't a clear cut tentpole film that seem to be on its way to the cineplexes any time soon. There isn't a hot series of novels that are in need of a screen adaptation, most of the past intellectual properties that may have been up for a reboot have already received it, and audiences have shown that just because something is recognizable doesn't mean they are willing to spend money to go see it.
For the first time in a very long time we are looking at a scenario where studios will need to create something original in order to grab the attention (and the pocketbooks) of audiences.
As great as the string of cinematic releases of comic book and other science fiction properties have been over the past decade (with many greatly overachieving and surpassing audience expectations), being reliant ob already established properties has stunted new ideas to come forward. When I look at the pieces of pop culture that my children have enjoyed in the past decade, a good portion of them are intellectual properties from generation’s past. While there are some that will continue to flourish even past this generation, this is an ample opportunity for new ideas to be cultivated and come forth.
With this potentially being a time of great experimentation, there will inevitably be a LOT of failures. There will be several ideas that will be cultivated, tested, and marketed to see if it fits into the zeitgeist of the 2020’s but fail miserably. There will also be a slew of copycats once a new hit is discovered, and it’ll be an educational process to decipher which is which.
The landscape is perfect for this amount of experimentation, as the number of streaming platforms multiply by the hour, while older mediums like television, film, and video games fight to remain relevant. It may make finding the diamonds in a rough feel like a chore at times, but when it is discovered, the payoff could be wonderful.
There doesn’t seem to be any safe bets in the 2020’s in the realm of nerd culture, and hopefully that will be for the best!
Originally published on January 21, 2020