The biggest danger to the quality of entertainment and art is conformity. We see conformity in entertainment constantly, as a groundbreaking film, show, or album captures the attention and money of the masses and a multitude of other creators instantly strive to replicate not only the work’s success, but the work itself. This replication ruins creativity and eliminates unique entertainment as corporations favor copies of successful franchises to unique, new ideas.
An obvious example of this problematic pattern is the race to create a cinematic universe for every movie franchise. Marvel launched the first cinematic universe of its kind in 2008, and dozens of other franchises followed, many of which already had their own successful creations. DC pivoted to the creation of a cinematic universe despite just completing a successful, unique Batman trilogy from Christopher Nolan, a far better director than any that have been involved in the DCEU. No film in DC’s cinematic universe has come anywhere close in quality to the Nolan Batman trilogy, but even if just one of the recent DC films rivaled Batman’s quality, their switch to a cinematic universe makes comic book movies as a whole less interesting, as new ideas are no longer being promoted.
We need new, unique ideas in entertainment, and money will follow a good, unique idea. For the sake of quality entertainment, we cannot support entertainment that follows formulas and copies others’ works. Many students at Whitney Young share this view.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s fun to sit down and watch DC movies,” says Aaliyah Torres, ‘21.
Arman Khan, ‘20, says he believes that “Marvel movies tend to be better overall.”
Nora Woods, ‘20, says that both DC and Marvel movies “are all a capitalist scheme,” asking, “why do we need four Spider-Man’s?”
I do not believe we must intentionally oppose “copy” films and franchises, but that audiences will be able to see the quality difference between original franchises and their followers.