How Harry Potter Influenced the MCU:
The MCU is the greatest franchise. It has been sitting on a throne at least for the last 5 years. Having seen 23 MCU movies now, we can be certain that every film is unique in itself and that’s what people love the most about this franchise. But this greatness is definitely influenced by other movies and franchises. Now, this isn’t us making a joke like how Iron Man 3 and Pixar’s The Incredibles have a similar premise. But yes, the MCU has taken the good from all other franchises and left the bad out. Movie Sagas like Harry Potter and previous Marvel franchises like Spider-Man and X-Men came in really handy to build the MCU from the ground up.
Harry Potter really is one of the most beloved franchises of all time. The fans loved it so much that WB is still using that fandom to create something new, like the Fantastic Beasts franchise. This mystical saga sure did inspire many other movies & franchises, and the MCU really was one of them. Kevin Feige appeared as the guest speaker at the New York Film Academy and he said:
“I always default to my experience watching Harry Potter movies. I never read the Harry Potter books, my kids aren’t old enough and aren’t into it yet, and I didn’t read them when they first came out, but I went to see every Harry Potter movie opening weekend. I saw it and I enjoyed it and then I forgot all about it and didn’t think about it again until the next Harry Potter movie came out. And those movies were so well made because I could follow it all. I could follow it, I could track it, occasionally I have to go ‘Who was that?’ but for the most part I could totally track it. Now if I had watched every movie ten times, if I had read every book, I bet there are dozens of other things in there that I would see and appreciate, but they never got in the way of me just experiencing it as a pure story. So that’s kind of what we try to navigate is if an Easter egg or a reference or something is so prevalent that it gets in the way of the story you’re telling so that people who aren’t aware of it go ‘What is this? What’s happening?’ then we usually pull back on it.”
Well, it wasn’t just Harry Potter. Before this, Feige was involved with the Fox & Sony’s Marvel properties as well. He proposed the idea of a shared Universe involving the X-Men and Spider-Man, but that didn’t go well back then. Still, being involved with the X-Men & Spider-Man franchises, and even the Daredevil movie really taught Feige a lot. He took the good out of all his experiences and left the bad. Feige said:
“We came about as a studio in an interesting way. We were tasked with making two movies in 2008. I had been a part of Marvel at that point for about five or six years… the early X-Men films, the Fantastic Four films, the first Daredevil film, the Sam Raimi Spidey films, which were definitely the high point. But it was really an amazing opportunity. I got to go from film school into an amazing five-year film school where I got to see how each different studio worked at the highest levels, the inner workings.”
Having learned so much from other franchises, the MCU now sits in a place that has been influential to other studios and franchises. Studios have understood that moving forward with a shared Universe is the way. Universal tried this & failed at the very beginning as they were trying to set up their “Dark Universe” starting with The Mummy (2017). They’ve now turned Fast & Furious into a Cinematic Universe which is their best. Other than this, WB has been running 3 shared Universes – The Monsterverse (Godzilla, Kong), The Conjuring Universe, and the DCEU. All these are a result of MCU’s success.