The MCU’s Love Of Movies Shines Through In Space’s Marvelous Marathon


Marvel Studios sometimes gets a bad rap from people who love movies more than they love comic books. After all, the company seems more determined to meet the needs and expectations of comic readers than traditional movie fans, but that doesn’t mean there’s any lack of movie love at the studio. In fact, nearly every Marvel director has shared a long list of classics that inspired their extravagant superhero filmmaking.


With that in mind, be sure to consider these crucial sources of inspiration when the Marvelous Marathon (which runs from December 31, 2017 to January 5, 2018) revives some of the most popular comic adaptations from the MCU and elsewhere.


Iron Man

Iron Man

Nothing about Jon Favreau’s previous work suggested that he was the ideal filmmaker to launch the MCU, but he wisely took inspiration from all the right places. Identifying precedents for Tony Stark’s debonair quality (the James Bond series), the film’s screwball sense of humour (His Girl Friday), those daring robotics (RoboCop), and the film’s overall approach to superheroism (Superman: The Movie), Favreau concocted a hybrid sensibility worthy of its own universe.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier

captain america

In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Russo Brothers actively advertised the influence of Three Days of the Condor, going so far as to cast that film’s star (Robert Redford) in a key role. Less widely known is the Russos’ debt to The Untouchables and Heat. You’ll see the influence of the latter in the Captain’s first fight with brainwashing victim Bucky Barnes. As Joe Russo said of Heat’s famous heist sequence at the time of Winter Soldier’s release, “That was the style and tone we were chasing in that sequence.”


The Avengers / Avengers: Age of Ultron


Joss Whedon has been less forthcoming about his influences than other Marvel directors, but he has attributed his Avengers movies to two unlikely sources: Black Hawk Down (“you just really feel the weight of what these guys are going through”) and The Godfather: Part II. As one of the great sequels, the latter is particularly relevant to Age of Ultron. “A ton has happened in between, and it’s a very different movie, but you don’t need any information,” Whedon once said of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 classic. “You’re in the vernacular of the first movie, and you’re just ready to pick up in this new place.”


Guardians of the Galaxy


Unlike Joss Whedon, James Gunn is incredibly forthcoming about his influences—almost too forthcoming. When Guardians of the Galaxy came out, he shared a long list that included Back to the Future, The Dirty Dozen, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the films of Sergio Leone, specifically Once Upon a Time in the West and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. However, his fantastical Marvel adventure owes its greatest debt to a true story, The Right Stuff, which Gunn identifies as “the movie we referenced more than any other.”



ant man

Taking over Ant-Man relatively late in post-production, director Peyton Reed was not in an ideal position to dig deep searching for inspiration. Instead, he looked to movies that fit into one of three basic categories: heist movies (both versions of Ocean’s Eleven, the original Thomas Crown Affair), shrinking people movies (The Incredible Shrinking Man, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids), and movies that were already cited by James Gunn (Back to the Future, 2001: A Space Odyssey).

To feel the impact of the aforementioned influences—or just enjoy your favourite superhero movie yet again—check out Space’s Marvelous Marathon. Here are the complete listings:

Sunday, December 31

4 p.m. – Judge Dredd

6 p.m. – Dredd

8 p.m. – The Avengers

11 p.m. – Avengers: Age of Ultron

2 a.m. – Judge Dredd

4 a.m. – Dredd


Monday, January 1

6 a.m. – The Avengers

9 a.m. – Avengers: Age of Ultron

12 p.m. – Judge Dredd

2 p.m. – Dredd

4 p.m. – The Avengers

7 p.m. – Avengers: Age of Ultron

10 p.m. – X-Men

12:15 a.m. – X2: X-Men United

3 a.m. – X-Men: First Class

5:45 a.m. – X-Men


Tuesday, January 2

8 a.m. – X2: X-Men United

10:45 a.m. – X-Men: First Class

1:30 p.m. – X-Men

3:45 p.m. – X2: X-Men United

6:30 p.m. – X-Men: First Class

9:15 p.m. – The Incredible Hulk

11:45 p.m. – Iron Man

2:25 a.m. – Iron Man 2

5 a.m. – The Incredible Hulk


Wednesday, January 3

7:20 a.m. – Iron Man

9:55 a.m. – Iron Man 2

12:30 p.m. – The Incredible Hulk

2:50 p.m. – Iron Man

5:25 p.m. – Iron Man 2

9 p.m. – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

1 a.m. – Ghost Rider

3:20 a.m. – Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance


Thursday, January 4

5:15 a.m. – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

8:15 a.m. – Ghost Rider

10:35 a.m. – Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

12:30 p.m. – Captain  America: The Winter Soldier

3:30 p.m. – Ant-Man

6 p.m. – Fantastic Four

8:05 p.m. – Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer

10 p.m. – Ant-Man

12:30 a.m. – Fantastic Four

2:40 a.m. – Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer

4:35 a.m. – Ant-Man


Friday, January 5

6:55 a.m. – Fantastic Four

9 a.m. – Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer

10:55 a.m. – Fantastic Four (2015)

1 p.m. – Thor

3:25 p.m. – Guardians of The Galaxy

5:55 p.m. – Fantastic Four (2015)

8 p.m. – Thor

10:30 p.m. – Guardians of the Galaxy

1 a.m. – Fantastic Four (2015)

3:05 a.m. – Thor

5:30 a.m. – Guardians of the Galaxy