Why I decided to start my own Cinematic Universe

Written by Ryan McCoy
April 27th, 2019

It was early 2016 and my friends and I had formed a production company in LA, with the hopes of attracting some video projects that could fund our desires to make some feature-length films. We invested in a bunch of professional gear and wanted to make some short films in order to continue to hone our craft. As the writer/director, I decided that I didn’t want to make some random one-off short films. I wanted them linked to a current story of mine, so I came up with the idea that they would all be prequel-type stories for a feature screenplay I had written, “Apocalypse.”

It wasn’t until we had made the second short film in the series, that my mind started to race, coming up with stories for each one of these characters. At the same time I began to have these thoughts, was the same time that all the other major studios in Hollywood began trying to launch their own “Cinematic Universes” to copy what was being done by Disney and the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).

If you break it down, I think the move that Disney made and Kevin Fiege quarterbacked, is one of the most successful moves in studio history. They made an unprecedented move that has garnered them practically every box office record in history. Yet, the vast majority, if not every one of them, fail at telling a compelling story.

What Disney did was very smart, but nothing new or original. They were mearly copying the original idea from Marvel’s comic books, by having many compelling characters and interweaving them throughout each of the respective character’s life-cycles. Where the other studios missed the mark, and where I believe I will be successful, is they tried copying the exact same formula as Disney and tried to weave together existing IPs and still focusing on spectacle over story.

So, I decided I would also copy theDisney framework, but do it with 100% original IP and characters, set in a world after/during/before the Rapture, where I can weave these characters together and come up with my own universe of virtually never-ending story fodder. There are no usper powers, everyone is a villain by the shear nature of being”Left Behind”, and they are all fighting an un-stoppable force. I believe these things, mixed with the imagination of a kid all grown-up who actually has something to say in his writing, rather than fishing for funny quotes or great one-liners, can grow over the coming decades and become just as popular of a “franchise” or “universe” as the current trend of comic book movies that are littering our cinemas on a monthly basis.

Every one of my projects has a purpose. Some are meant for awards, others meant to make a statement, others are me trying to vent and get something off my chest. “Apocalypse,” and all of its subsequent iterations (screenplay, novella, graphic novel, short film, feature film) are for one purpose and one purpose only: the FANS.

I want to build characters that the public falls in love with the same way they fell inlove with their favorite super heroes or villains when they would stroll their local comic book shop or hobby store. I want to make something for the rest of the “grown-up” kids out there, just like me. I believe I have the talent and the mental resources to be able to provide that. All it’s going to take now is time, which I have. :)