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Science and Technology, but make it fun

Updated: Jun 18, 2022

Marvel Cinematic Universe’s strategy of bringing advanced topics into discussion in entertainment has more benefits than ticket-selling

By Yasmin Silva Nilsson

May 25, 2022


[Photo Credit: O Megascópio]

Yearly staggering ticket-selling records and thousands of fiction fan forums prospects on post-credit scenes are some of the success effects of movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU. To provide breadth to superhero stories, the fiction world incorporates―sometimes fanciful―science and technology artifacts into appealing plots.

“When I was a kid, superhero stories had no connection with the real world. In the past years, the presence of something tangible and scientific has become a fundamental element to back superpowers and sophisticated tools”, said Rick Lovelord, the director of the science and entertainment program in the National Academy of Sciences, in a panel with script writers from Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as with USC researcher Clifford Johnson, who works with script professionals to help them incorporate science in their storytelling.

He also stated how much he likes it when being able to work alongside filmmakers since the beginning to help this process be even more intrinsic: giving scientists a seat of understanding leads to a special incorporation of both worlds, encouraging the youth to work in science and technology. Additionally, during that day, they discussed the processes used to build effective narratives with stories that come from comic books and from tech thematics. In this sense, for scriptwriters, such an opportunity is fundamental for them to dialogue with the people that are actually producing the kind of technology they imagine―“even with robots and aliens, your story needs to be credible with reality at some level”, said Black Panther scriptwriter Joe Cole.

Outside of the scope of the producers, at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, a handful of students and faculty designed a special extension program together. Studying in fields from nanotechnology to geology and nursing, this diverse group gathers every week or so to discuss a chosen superhero and its relationships to the science being studied. Then, they produce a material in their social media to bring this debate through an accessible language to all groups of society. During this project, students said it was of great help to enhance their creativity and scientific understanding through an interpretation of a day-to-day cultural element.

In this sense, Marvel’s strategy to bring science closer to its content is an effective way not only to catch the attention of the public, but to promote a more accessible discussion of important fields of study - not to mention the benefit of stimulating the youth to pursue curiosity for these studies in a fun way.


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