A lot of people have criticized movies like The Avengers and Man of Steel for having city-wide destruction and a lot of collateral damage. Man of Steel’s body count alone has been criticized so often that it was directly addressed in Batman v Superman. And while the criticism has been earned, it did give me a spark of an idea: a movie that’s like Cloverfield but for the superhero genre. Let’s call it Bystanders.
Think of it like this: during a regular superhero movie climax, the hero and/or heroes get together and have a big battle against the villain and/or villains, generally in the vicinity of a big city. This causes wide range destruction and collateral damage, resulting in lots of explosions and cars blowing up and buildings falling down.
Now let’s take a look at this from the perspective of the average man on the street. No, not Bruce Wayne, who is Batman and trying to drive towards the destruction, but rather an average person working in, say, a fast food restaurant. Or perhaps, say, five or six people, who rush into the fast food restaurant to escape the carnage. They aren’t heroes or villains; they are civilians, bystanders. All they want to do is survive.
The movie would be a really nice psychological horror/deconstruction — the first half would basically be the characters hiding inside as the battle raged outside and then, when they thought the battle was over, they go outside to leave...but then it turns out that the real last fight is starting, so they have to rush towards some form of safety, risking everything just to stay alive.
I wouldn’t set it in the Marvel or DC universe, of course, but a universe populated by, let’s say, “similar” superheroes. I don’t think any movie studio would actually make something like this, but it’s interesting to imagine.