Ten things that need to happen to comic book movies, NOW!
Comic Book movies, a phrase that I am still amazed exists. What was once a fringe genre held up by Batman and Superman has now become a multi-billion dollar industry full of some of comic’s greatest characters, but why then am I still unsatisfied? Because I feel comic book movies are far from a respectable and the industry as a whole still has one goal in mind and that’s getting our hard earned money with the least amount of effort possible. The following list is part wishful thinking, and part carefully made statements. I’m a fan, I know the game that’s being played and I would like my small voice to be heard before I fork over another 10 bucks at the box office for something that was “Just OK”. Will anyone with any sort of pull read this, no absolutely not, but still this is a monster pent up inside me that needs to get out so enjoy.
10: Just say NO to Jesse Eisenburg!:
“Superman Man of Steel 2” is fast approaching and with that are some bitter pills fans have been asked to swallow. The chance Ben Affleck could muck up another superhero or a movie over crowed with characters, or even more destruction porn from Zack Snyder, but the one thing that just defies all logic is the casting of Jesse Eisenburg as Lex Luthor.
We are told that this is ideal casting considering where the movie and franchise are going, that we need to trust in the producers, that Jesse Eisenburg is Lex Luthor. No, I’m sorry he isn’t. And considering what site this is I don’t need to break down and describe Lex Luthor to you. Lex belongs on the super villain Mt. Rushmore, and he is anything but neurotic, on the autistic spectrum or without any kind of physical presence. Whats worse is I actually like Jesse Eisenburg; don’t take that away from me WB! I hope this is all part of some grand swerve, a slight of hand to reveal that Lex is actually played by someone else in the movie ALA Liam Neeson in “Batman Begins” but as each day passes I doubt that more and more.
9: Maybe it’s time to take some risks with Batman villains:
If there is one thing that’s a given it’s that Batman will have his own movies again sooner rather than later. You can make the argument that every Batman film is good in its own ways, even “Batman and Robin” was beautifully designed, but there has always been something missing. Batman has some really awesome monstrous villain’s; in fact his rouges gallery is much more than crazy people or mercenaries. Now is the time to dig into the monstrous side of his rouges gallery.
Let me get right to the meat of this. Man-Bat, Killer-Croc, and Clayface are all way past due for their time in the spot light. Yes there was a time when these characters would be difficult because of CGI, but those days have passed. Come on the thought of Tom Cruise over acting and chewing scenery as Clay Face makes me giddy.
8. It’s about time we had some strong heroines:
I’m a guy, and your audience is primarily male, I get it I really do, but I’m going to be a dad someday, and I don’t want my potential daughter to look up to women who do nothing but fall out of things (Lois Lane) or do their super heroics in the sexiest way possible (Black Widow). I’m sincerely asking everyone involved to try a little harder. It is not impossible to make ass kicking super heroines that don’t spend all their time in tight pants, or purposely falling out of things so Superman will pay attention to them. My gut tells me Wonder Woman will fall in this same trap but I hope I’m wrong.
7. Why did we stop with HellBoy 2?
HellBoy 1 and 2 are great comic films and perfect examples of what happens when the right comic is in the hands of a gifted visual director. We were given a great story, Nazi bad guys and Ron Pearlman in what might be the greatest casting choice of all time. So beyond the obvious financial reasons, why were we never given a part 3 to conclude the cliff hanger from part 2? Are we to believe HellBoy, Abe Saipan and company are just delivering pizza’s somewhere now? I have heard the story Del Toro wants to tell takes HellBoy places he just doesn’t want to go, but I say the option of not finishing the story is much worse.
I know what I ask may mean choosing between Pacific Rim 2 and another HellBoy, but so be it, the character and the movies were amazing at the very least a conclusion is deserved before it’s too late or Ron Pearlman completely reverts back to a caveman.
6. Distinct TV and Movie universes:
This applies more to DC than Marvel, but I for one don’t want one version of a character on television and one in the movies. With the WB establishing their own DC universe with Arrow and its possible spin off in the Flash I don’t want different actors playing the same characters down the road in a Justice League movie. If there is a TV version of any super-hero I would expect his movie counterpart to be played by the same actor.
Further to that point there is no crime in keeping characters strictly on television. For example the upcoming Hellblazer attempt by NBC. Let’s just say the show is a success, there is no reason John Constantine and the vertigo characters that appear on the show can’t stay on TV and don’t make the jump to movies. Maybe we don’t need another Swamp Thing movie, just saying.
And another small gripe, stop limiting yourself to characters with budget friendly super powers.
5: Don’t be afraid of an R rating:
I will concede that you can get away with a lot in a pg-13 frame work. Most super-hero movies pull off what they need to without spilling buckets of blood or throwing naked ladies at you every two minutes. But there are times when maybe an R rating lends its self to the character. Characters like the Punisher or my next example lend themselves perfectly to the R rating. Take the risk to tell the best story possible. And for once market something strictly to adults. No one expects this to be the case all the time but make it happen once in a while.
4. It’s time for Blade to return:
The wonderful world of superhero movies as we know it are all thanks to the success of one hero, Blade. Blade showed studios that superheroes can be profitable beyond Batman and encouraged them to takes risks on the likes of X-Men and Iron Man. But unfortunately all it took was one bad sequel and the IRS to end the Blade franchise once and for all, something that should have never happened.
The biggest kick in the balls of all to a world without Blade was knowing movies like Twilight and TV shows like True Blood were out there sparkling up vampires while Wesley Snipes sat in jail I think it’s time for Disney to grow a pair and bring back Blade, with Wesley Snipes and let it go hard R. We have the perfect villains now in over sensitive emo vampires, and a world that is ready for monsters to be monsters and not just pretty boys. I don’t see this happening in a 1000 years but I love to be wrong.
3. No More Reboots:
I can’t believe this needs to be said! How many times do you need to retell the origins of a Superhero? Do you need to waste 60 minutes every five years to remind us Spiderman was bit by a radioactive spider? That Batman has dead parents? That the Thing is made of captain crunch? I know this is asking a lot but it isn’t impossible to keep a story going if the actors have been changed or if more than a few years have passed. There may be exceptions to the rule but really this practice has become far too common, at the very least stop wasting time rehashing the same origins over and over again and get on with storytelling.
2. A rocket propelled wish:
When I heard that Disney was buying Marvel, I like everyone else was extremely worried. Thankfully they have been wonderful caretakers of a universe full of characters beloved by so many. One of the best examples of their care for the product has been the work they have done with the Marvel Phase one films, movies the Mouse-House could have easily sanitized and over merchandised for the sake of easy profits. Instead we have been privy to adult stories that don’t tip toe around things like Nazi’s and the right directors attached to movies to ensure things get off on the right foot.
Case in point Joe Johnston was chosen to direct Captain America: The First Avenger. Can you get a better director than a guy who got his start with Star Wars, who worked on the Young Indiana Jones, and who directed maybe the greatest Superhero movie of all time The Rocketeer? Wait a minute, Disney owns the Rocketeer, Disney also owns Marvel, both Captain America and the Rocketeer existed during WWII…
I know this idea borders on the insane but the notion of seeing The Rocketeer and Cap teaming up for even a small marvel one shot type adventure, or maybe even The Invaders would be enough to make geek heads everywhere explode. But to properly do that you need my #1 suggestion.
1. Merge the cinematic Marvel universe:
Do you know what a crime to geeks everywhere is? The fact we have all of our favorite Marvel superheroes on the big screen and they can’t play together. We all know the story of Marvel cutting up their properties to the highest bidders back in the day. This was an idea which seemed fine at the time but now we have Marvel properties at various studios and no one wants to cross pollinate their characters with other studios out of simple greed. Fox has the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, Sony has the Spiderman Universe, and Disney has everything else.
Wolverine will never wax poetic about WWII with Cap. Spidey and Human Torch will never be roommates, and Loki will forever be the baddest of the bad in the Avengers universe because Dr. Doom, Magneto, and Green Goblin have a no compete clauses.
If there is ever a company with the power to strong arm Sony and Fox to get what they want it’s Disney. The reason why the Mouse-House hasn’t made any efforts is honestly beyond me. Ultimately it’s a win for everyone involved from the fans to the studios but for whatever reason (I blame Voodoo) nothing has happened. If I were Disney I would offer up some trades. For example I would offer the Goof Troop franchise to Sony in exchange for Spiderman back and to Fox I would maybe throw Hannah Montana syndication rights in exchange for The X-Men and Fantastic 4 back. Yep perfect trades.
Who am I kidding; a fair trade to Rupert Murdoch involves live babies and human souls. Your first born is a small price to pay to finally get the Marvel heroes under one roof again, just saying.