It’s Raining Superheroes. Hallelujah?

avengers-poster

Good heavens there has been a lot of comic book movie news of late.

A few months ago, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that the studio has their movie lineup planned until 2028. Just so we’re all clear, that means they know what movies they want to be making for the next 14 years. Just in time for me to maybe have an early mid-life crisis.

Then last week, DC and Warner Brothers decided to announce their movie lineup for the next six-year, but, in what I can only assume was a move to one-up Marvel’s announcement, they actually identified what those movies were going to be.

Finally this week, a full six days ahead of schedule, Marvel released the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron shortly after it was leaked on the web.

(Edit: As of 28 October, Marvel has confirmed nine more movies and dates through till 2019.)

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Marvel and DC are trying to stoke the flames of a fanboy war.

While many fanboys have already taken the bait to engage in an unwinnable argument online, I worry more about the oversaturation of these comic book movies. It’s almost impossible not to feel a little skeptical now that we can expect an average of four to five of these films every year instead of the two a year we used to get a decade ago. Many already feel oversaturated, believing most superhero movies are identical in everything but name (although most go and see them regardless).

Having said that, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the abundant slew of superhero movies will be unsuccessful, it just means that both Marvel and DC need to change-up the formulas for how they make them. They’ve done it before, which is why I’m of the belief that they can avoid some of the feelings of oversaturation if these movies bear traces of other genre films.

Spider-Man 2

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 broke largely from the mold of its predecessor by focusing less on the action and more on the fact that it was, at its core, a superhero drama. Furthermore, part of the reason I believe audience and critics received both Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy so well is because they, like Spider-Man 2, diverged from stereotypical superhero movies and tested other genres. Captain America felt much like a spy thriller movie like No Way Out with hints of The Bourne Identity, while Guardians of the Galaxy, with a few exceptions, felt more like Star Wars and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy than a traditional superhero movie.

So imagine with me now that more comic book movies broke from the norm and became something else entirely. How about a Batman movie that legitimately tries its hand in the horror/thriller genre? What about a romantic-comedy Spider-Man film? A mystery movie with Iron Man? Or a musical with Superman?

OK, that last one might be a stretch to imagine – although I suddenly want to see some director make Superman: The Musical. Preferably with Nic Cage as the Man of Steel.

cage-superman

Without variety in their excessively huge movie lineups, Marvel and DC risk losing those movie-goers who haven’t already lost interest in their films. Before they realize it, audiences will likely stop saying things like “I can’t wait to see the new (insert superhero here) movie” or “That movie looks really good,” and instead will say, “I’ll Redbox that in a few months.”

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It’s Raining Superheroes. Hallelujah?

A Geek GIFplanation of DC Movie News

Justice League-DC Comics

Warner Bros. has confirmed Zack Snyder will direct a Justice League movie, a continuation and expansion of Man of Steel and Superman vs Batman.

Young Justice-Anguised screams of pain

Man of Steel isn’t a bad movie. It is, however, fundamentally flawed and problematic in more ways than even I can comprehend. Zack Snyder making problematic choices in Superman vs Batman (that name alone!) as well as Justice League is too much for my fangirl brain to handle.

I’ve been burned too many times — Sucker Punch, Man of Steel — in hopes that a Snyder movie would be just as great as the trailer made it seem. Do I have faith that he can establish a DC cinematic universe that meets or exceeds the example of the MCU? No. If not for my lack of faith in his directing choices, then for the simple notion that Warner Bros. is so preoccupied in “catching up” with the MCU that it is failing to make any intriguing creative choices.

Speaking of, I guess Ben Affleck turned down directing Justice Leagueagain.

Wonder Woman-ANGRY

The only solace I found in the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the new DC cinematic universe was the possibility that he finally agreed to direct Justice League. With that hope slashed, my heart now smolders in disapproval over Batfleck. Perhaps my disdain will be all for naught, and Affleck executes a dynamic, true-to-the-spirit-of-Batman performance. Then again, perhaps a zombiepocalypse will end the world tomorrow.

Ray Fisher has been cast as Victor Stone a.k.a. Cyborg in Superman vs Batman. While Stone/Cyborg is a small part of the 2016 film, he will go on to become a member of the Justice League in the later eponymous film.

Batman-Robin-blinks huh

The cynic in me worries that the inclusion of Cyborg in Justice League means that we won’t be seeing John Stewart’s Green Lantern in the film. Akin to the New 52 original Justice League slate, apparently you can’t have two superheroes of color on the same superhero team. Does that mean that Snyder and Co. will reintroduce a new Hal Jordan? A different Green Lantern like Guy Gardner? Or perhaps skip over the Lantern Corps all together?

Warner Bros. thinks “the world is ready” for a solo Wonder Woman movie. Hopefully. Eventually.

Wonder Woman-I will not tolerate this

The world was ready for a solo Wonder Woman movie in 2005. The world was ready for a solo Wonder Woman in 1975. What Warner Bros. really means in stating “the world is ready” is studio executives now think fanboys and casual male audiences will see a Wonder Woman movie. Did you know action movies starring a female protagonist make money?!

No one wants a Wonder Woman movie more than I do. That being said, her story is a tough one to crack, especially as part of a semi-cohesive cinematic universe. While it boggles my mind that Warner Bros. would ever think audiences wouldn’t want a solo Wonder Woman movie, I do think patience in finding the right script and determining how well Gadot’s performance is in Superman vs Batman and Justice League is a smart movie.

Warner Bros. has other DC films like Shazam, Metal Men, 100 Bullets, and Fables in development — outside of the Justice League continuity.

Batman-Hmmm

This seems like an antiquated move — it doesn’t follow the all-consuming MCU model — but it could be a smart one. Fables is a rich, wondrous comic series by Bill Willingham featuring fairy tale characters secretly living in New York City. A slate of good Fables movies gives Warner Bros. an alternative if the DC cinematic universe fails and sets it apart from comparisons to TV shows like Grimm and Once Upon a Time.

Personally, a Guillermo Del Toro-directed Justice League Dark movie would be enough to make me happy, even if it’s connected to the worrisome DC cinematic universe.

I thought my fury and rage over Man of Steel, Batfleck, and the overall direction of Warner Bros.-DC film plans would die down with time. I was wrong. The most frustrating part of all this hoopla is that I will be seeing all of these films regardless of whether I like them or not. For the sake of accuracy, I have to be informed about what exactly angers me. Oh the struggles of fandom.

30 Rock-Nerd Rage

A Geek GIFplanation of DC Movie News