At this point it's hard to remember what summer movies were like before the rise
of comic book movie adaptations. My mother always says, "what did the word ever do
without cell phones" and I feel the same way about superhero movies. Just in 2011
we have had The Green Hornet, The Green Lantern, Thor, X-Men First Class, Captain
America not to mention movies made just like superhero movies Sucker Punch and I
Am Number Four. I can remember a summer when we were enjoying material like Gladiator,
Erin Brockovich or Road to Perdition (which was ironically based on a comic book).
Today however it's about what tights wearing figure we can put on the big screen
or in many cases, bring back to the big screen. Don't get me wrong Christopher Nolan's
re-invention of The Dark Knight is some of the greatest work we have seen on screen
in years, however the "re-boot" concept that is being applied to The Amazing Spiderman
and the upcoming Superman film is nothing more than the downfall of American cinema.
Already this summer in the midst of the super-heroic summer all the trailers are
for next years super hero films. When I was a kid collecting comic book trading cards
all I wished for was movies like we are seeing today. It was always a dream to see
the X-Men on the big screen, four films later while those movies were impressive,
and generally credited with starting this whole comic book to movie craze I wonder
if it will ever stop. I just saw an amazing film called Sarah's Key starring Kristen
Scott Thomas which is based on a bestselling book. I thought to myself, will we ever
get back to a time where these types of movies that actually make us think will be
more available at the box office?
There are more of these super hero movies that fail at the box office than succeed.
The amount of money that goes into these projects really depend on a huge audience
following or they face a huge loss in profit (i.e. Green Lantern). One of the reasons,
especially this summer, we have seen more comic book films than usual is because
of next years The Avengers flick. A movie that I am predicting could be one of the
most expensive projects in movie history, which of course means it could be the movie
industry's sinking Titanic. The Avengers will feature Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow,
Hulk and more.
According to Warner Bros. and director Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises
will be the third and final of the Batman films. Of course I am worried in less than
five years the studio will seek someone else to reboot the Batman film for a third
time. The Dark Knight is the most successful of all the superhero films, racking
up over $500 million at the box office and even taking home two Academy Awards. You
could ask why Batman Begins and The Dark Knight have been so successful both critically
and financially, but its because Nolan's screenplay doesn't treat the crime fighter
like a superhero, because he isn't. All major actors understand that the new super
hero craze is required to sustain momentum in Hollywood, even the most unlikely of
actors are appearing in super hero films, because unfortunately it is the way of
the future, and even the most insignificant of comic books are now being optioned
for the big screen.