Friday, July 25, 2008

More On Superheroes

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I've been mentioning left and right that The Dark Knight (once again, I say, if you haven't seen it, you must, for great justice) was a harbinger, the proverbial catalyst for the evolution of superhero film adaptations. And the fun thing is, a lot of critics from Rotten Tomatoes seem to be in agreement: the genre is going to be so shaken up after this that we literally don't know what to expect next.

This article, though, sheds light on a different angle: The Dark Knight could be the meteor that killed off all the superhero movie dinosaurs. Well-written and highly intelligent, this piece pokes around in nearly a decade that saw films festooned with tight-wearing crusaders with a taste for vigilante justice. And while I'd like to be optimistic about how things look for the geek culture ever since Iron Man and The Dark Knight aired, I can't help but grudgingly agree to A. Scott's article: the strains of repeated platitudes and ideals, a lacking sense of finality, and plots loosely based on a formula of sorts, are showing on the genre.

I mean, I couldn't help but cry out for bloody murder when SPOILER Gordon was killed at the end of The Dark Knight's first act END SPOILER. That alone, the fact that change is almost always a bad thing for a comic book franchise, can become a pretty big problem when it comes to developing the characters for a film adaptation.

And the most alarming thing of all is that most of the big film production companies have announced big-name films in the making, enough films to last the industry for the next few years. Right off the bat, I could name a few:

  • Iron Man 2
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • The Green Hornet
  • Thor
  • Watchmen
  • Tintin (I consider this a comic book superhero)
  • G.I. Joe (this, too)
  • Hercules (uh huh)
  • The Avengers
  • Justice League
  • The Last Airbender (an adaptation of a good cartoon)

the list goes on. It can be pretty mind-boggling. Most of these films have already gone into production, so if the superhero bubble bursts before even half of the films are out, it could turn out to be a very gristly turn of events for filmmakers and consumers alike.

Of course, we've been living with superhero films for a long time (let's not forget the Adam West Batman: the Movie, or classic underrated films like The Phantom or The Shadow). So who's to say when the public has had enough?

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