With the first comic book faithful adaptation of ‘Deadpool’ released just last month, ‘Batman Vs Superman’ dropping NEXT WEEK and ‘Civil War’ trailers breaking the internet left right and centre there seems to be no better time for Comic Book Movies (CBMs). However, last year when all we had to satisfy our cravings for superhero action was ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, ‘Ant-Man’ and ‘Fantastic Four’ there were certainly a few more grumblings surfacing. So what’s in store for the CBM? Is this just a craze, are we being spoiled or has it become it’s own genre never to be exhausted. So for our ‘Movie Chat’ this fortnight, Nick & Jakob of JumpCut UK and myself discuss below our views on the ever present CBM.
To put it simply, I am 100% team superhero. I’m an absolute superhero geek and I truly hope this superhero movie bombardment continues for many, many years to come. I’m a hopeless optimist and a faithful fan, and I’m the kind of guy you’d find at the front of the queue for ‘Iron-Man 14’ or ‘Batman: Retirement Home’ in 30 years time. Sure, superhero movies are a little bit predictable and we know the good guys will always win in the end, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun watching the bad guys try. And who knows, with hugely popular characters like Deadpool proving that every superhero movie doesn’t have to be the same, there should be a bright future for anti-hero/villain spin-offs to become as much of a success as ‘Avengers Assemble’ and ‘The Dark Knight’. Of course it’s the fans who matter most to the longevity of this genre, but if you just look at it financially speaking, ‘Deadpool’ had the highest opening of any comic book movie, so you can’t deny the genre is going strong. Will it last? As long as there’s suckers like me in the world who are devoted to anything comic book related, the superhero film craze will not be stopped.
“Right now the superhero movie is alive and thriving. I’m only saying that these cycles have a finite time in popular culture. There will come a day when the mythological stories are supplanted by some other genre that possibly some young filmmaker is just thinking about discovering for all of us.” – Steven Spielberg 2013. I guess I fall into the game category as Mr Spielberg, Superhero movies are fantastic and exciting right now, but it’s inevitable that there will come a time where it has all simply become too much. We are currently witnessing the birth of the DC universe with ‘Batman Vs Superman’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ scheduled for release this year and with Marvel pulling no stops in ‘Civil War’, with the promise of future franchises to follow (Spiderman and Black Panther jump to mind as particular highlights) it would appear then that superhero films couldn’t be in better health? Whilst that it true now, there will come a time that a severe sense of “well we’ve seen this all before” begins to kick in and the sense of wonder that Batman, Iron Man and Co. instill in us will not be quite as overwhelming. I’m by no means predicting the death of superhero films, the last 10 years has ensured there will always be place for them in the canon of film and I hope the boom continues for years to come, but the end is inevitably nigh for the wealth of output we are experiencing right now. But I’m certainly going to enjoy it while it lasts.
I love CBMs, I always have my midnight ticket booked for new releases and I especially love the universes that certain studios have built such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t think there are too many and I love how they all connect and often tell one bigger story. What I do think there is too much of though is CBM promotion and its unfortunate that we have to endure this for months for just two hours of footage! Even though I always have my midnight ticket I’m rarely excited until a few days beforehand. This is due to the over-powering marketing machines behind these films. Posters, stills, trailers, teaser trailers and teasers for the teaser trailers are just some of the ways studios promote these movies which clearly no-one would go and see otherwise… !? Yeah right! Seems pretty unnecessary right? I can’t stand these often year long campaigns, within weeks of them starting I’m already bored of seeing them all over my social media feeds and this is from a guy who refuses to watch trailers! So in short I’m all for the CBM but please stop with the silly amount of promotion. I don’t want to see the best bits of any CBM until my bum is firmly on a cinema seat with popcorn in hand!
So those are our views on the phenomenon that is the Comic Book Movie and their potential longevity but we want to know yours! Leave a comment below or drop us a tweet over on our twitter accounts!
Written and edited by Nick Deal, Jakob Lewis Barnes & Hamish Calvert