Too many comic book movies?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Gary->dee, May 24, 2004.

  1. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    Back when the first X-Men movie came out it was a big event, or at least to me it was. The comic book movie had made a return to the silver screen with action, intelligence and power. Mark II if you will. Then we got the inevitable Spider-Man, Hulk, Daredevil movies and suddenly comic books most people never heard of started becoming movies. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Hellboy came, The Punisher gave it a second go, and soon we'll have Catwoman. I might be forgetting a title or two in between so you'll have to forgive me.

    At any rate the question I want to raise is are going through "that" phase again? When film companies shit out comic book movies like there's no tomorrow and as a result the quality lacks? Is it overkill on the comic book genre?

    [epilogue]
    Years ago, probably around 2000, I was in Golden Apple comics here in L.A. and while I was checking things out a group of about 3 people(I believe it was 2 women and 1 guy) were snooping around the store. I noticed these 3 people because they stood out amongst the crowd. They didn't LOOK like comic books fans. They were too well-dressed and carried pad books and other crap. Sure enough they weren't normal comic book readers. They were development people from whatever film company looking for the hot comic book property to translate into a movie. Something just didn't feel right...
     
  2. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    This is nothing new. Universal has a hit with DRACULA and it kicks off a series of horror films. EASY RIDER makes a splash and suddenly there are motorcycle movies as far as the eye can see. Fox releases STAR WARS and suddenly the movies are "all space opera, all the time". Until the next fad comes.
     
  3. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Well, I don't know as there was ever a real comic book glut before; Superman and Batman never seemed to inspire too much copycatting, if only because Marvel couldn't get on the ball until about five years ago.

    Personally, I don't see it as a big problem. OK, we're going to have a new superhero movie every three months or so; I think the market can support that. And I think it's a good thing that enough are being made that some less-known but excellent books like League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen get adapted (at the very least, it might get people to pick the book up).

    And, of course, you probably mean "superhero" movies rather than "comic-book" movies; Ghost World isn't mentioned in the list, and I doubt that if Hopeless Savages were adapted, it would be considered a "comic-book movie". Honestly, I don't know why more aren't; you open one of these things up and there's basically a storyboard sitting in front of you, for a story that's already built to be told visually. Comic adaptations make a lot more sense than adapting novels.
     
  4. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    As opposed to a romantic comedy every 3 months?

    I'll take the comic book movies any day thanks.
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Also, I think the advances in CGI and film-making have made super-hero films economically feasible nowadays than a decade ago.
     
  6. Shea

    Shea Stunt Coordinator

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    Comic book movies have always been a turnoff for me. Just something about the idea of them, can't get into it. I haven't seen any that I can think of in a theater. I saw most of the Batman movies, Superman on TV as a kid, and saw Spiderman on DVD. Haven't seen any others, neither of the X-men, Hulk, Daredevil etc.
     
  7. BretWeaver

    BretWeaver Stunt Coordinator

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    Well its either this or the constant remake of old films... it is always safer, from a business standpoint, to take a proven idea and market it. Comic books are just that, the story and half of the marketing is already done for you... all you hafta do is throw in the eye candy and turn on the camera. If you can make a movie that everyone already knows all the backstory the only thing you have to worry about is screwing up the lore (remember the web slinger thing from spiderman?). It really makes sense and its either this or adaptations of old books/movies/stories that everyone already knows...

    Top 3 at the boxoffice right now:
    Shrek 2
    Troy
    Van Helsing
     
  8. Rick Lyon

    Rick Lyon Stunt Coordinator

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    It's a because you can make a movie with a large fan base built in. People will see the movie NOT based on the actors or the writers, etc. If done right, it's sure to make money. DareDevil tanked because the story was a treacherous hollywood attempt to make it fit in the time frame. There are so many errors with DD that it was insulting to any of it's fans. I also think because King Pin was light skinned, people assumed he was white. Though I'm not sure what his ethnicity was, I too was a little surprised with the actor chosen. The Hulk rocked, however, a lot of people were expecting a Spider-Man type movie, whereas the hulk is a more serious character. And let's not forget, he's a huge mindless brute. Not very likely for have wit, and he doesn't have cool, flashy enemies.

    Spawn would have been MUCH better is Todd didn't punk out and go with the PG13 rating to get more kids in the audience. That ended up hurting the film.

    CatWomen is now black? Not sure how that will go over even tho Halle is a hottie.

    Iron Man is rumored to have Tom Cruise or someone like that. I even heard one about Iron Fist and Luke Cage.

    There are a ton of good comics that would make great movies, not sure why the negative vibe here, especially considering a good portion of movies comes form novels, a comic is close to that with more well established characters.

    So, comic book movies can make a ton of cash if kept pure. The original Punisher sucked (Dalph Lungren) because it was nothing like the comic character. Spider Man is one of the first that stayed very true to the story. Just one HUGE flaw and that was Goblin's custom. Nicolas Cage was rumored to play Goblin until he was told it would not be the original fabric custom but instead a techie metal one which he then declined. The only other flaw it the first flick was Aunt May not sewing his costume. That could have been a cut scene tho.

    Batman 3-4 and examples of HOW NOT to make comic book movies. Poor over the top 'comic' style doesn't work.
     
  9. andrew markworthy

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    There's nothing wrong with using comic books as source material per se, but I think it's part of a general Hollywood trend to make movies that are guaranteed an audience because of the fan base already built up (hence why not only comic books but so many movies based on TV series have been subjected on us). Yes, CGI makes it more economic to make these movies as well, but I think the prime reason is the practically guaranteed audience.

    Whether an adaptation is good or bad is just like any other adaptation - it depends on the specific circumstances. E.g. there have been good bad and indifferent adaptations of 'serious' literature - you don't hear people saying 'let's put a stop to adapting good literature' when a bad adaptation of a classic book or play is landed on us, so why should it be any different for comics?
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Eartha Kitt in the TV version of Batman helped in making a case for a non-caucasian Catwoman.
     
  11. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Well, Halle Berry's not playing Selina Kyle, anyway; WB is basically just using a character name and that's it. It's annoying, especially since Catwoman is coming off a pretty good two-year run in the comics, but my main problem with this movie is that it looks bad, not that it's not what Miller/Brubaker/whoever wrote.
     
  12. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    To further support your comments, Jason, let's go back to the first "Batman" film. Remember Harvey Dent in that film? Billy Dee Williams, a black actor, portrayed the character. Flash forward six years to "Batman Forever", when we had the role of Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Tommy Lee Jones, a white actor, played the character in that film. Now we have "Smallville", and Pete Ross, a traditionally white character, had been played by Sam Jones III, a black actor, for the bulk of three seasons.

    Now I didn't have any problems with the fact that Billy Dee portrayed Harvey Dent, same as the fact that Michael Clarke Duncan played the Kingpin in "Daredevil" or that Sam Jones III was Pete Ross. And likewise for Halle Berry as Catwoman (I just wish they could have gone with a better costume than that S&M get-up she sports in the film). It's a matter of finding the best actor for the part, in my opinion, whether white, black, Asian, Hispanic, you name it. Those people who do have a problem with it, well, they should leave their preconceptions at the door.
     
  13. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    The funniest conversation I remember on this topic was ~10 years ago when WB was searching for a new Batman, and one of the guys at the comic shop pointed out that Denzel Washington would kick butt in the role. The funny part, of course, being the people trying to find a way to express "but Bruce Wayne is white!" without sounding like complete racists.
     
  14. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    No kidding. Instead of a major summer film, it looks like they're advertising an episode of the Birds of Prey tv series.
     
  15. chris winters

    chris winters Second Unit

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    i think there is a glut of comic hero based movies right now. Of course we dont complain about it on this board much, becuase most of us are males between the ages of 20-35. We like the genre, and thus forgive an overabundance of movies within the genre. We also see tiny petty differences as major thematic changes, so when we see The Hulk, and Spiderman, we say, hey their totally different, whats the big deal. But if it was romantic comedy, they all seem the same. We dont see the tiny details as any different becuase the basic genre doesnt appeal to us much. Yes they fall in love, yes they overcome adversity, look how they meet cute. But is it any different from yet another male, undergoing some kind of change, facing betrayel, longing for a girl, and facing yet another arch-enemy. Thats how many woman see comic book movies, wether the guy is green and has super strength, or wears tights and swings like a spider...and has super strength. That being said, I would rather watch spiderman 2, then 13 going on 30 almost any day of the week.
     
  16. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    Expect it to be even more. Marvel just inked a deal with Lion's Gate to release direct to DVD animated films starting in 2005.

    ~Edwin
     
  17. Robert Floto

    Robert Floto Supporting Actor

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    Not to mention that the traditionally white (and red-headed) character of Lana Lang is now played by a half-Asian actress. I think it just depends on the character. Some comic book personas lend themselves better to more extreme adaptations than others...
     
  18. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    Robert,

    You can change the ancillaries like that, but don't mess with the main characters. It's just not right! They're iconic.
     
  19. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I think the main thing is that for the most part, comic book movies now are decent to very good. Hellboy was a blast, League of Gentelman was a stinker. The main thing is, as long as they stay true to the source material, they make a good movie (makes sense, as the comics are already successful.) And I like watching good movies, irregardless of where they come from (although I have to admit trepidation whenever a comic book movie is announced of a favorite title.)

    The new Catwoman makes my head hurt just thinking about it, it sounds horrible. Sin City has me awake at nights with anticipation.

    Of course, "American Splendor" is probably the best comic adaptation ever made.
     
  20. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    I just can't get over the fact that someone thought it would be a good idea to cast Keanu as John Constantine. I can't believe that person even read one page of the comic as scripted by Garth Ennis.

    The more comic movies they make, the more beloved characters get screwed by Hollywood.
     

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