Superhero Movies. What’s Next?

The latest wave, and announced intentions of studios handling Superhero films we are certainly heading into a new era of the comic book adaptation. For a while, superheroes were a four letter word to studios, and then they took a chance and revitalized the genre on screen. Then just as people were wondering how long this can last, a new batch of big blockbusters raises the bar of Superhero films.

The question now is … What’s Next?

MTVMoviesblog quotes Hulk Director Louis Leterrier:

“I’m begging [Marvel Studios President] Kevin [Feige] to do ‘1602,’ the Neil Gaiman version, you know, the almost medieval superhero movie,” Leterrier said. “I’d love to see that. That’d be a nice switch on the superhero movie.

“Or Hulk goes global, even bigger. ‘World War Hulk!’ ” he added. “That would be my dream come true.”

I think that the very fact that he is itching to do these stories has two sides.

I think it is awesome to think outside the box. Do something different. Shake it up. Thats great. There are a LOT of great stories in comics and deserve to be told. And thats about as much as I think of that side of the coin. Sadly, this coin has one side that is heavier.

Comics to film work within finite standards. Established characters have a fanbase and a root, but they want these films to attract a broader crowd. Honestly if the studios thought they would only attract the fanboys and comic collectors, they wouldn’t greenlight ANY superhero film. And in this we find the reason a 1602, Age of Apocalypse, Legacy Virus, Heroes Reborn House of M or World War Hulk would never see approval.

These stories are great because they deal with the interaction of a WORLD of characters you already know. In World War Hulk, the big green raging gamma machine rips a new hole in every hero in the Marvel Universe. In a film, you would be completely lost every time he faced someone you didn’t know. There just isn’t anything invested in seeing the Hulk go toe to toe with Gladiator.

Who? Yeah… you see my point?

This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t do lesser known titles. I am eager to see what they do with Watchmen and most comic collectors today don’t even know what that is about. Hancock is a superhero movie, but of a different strain. The idea behing 1602 is to see the modern characters we love transplanted to a different era. Problem is that most movie goers who’s exposure to these characters is limited to what they see on screen won’t be fascinated by a transplant story or an alternative time line epic.

I would love to see a superhero movie set in 1602, but I don’t see it happening with existing Marvel characters.

The concern is that these awesome comic book adaptations are flooding the market and we might get tired of them so we should shake it up. I agree. And at the same time I don’t think Louis Leterrier’s hope to see these spanning epics coming to reality. At least not until they have a LOT of history and back story established ON SCREEN instead of just in the comics.

Aside from the rights issues keeping these cross studio characters off each other’s screens do you think it will every be possible to do a storyline that spans across the Marvel Universe?

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19 thoughts on “Superhero Movies. What’s Next?

  1. “Bring the superhero back to the “real kind of world” if you get what i mean with Batman. Although Batman is not a “super ” hero i feel that having the hero idea rooted in realism is much more satisfying to sit in a screen and spend money on for 2 and a half hours. Lets come away from doing a superhero movie to promote products!!! MAKE A FUCKING MOVIE out of them!!!!!!”

    Couldn’t agree more. I loved Batman for that, it wasn’t as over-the-top as some of these other movies.

  2. Bring the superhero back to the “real kind of world” if you get what i mean with Batman. Although Batman is not a “super ” hero i feel that having the hero idea rooted in realism is much more satisfying to sit in a screen and spend money on for 2 and a half hours. Lets come away from doing a superhero movie to promote products!!! MAKE A FUCKING MOVIE out of them!!!!!!

  3. hmm REZ, I think if they did an epic AOA trilogy it would have to feature someone new as Magneto… I feel like Magneto needs to be younger for this story but that’s just me.

  4. i’d like to think Age of Apocalypse would make a really great film trilogy; maybe shoot all three back-to-back Lord of the Rings style; i guess the biggest question would be the cast. would Ian McKellen want to do another trilogy? even if he is the ‘rock star’ of the new story?

  5. GBC, Sales rarely dictate what is “mainstream” Anything on a sub-imprint is not mainstream. Graphic novels are not mainstream. They are contained storylines. Hence the term “graphic novels”.

    The core of the Marvel Universe (FF/Avengers/X) and DC (JLA etc) are mainstream. Books that all take place in each other’s universes.

    If it was a mainstream title, it wouldn’t be published on a sub-imprint.

    Ive been collecting and participating in “the medium” for the last 25 years. I know what I am talking about.

    You challenge the definition of mainstream insisting it isn’t popular. That is not the case. However it is only popular to the die hard collectors and not the Wolverine/Batman only collectors.

  6. Rodney, unless I am misreading what you said, are you suggesting that Watchmen is not a mainstream graphic novel? If that is the case, then I suggest you look at sales rankings for it or even check which comics are consistently recommended by those who know the medium – I think you will find it comes close to the top (if not actually at the top) in both cases.

  7. Make them more real, darker films, like what they did with the last batman film. It should be about the film with a superhero in it and not just a movie about a superhero… if you know what I mean…….. Unbreakable by M.Knight was the way to go

  8. Well Rusty, since a collector is not someone who can be described as an error in chronology, I dont know what you are getting at there.

    Most collectors will gather mainstream comics. Watchmen, though a great book, is not collected in the mainstream.

    The article I quoted and everything I have said just talks about how as cool as these stories in the books are, Hollywood won’t let them happen. Not because they are trying to stifle the creative efforts found in the comics, but rather because they know they can’t sell it.

    Hollywood is not made up of artists, its businessmen.

  9. 2008

    Iron Man: Intro to Nick Fury,“The Avenger Initiative,” and War Machine
    The Incredible Hulk: Introduce to the Super Soldier Serum aka Captain America (there is (wore will be) a delete scene with Steve Rogers) , and Robert Downey Jr. makes cameo appearance as Tony Stark


    X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Wolverine was an Avenger


    Iron Man 2: Intro to Thor and War Machine
    Thor: Mostly likely will introduction to another Avenger character (hero)
    Spider-Man 4: Spider-Man was an Avenger


    The First Avenger: Captain America: Other Introductions and Back Story
    The Avengers: I say push back to 2012 but all of them together.


    Ant-Man: Founding Member so hopefully this movie comes out before The Avengers movie. This movie would have to include the other Founding Member who happens to be Ant-Man’s wife and that is Wasp.
    Black Panther: Spin off
    Hawkeye: Spin off
    Nick Fury: Spin off

    When I think of The Avengers I think of Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man/, Wasp, Nick Fury, Black Widow, and Black Panther with support form the honorary members as Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, and Wolverine.

  10. So mix it up but don’t try anything new is the mixed moral of this column. And also comic book readers (or as you anachronistically refered to them, “collectors”) have never heard of Watchmen.

    I don’t really get where you’re coming from on any of this.

  11. it just seemed like Leterrier was “geekin out”

    i’d love to see comics/film go beyond superheroes and start adapting lesser known comics, you have that sorta happening with whiteout, sin city, 300, and so on

  12. The only way to do a multi character story justice is to go the Heroes way and make a mini series for TV, which I think could be a great thing if they would put some effort in to it.
    They managed to pull of a multi character story with X-Men but that also benefited from being a very well known franchise with iconic characters who were already in the mainstream pop culture.

    1. There have been Iron man, and hulk with the collection of the avengers, or the new avengers at least. i didnt get to see the end of wolverine but im guessing they showed that too. Im guessing Captain America

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