- Entertainment and Media
Entertainment Article:Comic Book Movie Fans:Fortunate or Privileged??
Origin Of The Story...
Before you as the reader completely clicks the X in the corner for what I have already wrote on this just give it a chance and hear me out. From the end of this year 2015 to 5 years from now, 2020 we will see about 24 comic book based storied films coming out in that time and for fun how about we add the Star Wars franchise in there as well since there is comics when you get down to it and the fanbase is so crazy that it is something that this discussion can compare to. So if you count all the new Star Wars films coming and the Dreamworks adaption of Ghost In The Shell the number adds up to 28 total. Just think about 28 films being released on one topic...Some movies whether it be when the Saw films and the Paranormal Activity films were raking in money and the studios decided to make up to 7 or 8 Saw movies and were approaching the 5th Paranormal film which will be the last so people get fads when they happen. But with these films lasting from things like Spider Man and X-Men getting the ball rolling for studios taking comic books films "Seriously"(Yes I do know about the Schumacher Batman's,Own them and doesn't count in this). But with those films starting in 2001 and going to today you know this isn't a fad and something people want to see more and more of, But thats not really what I am writing about completely as with every story it comes in a more complex situation then you may think.
The Snowball Effect
The reason why I called the topic that was because the whole "Fan Outcry" that happens more often then not at all on certain actors being cast in roles and just being completely outraged on the decision until being seen on the big screen. It started EARLY with Michael Keaton who was cast as Batman in the first film directed by Tim Burton and back in the day when internet didn't exist and a tweet wasn't something you could just click and do or even open your Facebook or texting and complain about the decision. Many saw a magazine cover of Keaton as the Bruce Wayne himself and many shouted out cry's of worries and disappointment. Many thought "MR.MOM AS BATMAN!!!!!!" and many other things were mentioned before the film was released and as the film came out and we fast forward to now you can't meet an adult who doesn't prefer Keaton as the best film Bruce Wayne portrayed on film because thats what they grew up with. But before it was basically sacrilegious against everything that is the Dark Knight himself.
When you get down to the Schumacher movies I don't recall there being a fan outcry for ant castings because when the films came out some didn't know what to expect but each one Forever and Batman & Robin was anticipated, Although the IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes scores on both films are lower then low nothing was ever said about Kilmer or Clooney taking over the cape. When it came to some films like Spider Man,X-Men,Blade and others that were released around that time people did praise Hugh Jackman as Wolverine after seeing him and now he is basically the ONLY option for Wolverine. Tobey Maguire was an odd choice for Spider Man but people paid to see it and paid so much that it was the first comic book film to blow up at the box office. The show Entourage even mocked it when they mentioned that Vincent Chase's Aquaman beat Spider Man's all time record of like 114 million at the box office. So it isn't a tilted rink or totally one sided when it comes to it at all times.
Flash forward after you see the ending to Batman Begins which was a great way to set up The Dark Knight showing that The Joker was going to be the next villain and Christian Bale would "Look into it" before the films close. But when Nolan and company decided to release the news that the clown prince of crime would be played by Heath Ledger it was the first time for me that I saw people almost break the internet with reasons as to why he should be recast and he is the WORST possible option to become the Joker. Some brought up that "The guy from 10 Things I Hate About You and A Knights Tale Cant Play The Joker!!!!" to some not liking the fact that they asked a big draw with the ladies to play a complete psychopath in a dark dark film.
Again shoot to after the week of the film coming out and many people were hypothetically putting their foot in their mouths over and over when Heath would show everyone a trick with the pencil and he would ask Michael Jai White's character the now iconic "WHY SO SERIOUS?!?!" with such rage and anger. Of course without dwelling on it too much everyone knows that Ledger basically locked himself in a room and turned into the character for the role but when time came for the movie to wrap the character followed him and he took his own life sadly. When he was nominated and ended up winning his Oscar for his portrayal of the Joker in the film and making it the ONLY comic book character to win the award, Ledger's wife and daughter had to accept and it made you think "Ledger could have quite possibly have given his life trying to give the BEST possible performance for us". By us I mean the comic book geeks and fans of the films...
Contests,Debates And Straight Up Trash Talk
When you think about how much we as fans nitpicked and argued and debated over how bad he was going to as the Joker because we either prefer another performance or know the story of the character so well that we didn't believe it were possible. But according to the ones that put the "Final" stamp on these things made it known that Ledger could when they gave him that award since nobody had won an Oscar for a role in a comic book film like that or hasn't since.
Now we move forward to now in 2015...Whether you like Marvel Studios or DC and can look beyond the fact that everyone basically turns it into a giant penis measuring contest when one person says the other is better to just "Rile" the other up or start an aimless debate. The debates and outcry doesn't stop past Ledger either in 2015 since the birth of Social Media with everything like Facebook,Twitter,Texting where information can get out faster and your voice can be heard in 5 different ways it seems like then you can voice your disinterest to a casting by a click of a button and when Zack Snyder and Warner Brothers announced Batfleck...That very thing happened like a hurricane. I myself will admit that when I heard Affleck I went "Really??" and sort of felt bummed but at the end of the Dark Knight trilogy I haven't seen a story told better or acted out better when it comes to Batman since that and I know now that it was me knowing I would have to move on from Bale to Ben.
DC Vs Marvel Is The New Red Vs Blue
Once people started to get over the fact of Ben being the new Bruce Wayne then we moved on to other issues. Whether it was casting a person who looks like he's 16 to play the brand new Spider Man in Tom Holland and a lot of people saying "Who??" after the announcement. Channing Tatum AKA Magic Mike becoming Gambit and having to learn to talk with the Louisiana drawl that Gambit is known for having and doing it right for "The Fans" so the film doesn't get chastised like a Green Lantern or X-Men Origins Wolverine did. Speaking of doing it right for the fans director Josh Trank was almost promising a brand new style and look into the Fantastic 4 which was just released but when the film came out which does come with a promising cast is being rated on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes by critics as "The lowest rated Marvel film EVER" and even lower then the Fantastic 4 films with Jessica Alba and Chris Evans a few years back that were also hated by many and now its a property that can't get a finger on the fanbase because nobody can draw to it enough.
Not everything in the past 5 years has been bad though things have come up good by just doing them like Ryan Reynolds getting a re do at Deadpool and now that movie is getting more and more anticipated as February of next year rolls around. Guardians of the Galaxy was a giant hit and the second film is something that is almost a slam dunk for the studio. Now before you as the fan type "PRAISE EVERYTHING MARVEL STUDIOS!!!!!!!!!!" in the comments and stick your chest out for the debate, DC isn't a slouch on TV while they build their movie franchise by casting people like Stephen Amell as Arrow and Grant Gustin as The Flash and while many barely knew who they were they are stars now and loved by many.
Before I close I am going to talk about the slate releases by both studios covering all these films we will be paying to see in the future. When Marvel Studios made it an event thing and released their slate people got excited and almost knew that as soon as each title like "Black Panther" "Doctor Strange" and "Captain Marvel" on the screens fans are almost at the point where its "I don't care who it is and if I don't know Marvel will make it amazing". While DC wasn't as showy about their slate taking out a theatre to show it off and everything but announcing films like "Suicide Squad" "Aquaman" "Justice League Pts.1&2" and even a solo "Wonder Woman" film.But once that slate was released the responses either came back with "Well Marvel won that" or something like "Who's gonna see a Aquaman movie" or "who cares about Wonder Woman enough to see a whole movie?". It was like night and day reading the comments on it and they didn't stop down the road when the Suicide Squad cast was released and even the first photo of Jared Leto as the new and edgy Joker they are choosing to use in this universe. The main target in the Suicide Squad to look at was Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn cause this is the first time your seeing her in live action so to comic book fans "Get it perfect or GTFO". When Robbie's first shot was shown and looked over people thought it wasn't "Authentic" and didn't look like any of the Harley's ever shown before and that wasnt a good thing in fans eyes at all. Some have grown on it after seeing the teaser for Suicide Squad but still many are on the fence about her take on the character.
Now we move on to the first official photo of Leto...Director David Ayer released the photo on Joker's 75th anniversary and I will not post my opinion on this because if you normally read my articles you know I am a fan of Leto's band and I even met him so yes I am biased but do I believe in his talent..ABSOLUTELY..So I don't dwell on what people hated on the picture because it was basically everything, From the capped teeth to the tattoos and especially the "Damaged" tattoo which even made some comments called Leto a "ICP member who shops at Hot Topic on the regular". But when you look at it as a whole is Warner Brothers crazy about this casting or are they actually incredibly smart? The first on screen Joker was Jack Nicholson in the films and when you look at his resume of work he is a pro and he makes what he does as acting look effortless. Ledger was yes a roll of the dice but Ledger did show everyone that if he does enough research on something he could become something incredible. With Leto most people either think about him as Jordan Cantalano from "My So Called Life" and put it off immediately or say that his Oscar winning performance as Rayon in "Dallas Buyers Club" isn't the same type of performance so it doesn't work. For me being on his side of this I have heard every excuse you can think of as to why he shouldn't be cast as the Joker. Shirts were even made of him and some saying "WHY?" up until the teaser release when people got to see 8 seconds of him as the character after everything they have seen behind the scenes and heard about was brought to life finally and suddenly things started to change. Now people think the tattoos are very "Cape Fear"esque and while no one likes the Damaged on his forehead they are willing to move on from it. When you hear the laugh and his first line as the Joker much like Ledgers "Evening Commissioner" in the trailer when you first see him Leto says the line "Im not gonna kill ya, Im just gonna hurt ya really, really bad!!" Now people say he has the accent of Mark Hamill's Joker and Heath Ledger's which are known as the best two noted in history of screen. Kevin Smith brought up a good point on his podcast that the quote he says is very reminiscent of Nicholson in "The Shining" where his character is talking to Wendy and says he's just gonna "Hurt her really really bad!" So if your gonna take inspiration from something why not classic things like The Shining and those two actors.
While many are still on the fence over time and possibly after the release of Dawn Of Justice might help since he is supposed to show up in both Suicide Squad and that as well.
Now I know I had a title to follow and I did my best and straying away happens all the time but what I am trying to state in a whole is since we as comic book fans and fans of the culture and even the giant slate of films coming out we should feel something like "Blessed" and beyond overjoyed to get it instead of inspecting each thing that happens to it and tearing it apart like its a present on Christmas day. Think about the fact that if these didn't exist and comic book movie universes didn't happen we could be debating on films like "The English Patient" or something like talking with your girlfriend or wife over the new Katherine Heigl film or the brand new Nicholas Sparks film that is based on his many series of books that are still coming out over time. So next time you want to trash talk someone over something like a decision a movie studio made just be happy that you can even imagine it happening and seeing instead of what was mentioned..
Could you consider regardless of opinion the next 5 years the best for cinema?
Dawn Of Justice Tailer
Avengers:Age Of Ultron Trailer