- Entertainment and Media
Is Hollywood Making The Right Decisions With Their Comic Book Films??
A Look Inside...
Ok, For starters readers I am not going to totally compare this article to the one I did a few weeks back involving comic book films and the fans being privileged enough to have them. This is something where over the course of many months and years I have been hearing numerous fights and rants involving Hollywood studios casting this person or making this person look this way for this role and while it does start up enough debate to give the movie the talk it needs and all that it is a good conversation piece to go over and cover.
The crazy thing is you would thing I am talking about what has been going on the past 2-5 years involving the many comic book films that have been released or going to be released but in all honesty it goes much much deeper and further back then that and sometimes its not even about the comic book movie world either which is where I feel that its getting out of hand.
The Early Years....
While I am writing this article I have Tim Burton's Batman playing in the background because partly it did set off a major fire way back when there was no internet for the news that Michael Keaton was going to play Bruce Wayne himself and at the time it wasn't reported on Twitter or through a website that we see now, It was reported on the cover of a magazine that came with an article and made it seem like it was a bigger deal then now where news stories run 20-30 a day a the lowest. Also many had backlash about "Mr.Mom and Beetlejuice playing Batman" but once his character and persona where shown on the screen it was the best showing of the character on the big screen for many years. Now I know you have to not count the animated series but for some who don't like acting choices for Batman characters will revert back to that show and say things like "My Batman is Kevin Conroy" or "The Joker is ONLY Mark Hamill" and while those choices are both granted and admirable it isn't the big screen where the studios like Warner Brothers and Disney want to make their millions and even billions of dollars.
Back in 1995 and 1997 Joel Schumacher took his stab at the Batman series with Val Kilmer playing Wayne in Batman Forever and George Clooney playing the character in Batman & Robin. Those films were over the top and at a time when the internet was nowhere near where it is now and if you wanted to complain about something like Jim Carrey as the Riddler then you needed to send out a mass E-Mail instead of choosing things like we have now. Those films also score 5.4 and 3.6 out of 10 on IMDB and have widely been considered two of the worst comic book films made. Now I know some of you are wondering and mentioning to yourself "Hey Mr.Biased wheres the Marvel stuff?". Well honestly back around this time when the Schumacher films were being released and almost being ran out of movie theaters everywhere Marvel was having trouble staying above water and the studio before it was "Marvel Studios" had to sell off assets like a fire sale to keep Marvel itself from going out of business and thats why Marvel Studios doesn't have rights to people like "The Fantastic 4","X-Men","Deadpool","Namor" and "The Silver Surfer". So while you know that a Fantastic 4 film did happen somewhere back when losing these characters is a big loss to them even though now they are sitting on the throne of the movie business right now. Recently as of 2 years ago Marvel had to fight and bargain over their biggest acquisition in Spider Man after 5 films were made at Sony Entertainment and both series and a Spider Man Universe ultimately fell apart before Sony had to fold their hand and give some of the reigns over to Marvel Studios.
The Year Of Blockbuster And Dominance...
In May 3rd 2002 Tobey Maguire was cast as Peter Parker bringing Spider Man to the big screen and I myself remember trying to go to the brand new theatre in the area and having to park across the street opening night like it was Black Friday because everyone and their families were going to see Spider Man. I ended up waiting until the next day to see it with my friend but after hearing Sunday afternoon that it shattered the box office opening record I didn't quite understand how big of a deal that was and what type of seismic shift that would make on the movie world once it happened. Spider Man ended up making 114,844,116 in a single weekend and became all the rage and news upon becoming broken. The HBO show Entourage even joked that when the actor Vincent Chase played Aquaman in a film that it was going to get "Eight Legs Big" money and by the end of the episode the feat is ultimately surpassed by Aquaman and became a focal point in that season later on.
The reason why I mention that Spider Man breaking the record was such a big deal was because when you look at how films are made now and distributed its like the studio in question wants to make 150 million at minimum now or else it is considered a failure. I don't know anyone who didn't go out to see Avengers:Age Of Ultron but that film was around 9 million off of breaking the opening weekend record set by the first Avengers film and Marvel Studios still considered it a step back and a failure among their standards which says something about how they handle things there. Over time from Spider Man's birth to 2015 too many films to name have taken the slot and broken records whether its Harry Potter's series of films or the many Pirates Of The Caribbean films or even some standout phenomenon's like Frozen or Alice In Wonderland that both went on to gross a billion dollars each it went from being a once in a blue moon type thing to now becoming something you strive for and gain to achieve and if you don't then you have either made a failure for the studio or something else just didn't work out in the end.
The Start Of The "Comic Book Craze"...
Now some might think that either Burton's Batman or the Sam Raimi Spider Man kicked off the craze off that we see now where over 25 plus comic book based films will be released in the next 5 years. But many have to look to the X-Men films and Blade with Wesley Snipes since those are not known as the best ever but they did kick off the story driven tales from comic books and being able to do it the right way and have people enjoy it without causing too many problems since at the end of the day it seems it doesn't seem right without some. Now in one of my most recent articles directing genius Steven Spielberg did mention that he believes the comic book genre could go "The Way Of The Western" in some time because of how much we see the content and and how much some could get fatigued by it at the end of the day. Batman Vs Superman director Zack Snyder even commented on that recently by saying that "Its very possible" and knowing that Snyder wants his DC Movie Universe to stand the test of time and be enjoyed by all much like the Marvel Studios Phase films will be there will be and is a time to end everything it just depends on when and how long the craze will last.
Haters,Trolls,Skeptics And Everyone Else
This article I did cover but since it does drive into the realm of what were discussing as a whole then I feel I need to go over it again. I am just going to state this plainly and simple as possible..Trolls and so called "Haters" are EVERYWHERE and yes they suck when they are around. The most popular of cases where I have seen them poke around and start things is about Entertainment and the things that are popular in the media at that time. So right now its everything and anything superhero. Whether its movies,TV,Music,Castings,Actor/Actress choice/look the sky is the limit. Now being a fan of the genre and everything that comes with it as well I understand and get that when someone is cast in a role and you may or may not like him or her for it I haven't seen a case yet where someone has watched the backlash online and then backed away from the role because to them being able to play someone like Batman or Captain America is a big deal and a huge step for the person. Another character that has always been under fire is The Joker. I will try to keep this as brief as possible because I have mentioned it on numerous occasions before but some were offset by Jack playing The Joker in Burtons Batman way back when and then of course people almost lost it and flipped a table when Heath Ledger was announced and it did even continue at points when images of him were released as well. Now in 2015 people almost are running through walls and destroying things over Jared Leto's depiction of the clown prince of crime. Before anything was shown and the green hair was out in the open, Leto called his version of the Joker a "Shakespearean type character and a Beautiful Disaster". When some heard that sentence alone I am surprised he didn't receive death threats because the hate grew after that and even though now we've seen about 10 seconds of him in the full setup and even speaking some are either on the fence or just don't like it for artificial things like tattoos or caps on the teeth. Every now and then I do go down the rabbit hole and look at comments and someone put that Suicide Squad will be a horrible film because Leto has caps on his teeth, That was his big deal breaker and said that was going to destroy the movie. Then someone replied smartly and asked him if he was a wizard and had already gotten a chance to see the film before everyone else because making that assumption is pretty big just off of an image. I had a chat with a manager of mine who totally hated the look and I told him it was a sign of the times and the way things were. He just shook his head like my opinion had no meaning but when you think about how a studio thinks how many people would you say know about Jared Leto knowing who he is as an actor even possibly knowing as much as I do about him? Not enough for Suicide Squad to make over its budget. Also putting things like Joker type tattoos all over his body and caps on his teeth and giving him that sick and skinny look much like Sid Vicious from the Sex Pistols is something that wide arrays of audiences can see and say "Woah those tattoos are insane! Im in!" Even if some discount the now infamous "Damaged" tattoo it could still be an option. Also having people say "You know, He looks NOTHING like Heath Ledger and thats the one I know so lets see what he's got!" Is another amazing selling point that nobody seems to handle the so called haters or trolls first opinions come into play and then its a dangerous hole to go down from there.
The same thing happened during San Diego Comic Con when the first official shot of Apocalypse was released via the trailer the fans got to see and Entertainment Weekly's spread on the film. Many took to it as calling him the new "Ivan Ooze" and how the supporting characters who are played by younger actors so they can grow into the roles look more like their characters then Oscar Isaac does playing Apocalypse. People compared the shot calling him Prince from the Purple Rain days and many other memes came into play. Recently Isaac said in an interview that Apocalypse is going to be and act like a "God like character" and thats what we need out of him to be able to destroy anything and everything in its wake and give the X-Men problems in the new film or whats the point in seeing it and giving it new life other then that its set in the 80's and the new supporting cast?
Whether Spielberg is correct and by 2030 we start seeing another genre take over cinemas like Comic book films have, Us as the fans should be happy and thankful we have these films to watch until the day we die and even for the near future as well whether it is retellings or something brand new coming to the table. So next time you think about Ben Affleck's Batman and want to say "Oh you mean Sad Batman" remember that getting the Dark Knight Returns type Batman is way better then rehashing over Batman & Robin and getting such gems as bat skates and the infamous Bat Visa. Also while casting news can be bad and something that can frustrate many, Looking at peoples other work before the big release of films like Suicide Squad and Dawn Of Justice Etc. Can help you with identifying how they work and how great the actor or actress actually can be in a role especially if they have some hardware like a Golden Globe or an Oscar under their belt to call theirs.
What Casting Made You Do A Double Take Most?
Batman Vs Superman Dawn Of Justice Trailer
Suicide Squad Trailer
Avengers Age Of Ultron Trailer