Amy Young previews yet another glut of summer superhero movies headed your way in 2014.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Amazing Spiderman 2. Avengers: Age of Ultron. Guardians of the Galaxy. X-Men: Days of Future Past.
It seems as if now more than ever, studios are obsessed with the superhero film phenomenon. You could argue that developments in film technology have allowed these kinds of films to be created, with special effects allowing for the talents of our caped crusaders. But with all of the films mentioned above being projects that will be released in the next year or so, it is hard to deny that film may have entered a crazed comic book age.
If you get a superhero film right, it can be one of the best box office hits of the year. They are stories of seemingly undefeatable beings, facing the almost insurmountable struggles of human life, whilst punching bad guys and throwing hammers, shields or batarangs. What’s not to love about that?
But for some reason if studios get it wrong, they get it badly wrong. A lot of fans still shudder whenever they are reminded that Batman and Robin or Daredevil exists. Although, much amusement can be found from Joel Schumacher’s attempt at a Batman movie by just sitting back and enjoying the ride, puns and all. Saying that, “Let’s kick some ice” might be where you draw the line, and “Freeze in Hell” doesn’t even make sense.
For contemporary cinematic concerns, it’s Ben Affleck’s leading role in Daredevil that is causing some fans to panic at the thought of him portraying the new incarnation of Bruce Wayne in the currently untitled “Batman vs. Superman” movie. To put it simply: the Internet in general doesn’t seem best pleased. You only have to go on YouTube to see the angry rant videos and increasingly censorable comments. And for love of God, do not get them started on Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.
It seems that the main way you can go wrong in a superhero movie for fans, is if you cast the ‘wrong’ actors for the major roles. But it must be said that there are a few comic book and graphic novel fans that jump pretty quickly to the conclusion that certain actors can in no way portray their favourite characters.
Some of these canon-loyal fans tend to forget that they shared similar feelings for actors who went above and beyond expectations when their films were released. Watching X-Men it is hard to imagine anyone else but Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine, a sentiment that some fans would never have even dreamt of having when he was cast, because they couldn’t imagine Curly from Oklahoma with Adamantium claws.
It is understandable when fans worry that their most beloved story lines or characters might be warped beyond recognition, and of course not all comic book fans have such a reaction. But who knows? Maybe Ben Affleck and Jesse Eisenberg will surprise everyone. Even Heath Ledger’s incredible, Oscar-winning role as the Joker in The Dark Knight was initially met with scepticism from a few.
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