It seems that the general air of Doompocalypsamagedden has now even extended to the comic book film, a once thriving genre that provided much of the capital that has fueled the biz for the last decade. Over at Comic Book Movie, there’s an unsigned “volunteer contribution” that suggests “comic book movie” could go the way of the Western or the POLICE ACADEMY movies:
In the past I have made comparisons between the modern day CBM and the western genre of old. The comparison is based on the fact that in their heyday the western was the one breed of film that was guaranteed to put butts in the seats at theaters, just as modern CBMs do, but one day the movie going public simply said enough was enough. What was it that killed the western as the king of the box office? Could this same fate be waiting in the near future for comic book movies?
We’d be a bit more worried if Iron Man, Road to Perdition and Tamara Drewe (above) were all exactly the same kind of movie. It’s true that 2010 probably saw the widest variety of comic book movies released in quite some time, and it’s true that several of the outliers failed (no need to point the finger once again). But Hollywood still needs ideas, and they still love “pre-awareness” (for now) so we’ll see.
Along these lines, Graeme McMillan at Spinoff asks Has Warners Waited Too Long To Exploit DC’s Movie Potential?, suggesting that Marvel has too big and established a lead:
Well, for one thing, because they’re not the first to do it. Newness – or, in this case, the illusion of newness – is important, and it can be better to avoid something than be the second people to try it, in many cases. More importantly, audiences have already bought into one shared superhero universe – will they be willing to do so for another? More cynically, will non-comic-reading audiences really be able to tell that Green Lantern, The Flash and whatever other DCU movies are coming out aren’t part of Marvel’s plans?
The piece has a few points, but seems mostly aimed at Google keywords. It’s true that Warners has a history of endlessly going back and forth with its characters, and falling in love with some really weird ideas along the way (Jack Black as Green Lantern, Nicolas Cage as Superman, or runaway dad stalker Superman). OTOH, sometimes they have the good sense to let Christopher Nolan be Christopher Nolan. Now that the DC characters are the future franchises of the studio, hopefully they’ll go the Jon Favreau way and not the CATWOMAN way.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.