Sunday Discussion: An Overflow of Comic Book Movies?!
by Alex Billington
July 6, 2008
Today's article is pulling double duty as both last weekend's and this weekend's Sunday Discussion. Last week I ran out of time on the weekend and couldn't finish writing; the problem was that I was in Los Angeles for a few days covering press junkets for both The Dark Knight and Hellboy II and lost track of time. And in turn, this whole dilemma actually spawned from my activities that weekend anyway. As much as I love comic book movies myself, I've started to wonder whether they are consuming both FirstShowing.net and Hollywood. Not only are there five of them this summer, but the only news people seem to care about recently is anything pertaining to current or upcoming comic book movies. I feel like every last article I write has some connection to a comic but I can't help it - it's just all there is some days!
Maybe it's just this time of the year. Not only did we kick off the summer movie season with Iron Man, but a few weeks back we had Wanted, earlier this week Hancock (a superhero movie in its concept) hit theaters, next weekend Hellboy II: The Golden Army arrives, and the weekend after that we'll be hit by the incredible force known as The Dark Knight. Then Punisher: War Zone and Frank Miller's The Spirit are both due out by the end of the year. As for next year's line-up, it includes Watchmen, Whiteout, Wolverine, and G.I. Joe (so far). And I haven't even mentioned the other in development projects like Marvel's Thor, Captain America, and Avengers movies, DC Comics' Superman: The Man of Steel, and other indie comic adaptations like Kick-Ass, Jonah Hex, and Cowboys & Aliens. Now you might understand why I feel like Hollywood is overflowing with an excess of comic book movies!
This is my dilemma: I love comic book movies and will always go out and see every last one, but I'm wondering whether we're reaching a point where discussion about them has burned out and no one wants to hear any more news. I start to get afraid when I look at all the articles in a day and almost all of them pertain to some sort of comic book movie. It's a legitimate concern because it resonates beyond just this site and into Hollywood in general. Are there too many comic book movies? Or are we just reaching a point where comic books have become the mainstream adaptation medium. I feel like people want to see and hear about original ideas, indie movies, or adaptations based on books, but there isn't anything too interesting about any of them so we resort back to comic book movies in the end anyway.
Another observation is that comic book movies are finally reaching a point where they're being recognized as phenomenal films (for example, my reaction to The Dark Knight). Not only do they make the most money at the box office every year, but they end up being some of the best movies all year long. Thus it would make sense that comic book movies gain so much recognition - they're loved by so many people that it's no longer a niche. It's hard to wake up every morning and sort through so much comic book news and stay balanced in considering what to write about. The reason why movies like The Wackness get so much extra attention is because I love featuring indie movies that break up the flow of mainstream news. But recently I've been left with nothing but comic book movie articles and it feels over-saturated.
With Hellboy II and The Dark Knight both due out in the next few weeks, it doesn't look like the comic book movie related news is going to slow down anytime soon. But is it really a problem? Or is it something that most have come to accept as the norm in Hollywood? I know I don't necessarily have a problem with it because each and every comic book movie is just as exciting as the last. No matter what the story or what the setting is, anything based on a comic book usually has me instantly interested - which is why it's a dilemma to be worried about them. Is it just this time of the year or is there really an excessive amount of comic book news? Do you feel like there is an overflow of comic book movies in Hollywood? Do you want to see more comic book movie articles or more articles on other types of movies?
Action figure photo courtesy of Greg the Bunny on Flickr.