General rules

Discussion in 'Misc. Comics Films' started by Chris Wallace, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace LET'S DO A HEADCOUNT...

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    The following are a few simple guidelines for making a good comic book movie. Feel free to comment however you like.

    1. Stay true to the source material.
    But don't feel handcuffed by it. Deviate only in the interests of telling a good story. But leave room for surprises as well. No matter how much we may like to think otherwise, comic fans DO NOT want to walk into the theatre knowing exactly how the movie's going to turn out.

    2. Cast according to suitability for the role.
    A lot of filmmakers think the key to filling seats is to fill the cast with big names & eye candy. But if you try to cater strictly to the TRL-friendly crowd, that's all you're gonna draw. I like Will Smith but I wouldn't want him to play Luke Cage. Nobody'd ever heard of Hugh Jackman before he played Wolverine but by & large he turned out just fine.

    3. Big budgets do not always equal big box office.
    This is self-explanatory. Excessively elaborate sets & overuse of CGI can kill any film.

    4. Put the characters first.
    Why were "Spider-Man" & "X-Men" so successful? Why are people so pumped up about "Batman Begins"? Simple. It's about the person behind the tights. The how & why of it all.

    5. Women are more than eye candy.
    Give us female characters with substance; something to do more than just titillate. Or in other words, look at last year's "Catwoman" & do the opposite.

    6.Comic books ARE NOT just for kids!
    Make movies geared toward adults, but accessible to kids. In other words, make a movie, not a two-hour commercial for Happy Meals, action figures, Lego sets & Halloween costumes.
     
  2. TRUE

    TRUE Registered

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  3. 3dman27

    3dman27 super-hero wannabe

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  4. Doc_OCK_4MUGEN

    Doc_OCK_4MUGEN I love 6" not 3 3/4" toys

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    I think the following to should be added...
    7. A few Easter eggs for the comic book fans it's OK but don't abuse them... otherwise most movie goers would be like WTF?
    8. Treat the source Material with Respect... Fans hate awful adaptations of their characters...(Batman and Robin=the most disrespected CB movie ever...) No one wants to relive the torture that was B&R...

    Regarding#2 Actors should be qualified for their acting ability, not because they can wear a 70 pound suit... Ja I'm tahking about Mistah Fweeze!
     
  5. Dwarf lord

    Dwarf lord Spirit in the Night

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    Agreed. I think that fans and comic book writers should be the ones doing these movies. Not random directors looking for a paycheck.
     
  6. Silver Sable

    Silver Sable Wild Pack Commander

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    Sometimes fans and artists have better ideas than the directors themselves
     
  7. WarBlade

    WarBlade Registered

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    I think this point is misdirected. It really needs to be aimed at the people who write and draw comicbooks moreso than people who make movies.

    Here's food for thought: Make a list of top tier male comicbook characters, a list of top tier female comicbook characters and compare the two to see which is the bigger list. The disparity should be obvious and while I concede there are more factors involved than just whether or not the female characters have any substance to them, I still believe this plays a strong factor in why they aren't as popular.
     
  8. Kable24

    Kable24 Member of the NRA

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    Wow, I was expecting to read some major crap here, but you basically hit the nail on the head.
     
  9. Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace LET'S DO A HEADCOUNT...

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    Your #8 isn't that different from my #1.
     
  10. Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace LET'S DO A HEADCOUNT...

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    What did you think I was gonna say?
     
  11. Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace LET'S DO A HEADCOUNT...

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    7. If all we want to see is musclebound idiots in colorful spandex beating on each other, we'll watch WWE.
    Give us a story!
     
  12. Kable24

    Kable24 Member of the NRA

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    I don't know, but I've read some of your posts and I usually didn't agree with your opinions. It happens.
     
  13. Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace LET'S DO A HEADCOUNT...

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    That's not completely true, WB. Storm is one of my favorite characters but look how mistreated she gets in Hollywood. Same goes for Catwoman; Selina Kyle is a very complex character but we haven't really seen it.
    ANyways, I wasn't just talking about the ones who wear the tights, but also the leading ladies; the love interests. A great example would be my favorite-Dr. Karen Jensen (N'Bushe Wright, "Blade") vs. the one I found most annoying, Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman, "Batman Forever"). One was a strong-willed, independent thinker, & a survivor. The other was a bubble-brained bimbo who somehow managed to get a PhD. One fought back against the bad guys, discovered a chemical agent that could be used as a weapon, not to mention coming up w/a cure for vampirism, rescued the hero & even took out a couple of vamps herself. The other pointed out that the coin by which Two-Face made all his decisions could be used against him, relentlessly made sexual advances on the hero while he was in the middle of a fight, & defiantly told her kidnappers that Batman would come & rescue her.

    My point is, it's not entirely the comics' fault.
     
  14. Doc_OCK_4MUGEN

    Doc_OCK_4MUGEN I love 6" not 3 3/4" toys

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    Ok We could make it as a sub topic of #1

    Oh yeah! Slightly off topic... Congrats on your marriage Chris

    Back on Topic...
    Too true... also this should be added... Wrestlers might know how to fall and fight choreography, but that doesn't mean they can act... Best Example Hulk Hogan...
     
  15. Isildur´s Heir

    Isildur´s Heir Registered

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    Great post, you make great points, but there are some that are missing...

    Rules of Engagement
    1. UNDERSTAND THE CHARACTERS, know the characters, and i don´t mean to know who is the good guy, who is the bad guy, who dates who, that sort of thing.
    Understand what makes them tick, what makes them do what they do, understand their goals and ambitions, understand their fears and tragedies, understand their psychology...understand, and make the audience understand too...and care for them.
    So, take your time to immerse yourself on the subject, because, if you can´t understand it...don´t bother in making the movie.

    2. A SUPERHERO IS NOTHING MORE THAN POWERS AND A SUIT, meaning that the man behind the mask is much more important than the super.
    Always have that in mind, so, make a serious and adult movie about the characters, not some 2 hours action movie that will be forgotten the moment you walk out the theater.
    Comic books are more serious than many people give them credit for...remember, the stories that make the diference are stories like "Death of Superman", "Death of Gwen Stacy", "Knighfall", "The Killing Joke"....not the 1000000000th fight between Venom and Spider-Man.
    That alone shows that comic books are geared toward adults and not kids, they are not geared toward kids in a long time now....why will the movies have to be?

    3. RESPECT THE COMIC BOOKS (i know that you have already addressed this subject, but i feel that you missed something).
    Comic books tell the character´s life, all their good and bad moments, all their ups and downs, all their happiness and tragedies, so, follow that.
    Sure, changes will be made, and i don´t want otherwise, but stay close to what is important, use those important moments in the character´s life, and don´t just change it just for the hell of it.
    To give you and example about what i´m talking about, let me use the Death of Gwen Stacy storyline.
    Making it into a movie, it´s essential to make her bieng killed by the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn), having her die on top of the Brooklin bridge, having Spider-Man following him to the wearhouse, having Spider-Man almost killing The Green Goblin just to back out in the last moment, realising what he is doing, and having GG die, impaled by his own glider.
    You can change the rest, but keeping that will keep the storyline´s core intact.
     
  16. Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace LET'S DO A HEADCOUNT...

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    I don't think "Death Of Superman' is a good example, as it was nothing but a marketing gimmick.
    And by your reference to the death of Gwen, do you also mean that Raimi went the wrong route? B/c I disagree. This falls under "being true to the material w/o feeling handcuffed by it".
     
  17. Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace LET'S DO A HEADCOUNT...

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    What do you want, #1b?
     
  18. Doc_OCK_4MUGEN

    Doc_OCK_4MUGEN I love 6" not 3 3/4" toys

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    Uh as you wish...
    The WORLD... If the story happens on planet EARTH and it's the present... The city on where the story is happening Should be "a Real city" I don't mean one that we can find on maps... what I mean is that the City is a character on itself... It should be a realistic city, one that makes me feel like people ACTUALLY Live there and not a miniature scale mock-up of a city... I find a bit hard to swallow that an observatory can be made on top of a huge statue of liberty knock-off and have the city with loads of these colossal statues...
     
  19. Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace LET'S DO A HEADCOUNT...

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    And what are you suggesting? That Schumacher's Gotham looked more like Coruscant than a real city?
     
  20. Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace LET'S DO A HEADCOUNT...

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    Having given your remarks a little more thought...
    1. Following my previous guielines would entail understanding the characters, & everything about them. But this is a little bit subjective. Some people argue that Singer & Co. didn't understand the X-Men b/c it wasn't all-out action, w/bright colors & a musclebound Magneto. Singer understood that Erik Lensherr was a Jew who was tortured in WWII, (therefore OLD) & that this helped shape his current world view. He understood that the X-Men are an organization created to protect innocent humans from overzealous mutants, & protect innocent mutants from overzealous humans-not a "Super Friends" style superhero team.
    2-this is just a rephrasing of what I've said before, but on the surface it sounds like Schumacher's mentality.
    3-Respecting the comics doesn't mean replicating or recreatinf the events which took place. Much as I loved the nods to classic comic scenes-the ones found in "Spider-Man" 1 & 2, "X2" & "Daredevil"-they're not always necessary. And even if you do go that route you don't have to follow the event blow by blow, word for word. To do so falls once again under being handcuffed by the material. I liked seeing Spider-Man battle the Goblin on the bridge for the love of his life, but it wasn't necessary for her to die. I liked seeing Wolverine's escape from Weapon X-but saying that Stryker was behind it didn't hurt my enjoyment.
     
  21. Isildur´s Heir

    Isildur´s Heir Registered

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    Of course, it´s a bit on the subjective side...but not that much.
    The fact that the X-Men was not all-out action or the fact that they didn´t had the bright colors costumes doesn´t fall into the "understand the characters" category, not even close.
    To understand the X-Men, is to understand Xavier´s dream, is to understand Erik´s vision of humanity, is to understand why Scott is so devoted to that dream and so afraid of trying to live a "normal" life (as normal as a mutant can), i to understand....you get the picture.

    Ýes, it´s a rephrasing of what you said, but i don´t get the "sounds like Schumacher's mentality" thingy :confused:

    It all comes down to how you look at the subject.....and it as nothing to do about nods to classic comic scenes.
    The way i look at comic book movies goes like this.....i see them as a kind of biographical movie, but insted of being based on a real life event, it´s based on a comic book event.
    Just like a movie about a real person (Ray, Kinsey, The Aviator, Ali....), you don´t change all the man´s life, just some thing for dramatic reasons.
    The same goes to comic books....
    Comic books tell the character´s life, their ups and downs, their dramas and their happiness, why wouldn´t anyone want to follow that?
    I never once said anything about not changing things...in fact, there are a lot of things in comic books that need changes, either because they are outdated, or because they are plain stupid, but you just have to know what to change and how to do it, just like a real life movie.
    Now, i´m not saying that the movies should follow every little story, that would be stupid, but they should follow events, sagas, big storylines, things that defined the character.
    Now, you have to know what to keep, what to follow, and with that, i return to the example of the Gwen´s Stacy´s death storyline.
    To make it, you would only have to keep some things, like who killed her (GG), where (Brooklin Bridge) and so on...that represents 30 minutes in a 120 minute movie, so there is still plenty of space to an original storyline and a lot of changes to the storyline at hand.
    And about changes that i say that are should be made because, how it was done in the comic is totally outdated, i give the example of Hank McCoy.
    Years before the Ultimate line was created, i already had the idea of making Hank change into Beast because he was subject to experiences by the Weapon X programme, not because he drank someking of drug he created.
    I call this a great change, because, not only gives a new meaning to the change that happend to McCoy, not only because it gives a new realtion between him and Logan, not onyl because now there is someone that understands what Logan went through, but because it erases the stupid and outdated idea of having McCoy creating somekind of serum, drinking it and changing into the blue Beast (how stupid id for a cientist to create a potion, drink it and changing. Didn´t he knew the effects? If not, is not stupid for a cientist to create something and not test it?).
     
  22. Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace LET'S DO A HEADCOUNT...

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    1-what I meant was that it could be perceived that he didn't understand the characters.
    2-"On the surface", meaning that the words by themselves (Superheroes are just powers & a suit) sound like there should be no depth to comic book movies.
    On 3 we're in total agreement; I just feel you didn't really make it clear before.
     
  23. overboard

    overboard Guest

    I'd like to add:don't kill off the bad guys immediately.The way Batman has been burning through its bad guys,they'll have to start making new ones and they'll never be as good.Arkham asylum should be good enough for the Batman movies
     
  24. 3dman27

    3dman27 super-hero wannabe

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    dwarf lord is correct on this
     
  25. Chris Wallace

    Chris Wallace LET'S DO A HEADCOUNT...

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    That's not really a black-and-white guideline for a couple of reasons.
    1-If no body has been found or recovered (Sabretooth, Two-Face, Ock) the villain could conceivably come back.
    2-depending on the hero's rogue gallery, there may not be a need for them to come back. For example, the Green Goblin is replaceable w/his son, & Spidey has so many worthwhile villains they can still do.
    3-Hollywood has an unwritten mandate that crime must be punished. A murderer must almost always die-especially a mass murderer.
    4-There may never be an opportunity to bring them back. There isn't gonna be a "Blade 4" (I don't think so anyway) so there's no need to keep Deacon Frost alive. There's not likely to be a "Spider-Man 15" either, so a few baddies can die.
     

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