The Difference between the superhero films Post-Superman, Post-Batman, and Post-X-Men

Discussion in 'Misc. Comics Films' started by Binker, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. Binker Registered

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    Okay, I like to ask this question.

    In the history of comic book films, it was all bleak pre-X-Men (2000) where you were likely to get a comic book film, and a film that was good from beginning to end. That isn't, and doesn't seem, to be the case now after Bryan Singer's X-Men. But I must ask, even before that film, there were two great superhero films in the form of Superman (1978) and Batman (1989). And after each of those fims, there wasn't even a thought from movie studios to make movies of every comic book out there. They still didn't even after WB made so much money with just those two a decade apart.

    After Superman (1978), we got the sequels, and a Batman movie was in development, but that was it. Then after Batman (1989), we got the sequels, we also got a few others on lesser known heroes, but if I recall, many people still didn't think it was really worh making movies about supehreroes. Now after X-Men (2000), not only did the Batman and Superman franchises returned, but we got more superheroes movies, Iron Man is the more recent coming out, with JLA in development. In other words: comic book movies are more into the movie market.

    I guess what I'm asking is: what made this all different with the release of X-Men (2000) in comparsion to the releases of Superman (1978) and Batman (1989)?
     
  2. Kevin Roegele Do you mind if I don't?

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    Well, the short answer is technology. With today's CGI, just about any superhero, and superheroic act, is possible onscreen. Whilst superheroes were very popular on TV in the 1970's, they were (by neccesity) very tame and basic. The Hulk was a green bodybuilder who smashed a few props and lifted heavy stuff. Spider-Man was a guy who occasionally got pulled up a skyscraper by a rope (but full credit to the stuntman for doing so).

    These days, we can have Spider-Man in all his acrobatic glory. We can have Nightcrawler bamfing around fighting a whole room full of men at the same time. We can have the full-size (or bigger) Hulk.

    The second answer is because Hollywood is more scared than ever these days, and so floods the market with succesful genres. Look at all the torture porn movies. Look at all the sex/romance comedies that have come out in the last six months alone. Look at all the fantasy epics based on 'best-selling series of novels'.

    As I say, superheroes have been popular in Hollywood since the 70's. From 1978 to 1997, we never went more than three years without a Batman or Superman movie. On TV in the 70's alone there was the Hulk, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, Dr Strange, Captain America. In the 80's, superhero movies took off, in the 90's it was full of attempts to copy Batman's success. We had The Shadow, The Phantom, Dick Tracy, Rocketeer....it was stuff more rooted in the old fashioned, pulpy superheroic category that didn't really find an audience with today's kids, or just badly made stuff like Spawn and Steel.

    Another problem recently solved is that superhero properties infamously used to take years to actually get made. The Spider-Man movie was initally promised in the mid 1980s. Iron Man and Daredevil had been in production since the early 90's, with both Tom Cruise and Nicolas Cage being involved with playing Tony Stark. And we all know the trials and tribulations of making a fifth Superman movie, which has been planned ever since Superman IV, believe it or not.

    Even X-Men took a long time to get made. James Cameron was involved in the early 90's, but it was really thanks to the success of the cartoon that got it the green light. Even so, Fox were cautious after the negativity about Batman & Robin, and gave Singer a (relatively) small budget of $75m to do X-Men, but it was such a hit that it opened Hollywood's eyes again.

    And then Spider-Man put dollar signs in Hollywood's eyes. Spider-Man is such a huge obvious money-maker that it would have been made regardless of whether superheroes were back in vogue or not. But it was an enormous hit, and then X2 backed it up, and the flood began almost immedietly. Daredevil and Hulk hit first, and suddenly every Marvel character was on his or her way to the big screen.

    And that's the final reason for the resurgence of the genre. Marvel's studio heads, such as Avi Arad. It's their determination and business sense that has taken Marvel films from being cheap B-movies like Captain America and The Punisher, to the biggest blockbuster brand in Hollywood.

    It's the Marvel Age of Movies. And when this website began, we on the messageboards never even imagined it would happen.
     
  3. Mister J Enlightened to the Great Darkness

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    Not really a lot left to say after that. Pretty much everything that came to mind. Nice job, Kevin. :up:
     
  4. Kevin Roegele Do you mind if I don't?

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    :up: Thanks buddy.
     
  5. 3dman27 super-hero wannabe

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    well put:hyper:
     
  6. Catman Registered

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    To begin with, Superman was more of a response to the whole sci-fi boom that came from the success of Star Wars. Yet, their were some movies that tried to catch in on Superman's success. Remember the Swamp Thing movies? Then with Batman, since he doesn't have superpowers, studios got inspired and we got stuff like Dick Tracy, Darkman, The Rocketeer, The Shadow, The Mask, and The Phantom to name a few. As for X-Men...well...it was Spider-Man that started the latest superhero craze. And Kevin already explained the technology.

    As for the television aspect that Kevin brought up...I would like to expand on that. Let's not forget all the superhero cartoons. There has literally always been superhero cartoons since the `60s. In the `60s we got the original Spidey cartoon and the Hanna-Montana Fantastic Four cartoon. Then in the `70s we had Superfriends and the Filmation Batman cartoons. In the `80s we had TWO Spidey cartoons, Hulk, and like a new Superfriends. And in the `90s saw the start of the DCAU and the Marvel stuff on Fox Kids. And now we just literally got a new Spidey cartoon on Kids WB. Not to mention The Batman and Legions of Superheros.
     
  7. bullets bang bang

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    I think that sums up alot of it.
     
  8. deathshead2 Registered

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    ahahahahhahaha
     
  9. Catman Registered

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    Oh God. :csad:
     
  10. Dr. Fate Registered

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    You pretty much summed it all up.
     

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