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Sunday
Jul152012

Men of Steel 'n' Spandex

My eyes are beginning to glaze over from the Hype-a-Thon that is the interwebs around Comic Con time. The Earth is so overrun with superheroes that it's remarkable that crime still exists at all. I went to get coffee this morning and the street in front of my favorite deli was cordoned off as a crime scene. Not joking. The heroes are all trapped in airconditioned movie theaters our moviegoing fates having been long since sealed.

See, the grosses for every superhero movie that's arrived, yes even notorious "flops" like Green Lantern, divisive films like Watchmen, or the ones that would've been 'Straight to Video' in other decades like Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, have had little trouble breaking $100-200 million globally so the only logical thing is to greenlight as many as possible with tighter budgets. Superheroes are the new Horror Flicks -- you'll always make a profit if you control your budgets.

Man of Steel teaser poster

If Hollywood had any cold feet at all about greenlighting every superhero they own the rights to, this summer's one-two-three KO that is Avengers + Spidey + Batman (a trio that will obviously clear $3 billion globally) will surely doom us to one superhero movie a month or more by 2015. Soon superhero movies will be as ubiquitous as horror flicks. Especially if Warner Bros ever gets its act together. They own ALL DC characters -- unlike Marvel Studios/Disney which has to work from a deck with several key cards missing -- and yet, apart from Batman regularly and Superman every once in awhile they can't seem to get anything working properly.

So, what's next?

Next Weekend
The Dark Knight Rises - this is the last we'll see of Bruce Wayne for awhile though Nolan is already suggesting that Anne Hathaway deserves a Catwoman movie. Careful what you wish for *cough* Halle Berry

The massively spandexed release schedule as it currently stands after the jump...

2013

May 3rd, 2013
Iron Man 3 

June 14th, 2013
Man of Steel

Will Yun Lee!July 26th, 2013
The Wolverine 
After a rough start when it lost Darren Aronofsky from the director's chair - sniffle - Hugh Jackman's 5th trip into Mutant land starts filming any minute. They've been dropping lots of casting announcements for the Japan-set story: Hiroyuki Sanada will play Shingen; Hal Yamanouchi will play Yashida; Jessica Biel will play The Viper; fresh faces Tao Okamoto and Rila Fukushima will play the key roles of Mariko and Yukio (a great role in the comics); and Will Yun Lee -- who you might remember from the shortlived Bionic Woman series or 007's Die Another Day -- has the Big Bad duties as the Silver Samurai. 

November 8th, 2013
Thor: The Dark World 
This one's having some production trouble already. It lost its initial director Patty Jenkins and now it's lost its villain Mads Mikkelsen. 


2014

April 4th, 2014
Captain America: The Winter Soldier 
Supposedly this title implies that Sebastian Stan's Bucky didn't die in that fall but will reemerge as a brainwashed Russian baddie

May 2nd, 2014
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 
*yawn*

July 18th, 2014
Untitled X-Men First Class Sequel 
Fassy & Co are back. Rumor has it that Fox may be looking at the classic "Days of Future Past" arc (yay!) for this franchise.

August 1st, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy 
This is the riskiest title of the next couple of years as the Guardians are not household names and the outerspace story and heavy CGI component (they're led by a talking racoon) will have to stave off -- honest, it's going to be better than Green Lantern -- negativity.

also in active development
Ant-Man which debuted Edgar Wright test footage to fans at Comic Con
The Black Panther

Also in very active Reboot mood
Daredevil 
The Fantastic Four 
In both cases if they don't move quickly into production the rights will revert back to Marvel... so you know they're going to act quickly. Given how truly terrible these films were the first go round, it'd be better for moviegoers if Marvel got back the rights but corporate profits care not for "better for moviegoers"

2015 -2017

I can't imagine how many... can you?

But if anything can break Dr. Strange, Aquaman, The Flash, Deadpool, Venom, and the Justice League out of their lengthly prison sentences in development hell, it's gotta be this summer's grosses. I wouldn't hold my breath for any female heroes though. Sigh. If there's one thing that characterizes the superhero craze of the past decade its testosterone. The Marvel/Disney combo that's proved so successful and speedy with fan-pleasing adaptations does not, unfortunately, own very many of the best female characters. The saddest thing for me about all of this is that I like superheroes a lot but I prefer them in small doses. They're like desserts, not main courses. But then I like everything in small doses (actresses excluded) since a moviegoing diet with variety is the only nutritional kind. In my ideal world there'd be only two spandex movies a year to compliment a great superheroic weekly television series.

Superheroes are meant to save us from evil but who will save us from Superhero Movies?

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Reader Comments (15)

Superheroes are meant to save us from evil but who will save us from Superhero Movies?

Meryl Streep

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

I'm still holding out hope for Meryl Streep to play Batman. So yeah.

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I want another solo X-men movie. I want "Storm The Movie". I think she's the best Marvel female superhero. And I want the role to go to either Sophie Okonedo or Kerry Washington because seriously these ladies deserve more roles.

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGolden

Oh Halle Berry is not a good storm. If you can find an actress who likes like Iman and talented as Viola Davis, please let me know

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

I do love the passive aggressive dig at horror films that starts the post.

Nathaniel, honestly - have you considered just not watching them?

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Supposedly there's a Runaways movie in the works which I'd be ridiculously excited for - I know that a script has been written and there was some talk about casting.

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Girling

arkaan -- just not watching what?

July 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Superhero movies.

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

arkaan - what dig? it's true that this time of year when comic-con rolls around there are superhero/marvel/dc talk out the wazoo. couple that with the deafening hype for 'the dark knight' rises and it has been a whirlwind of superhero hype. and how was he digging horror films? it is truth that most horror films make their budget back in the first couple weeks. they turn a quick profit. this wasn't something nathaniel figured out

July 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterzach

Speaking of a superheroic weekly television series, did you ever get into Heroes? I'm not sure if you've ever mentioned this before.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

"Ant Man" sounds like a project that would be attached to Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.

I'm still hoping for a 'Rogue' film. But it would be gritty and would have an indie feel. I could totally see a Shailene, Felicity or Rooney in it.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLalaland

I will co-sign to the idea of a Storm film, only provided that Angela Bassett gets the chance to portray the character. Otherwise, not so much.

Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person left in the world who finds most of these superhero movies tedious and boring -- yes, even, or maybe especially, Christopher Nolan's take on Batman. I can count on one hand the ones that I've actually enjoyed over the past decade or so, and most of them aren't recent.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Storm should have ALWAYS had been played by Angela Bassett PERIOD
I always saw Storm's prtrayal in the comics as one of the more ground, mature, and elder of the X-men....Not the fashion friendly emotional, high yellow, non African, weak version
Halle Berry played

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPumasweat

Speaking of Superheroes: Paramount has tasted the nectar of a successful string of superheroes for the previous three years. They're currently preparing a contentious and doomed to fail (Stupid Alien) Ninja Turtles adaptation directed by Bay's protege Jonathan Liebesman. Question to anyone willing to answer: Will we be seeing a live action version of Half-Ghost superhero Danny Phantom in 2016 or 2017?

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

arkaan -- but i like superheroes. I just wish they weren't smothering Hollywood is all.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R
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