Well, took over Hollywood would be more accurate, but not as dramatic. The fact is, from Superman to Batman, Spider-Man to Iron Man, the movies have always had a place for heroes (at least as long as they have ‘man’ in their names somewhere, apparently). Okay, there’s also the Fantastic Four, but face it — they have probably the worst track record ever for comic book heroes making the transition to the silver screen. If you count characters like Zorro and ruthless anti-heroes like V of V for Vendetta, that makes for a lot of super-hero flicks.
Well, took over Hollywood would be more accurate, but not as dramatic. The fact is, from Superman to Batman, Spider-Man to Iron Man, the movies have always had a place for heroes (at least as long as they have ‘man’ in their names somewhere, apparently). Okay, there’s also the Fantastic Four, but face it — they have probably the worst track record ever for comic book heroes making the transition to the silver screen. If you count characters like Zorro and ruthless anti-heroes like V of V for Vendetta, that makes for a lot of super-hero flicks. Sometimes I’m pretty sure that the general public doesn’t even know they’re watching a movie based on a comic book. The Mask, for instance — though in that case, it was probably better if people didn’t realize, considering that the only thing it had in common with its namesake was, well, its name. Somebody seriously mangled a pretty good comic.
Anyway, super-hero fever is raging these days, as you can see by the size of the budgets these films are getting, not to mention the number of sequels. So I’ve been looking through imdb (and thinking I should really look into that membership for imdbPro after all, darn it) to see what the future holds for the comic fan like me. Note that I can’t promise anything about any of these movies; I’m basically just compiling the latest rumors.
You’ve probably already heard the hype for Iron Man 2. They’ll be slowly introducing the rest of the Avengers, a group of heroes that old Shellhead frequently worked with in the comics. Samuel L. Jackson as super-spy Nick Fury has already been seen, if very briefly; and the next film will also have Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow, a Russian super-spy — sort of like Captain America in that she doesn’t really have any powers as such, she just fights really well thanks to a top-secret government experiment or two. (I’m getting all this from my comic-book knowledge, so I take no blame if the movie people make her into Supergirl or turn her Norwegian or something.)
But also up for 2010 are some more obscure heroes. The Green Hornet, for instance, is scheduled to ride again this year, and unless you remember the sixties TV series, you probably don’t know who he is. He predated Batman by a few years, and is basically the same character — a millionaire with more time on his hands than common sense who puts together a fast car and some gadgets to go out crime-fighting. Instead of Robin, he had Kato, his butler/chauffeur/partner in combatting evil (played by Bruce Lee on TV). The part I always thought was cool was that the Green Hornet, real name Britt Reid, was supposed to be the grand-nephew of the Lone Ranger. Unfortunately for the latest movie incarnation, the casting for the Green Hornet is kind of making me cringe. I’ve never heard of Seth Rogan before, and that’s probably because his major credit so far appears to be Zack in Zack and Miri Make a Porno. This is not a good sign.
But the heroes get even more obscure! There’s the Sub-Mariner (Namor to those in the know), Luke Cage, Iron Fist (separately, though, not together like in the comics), the cyborg Deathlok, Earthworm Jim from the realm of the video game hero, and even — I can hardly believe my eyes — the Metal Men. The Metal Men! How many people remember them? I wonder if Tin will still have a stutter?
*ahem* Before I get too off track, there are a few more familiar heroes who may hit the big screen soon, too. The Flash, for instance, and Wonder Woman, and there are listings in 2011 for something called Superman: Man of Steel, and Justice League: Mortal; but since I don’t have that wretched membership, I can’t even tell if they’re cartoons or video games or what. Argh. But there’s also talk of Teen Titans flick, a Ghost Rider sequel, yet another Batman sequel, or reboot, or whatever they call them these days; the Spider-Man reboot going back to his early days (yeah, I don’t quite get that, either), and films of their own for characters like Silver Surfer and Venom, who were never quite the leads before.
Then there’s Green Lantern, Dr. Strange (By the flames of the Faltine!), the Avengers out on their own, Aquaman (possibly starring old Leo DiCaprio, and probably in direct retaliation to the Sub-Mariner), and even a Hancock 2, though I’m not sure how well that will work out. I kind of hope they change their minds on that one.
Would you believe there’s even going to be an Ant-Man movie? There’s also talk of a reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and, (with extreme optimism) another Fantastic Four flick. Honestly, sometimes there’s no telling what these movie people are thinking. But! Someone besides me remembers the Doom Patrol, and there should be a movie version of that next year. I’m going to start hoping really hard right now that it turns out to be decent.
So if you understood even half of those references without clicking on the links that I so painstakingly provided — and I’m starting to really loathe linking, let me tell you — then you’re in for a fun ride at the theatre over the next couple of years. Now if someone would just make a decent movie version of, say, Strikeforce: Morituri, I’ll be in heaven. Serious bonus points to anyone who remembers Strikeforce: Morituri.