February 25 2009

Hope You’re Ready For A Lot More Comic Book Movies

green lantern movieAnyone else remember when it was a special event to see a comic book related movie, and not a seemingly weekly release?

New information is popping up all over the place of what the future holds for fans of people in tights fighting… well… other people in tights.  First, here is the current slate of comic book related movies with announced release dates.

As I’ve said before, I think the Marvel slate is overly ambitiousIron Man 2, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers technically form a series, and if one of them bombs, (my money is on Thor doing lackluster box office) the whole series could be thrown off kilter.  Whatever, it’s their money to throw around as they like.  Never mind I think they are making mistakes behind-the-scenes.  Rumors are circulating that Samuel L. Jackson is out of the films as Nick Fury due to Marvel not paying enough (about four hours after I published this, news broke that he was back in Iron Man 2), and there is also word they offered Mickey Rourke $250,000 to play Crimson Dynamo, a Soviet-era version of Iron Man, in the second Iron Man movie.  Sure I think actors are overpaid, but even I have to say that $250K is a fairly lowball offer.

Although Marvel is regrouping the original cast and crew for Spider-Man 4, can we all just hope it is a lot better than the third film?  That one was just painful to watch, and it doesn’t make me super anxious to see a fourth.  Course, to get us all worked up for the franchise again, you can see the Broadway musical starting in February 2010.  I’m already afraid of that project.

Aside from Marvel, and as much as I have desired it, the news of the Green Lantern movie leaves me a bit concerned.  The December 17, 2010 release date was announced just today, but there are two immediate problems with that date: the movie doesn’t have a director or cast yet, and it is the first super hero movie ever released near the holidays.  Typically big comic movies launch in the summer, but the 2010 summer slate is pretty full already, so they moved this one to December, which seems fair enough.  However, announcing a release date before you even have a director or cast on board?  That isn’t just overly ambitious, it seems screamingly stupid to me.

For a movie of this type, one that is sure to be special effects heavy, you need to do a ton of pre-production work.  Until a director is locked, that is virtually impossible.  So you are currently asking a director to come on to the project cold, and drop what will hopefully be the first in a new franchise for your studio in just over 21 months?  The schedule is tight for such a venture to begin with, but by the time this ramps up, it could be even worse.  Hopefully Warner Brothers will rethink that release date a bit.

I’m hopefully there won’t be any big duds in these films, but you have to wonder when the movie going public is going to tire of these projects.  For now, I am most anxious for Green Lantern, and just hopeful they don’t completely botch it up.

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