Wednesday Comments – Movie Madness

Sorry for having taken some time off. Two weeks ago, I was still recuperating from NYCC (it took a bit out of me) and last week I had something else that I was working on. But I’m back. And fortunately there’s a ton of comic stuff to talk about.

A couple weeks back Warner Bros announced their DC Comics movie slate. And fortunately for the purpose of my writing, Marvel announced their upcoming movie slate as well.

So I’m going to share some thoughts on these announcements.

Diversity is Good – Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Shazam and Cyborg all feature leads (or co-leads) who aren’t white males. Props to both Mavel and Warner Bros for diversifying their line-ups.

While DC gets the first female character on the big screen, Marvel gets the first non-white character in theaters. Seriously, everyone needs to check out these flicks.

I’ve been at NYCC for the past two years and I’ve attended multiple panels where attendees have asked numerous times when Marvel was going to have a film with a female lead. The answer was usually “wait and see.” Well, now that it’s been announced the Carol Corps should be very happy that the badgering paid off.

DC is being very ambitious – So DC has announced ten movies, all the way up until 2020. It’s two movies a year from 2016 through 2020. That’s a loft goal for studio that has yet to release superhero films annually.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible, I’m just pointing out that the bar has been set rather high and has clearly been influenced by the success of Marvel Studios.

Speaking of influence…

Marvel’s announcement feels rushed – To me at least it feels like Marvel is trying to take a page out of DC’s playbook, despite having successfully concurred the Cineplex. Rather than continuing on the path they paved with record-breaking success, Marvel choose to announce their entire Phase 3 slate, leaving few surprises.

Up to this point, Marvel generally announced movies roughly two years before they were released. It allowed just enough time for the buzz to build to a crescendo before the film was released and inevitably smashed records.

But now we’ve for Marvel’s line up for the next four and a half years.

And that might be a great thing. I hope it’s a great thing. I hope there aren’t any speed bumps. But consider how far in advance Ant-Man was announced and how the public got to witness all of the awkward growing pains that it went through in the ensuing years. Edgar Wright left the project. Actors have left the project. The script has been “worked on.”

Those things could conceivably happen to Black Panther, Captain Marvel or Inhumans.

Look at how Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was pushed back. These things happen, especially when you rush an announcement.

Both Marvel and DC are offering up multi-part team films – Justice League is split up into two films, one in 2017 and the other in 2019. Avengers: Infinity War is split up into two films one in 2018 and the other in 2019.

From the look of it Avengers will likely be filmed back to back, while Justice League almost looks like two different films, like a film and a sequel rather than two parts of the same story.

It’s really looking like 2019 will be the year to watch as the two teams will be battling it out for the domination of the summer.

Chadwick Boseman and Ray Fisher will be pioneers – Boseman will be playing Black Panther and Fisher will be playing Cyborg. They’ll both be first Black actors leading their own films for the current crop of superhero flicks (I remember Blade) so there’s a bit of pressure there.

Of course this isn’t Boseman’s first rodeo. He’s portrayed both Jackie Robinson and James Brown, two iconic Black men in recent films. He’s had the pressure of playing “important” roles before, so he’s familiar with the extra attention and scrutiny that comes with such a project.

Consistent tonality – All of films announced by Marvel and Warner Bros seem to share a common tonality; they all seem to aiming for blockbuster status. There are 19 films lined up and they all appear to be cut from the same cloth.

There’s a shot that Doctor Strange might be bit more horror-ific, considering the writer and director. There’s also a shot that Suicide Squad, being centered around villains, may bring something new to the table.

But by and large of the nearly twenty films slotted for release, they don’t appear to deviate from the standard superhero formula. One has to wonder if the public will continue to support the genre if things stay the course.

I could go on, but I don’t want to take up to much of your time. Just know that I’ll be following the news about the films with a curious eye.

It’s Wednesday, go out and buy some fresh new comics from your local comic shop.

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