Ask a Dork: Comic Book Movies
“What do you think of the influx of comic book movies over the next 5-6 years? Do you think it hurts Hollywood or can it be a net positive?”
It’s hard to make any sweeping statements regarding the impact of comic book movies on Hollywood quality, given that for every Avengers movie we get we also tend get over-stylized eye roll fests like Sin City 2, but the net is certainly positive. Not that this should be surprising.
I, like most comic book fans, have always maintained that comic books make the leap to movies much better than video games or books. Well, at least now that CGI technology has grown to the point where costumes and monsters don’t have to look like they’re made out of construction paper.
Dialogue and character development are structured in a similar fashion to movies or television episodes in comic books. That certainly helps the narrative flow better, but I suppose a bigger element to adaptation success is the naturally visual element of comics. Basically, all of the story, visual, and character elements necessary for a good movie are already present.
Good Hollywood directors recognize that they have a lot to work with. They don’t need to remake the wheel or innovate what is already there; they just need to breath life into comic panels and know when to cut the more melodramatic moments.
Marvel Studios has certainly done an excellent job at fully realizing their comics without having to make too many compromises in more recent outings. I wish I could say the same about DC’s properties, but even the well received Nolan Batman films made mistakes due to pissing on source material. Still, the fact that we can recognize most modern DC and Marvel movies as being “quality titles” only demonstrates how far we have come since Fantastic Four, Hulk, and Catwoman.
Make no mistake — at one point good comic book movies were the exception, not the rule. Now, we’re finally at the point where large studios see the money making potential of these movies and are willing to invest time into scrips, decent CGI, proper actors, and reasonable development periods. And thank goodness for that.
As I alluded to before, there are always going to be movies that tarnish the comic books they are based off of. Still, I can’t help but assert that the influx of dorky, nerdy, geeky comic book movies is a good thing for Hollywood, general audiences, and nerd culture as a whole.