Now I know I have previously indicated the overwhelming abundance of superhero themed movies that have been, are being and are planned to be released in the previous and forthcoming decades; however, I have some desperate wants, needs and desires, especially from Marvel/Disney, for their future cinematic universe strategy. I have two major requests of Marvel and they related to the recent successes of rebooting some of their previously failed characters. In recent years Marvel has taken to seizing their characters and remoulding them to better suit their target audience and this has led to much better response and, quite frankly, far better movies and characters.
I refer to some of our faves such as ‘The Incredible Hulk’, which had a release only five years after Eric Banner portrayed the green giant in the movie simply titled ‘Hulk’ in 2003. They left out the well-known origin story and moved straight into a situation depicting how the world, and most notably, government, would perceive a person or ‘weapon’ walking about in society. Whilst also giving the Hulk a recognisable opponent, in the Abomination, they also posed the question to Bruce Banner and the Hulk about having power and the responsibility that came with it, a notion Banner always doubted the Hulk would be capable of understanding. This led to far better ratings, a deeper character and plot and greater action sequences and thus a better character to add to the Avengers franchise.
Another success has been the TV series Daredevil. After a poorly received movie portrayal, the show really has taken on the character through brilliant casting, a darker feel and a better exploration of the duality of the character; the lawyer by day and vigilante by night. It does have some parallels with the DC show Arrow, given the nature and limitations of the characters, the darker nature and vigilantism and also the incorporation of more mystical elements. Both shows are successful but Matt Murdoch, the lawyer, has been far better explored and provides a much better understanding for why the vigilante is needed, far more so than Arrow and certainly more so than its movie counterpart.
All this said, I have two franchises I know have great potential but have not been done correctly up until now, and with three confirmed movie slots for Marvel’s Phase Four, these would be two I would queue up to see. Firstly, a good Fantastic Four reboot, now I know the rights are currently with someone else and we also have only just had a much hated reboot but these movie slot Marvel are filling are not for another 4-5 years and that should be plenty of time for us to simmer down at the mention of Marvel’s first family. There is also such dejection towards the current holders, 20th Century Fox, and their ability to actually produce a good portrayal of some of the greatest and best loved characters in the Marvel Comic Universe that they should be willing to hand it back over to Marvel so they can actually do it properly. What I would like to see? Skip the origin story, it is pretty cool, but it has been done to death and we are getting bored of it. Let’s also try a different villain, or a different chronology, for example, the family could have been transformed and dealt with Doom, but the movie could be about dealing with another issue, possibly a more personal one, and include flashbacks of those events. The recent reboot had good casting, a good start but I don’t know what happened and I am not even going to speculate how what came out ended up being released…it was just embarrassing. So there is that one.
Secondly, I want a Ghost Rider. A good Ghost Rider offers the opportunity for Marvel to go darker, he is not their darkest character they have but he is quite unique and provides the best opportunity to go dark without causing comparisons with a certain DC Dark Knight. He deals with death and punishment and powers that are out of this world, not to mention the awesome image and abilities this guy has; it would make for incredible special effects. Mystical forces are difficult to get right, let alone ones that relate to religious concepts of the devil etc as they often receive mixed reactions, but with such a cool character Marvel could really shake up their image and provide audiences with something new and alternative to really cement their longevity. The Nicholas Cage movie suffered from having a terrible screenplay, even though the writer has proven himself in other projects, but this one just awful. The pinnacle of the movie, where the bad guy is at the height of his powers and he says “this is the contract of San Venganza…all of you come to me!”…what? That is this epitome of evil, no grandiose, no presence, intimidation or anything and therefore nothing to really shake the bones of the audience (pun intended). The acting verged on dreadful, but seeing some of the actors in other movies has made me question whether it was them or the directions they received that made them appear so ridiculous…either way it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a circle of hell where you had to watch it on repeat for eternity.
So that is my two cents on Marvel reboots, even though there are rights issues, their owner’s attempts at producing a successful movie have proven unfruitful and embarrassing so I hope that Marvel can get them back and do it properly. What are your thoughts? Would you like Marvel to get hold of the Fantastic Four? What about a dark turn with the Ghost Rider? Who would you like to see Marvel reboot? Or even produce a movie for another character we haven’t seen yet? Thanks for the read and let me know what’s your perspective.