I’ve been reading comics for twenty years, so the comic book movie blockbuster extravaganza is nothing short of amazing to a lifelong fan like myself. But with every good comic movie, there seems to be a mediocre one. And with every great one, there seem to be about five or more that are, for lack of a better word, complete and utter crap. So what are the comic movies that are good doing right?
Well, one could argue that a faithful adaptation is necessary for the success of a comic movie. This argument has its merits (Watchmen, 30 Days of Night, Sin City). But what about the movies that were great but didn’t follow any particular comic story, besides perhaps taking “inspiration” or heavily-influencing the screenplays? You know, the ones that have done really well at the box office (The Dark Knight trilogy, Man of Steel, The Avengers franchise).
Now, I understand that the terms like “epic” have been significantly dumbed-down by my generation (guilty as charged) and descriptors such as “the best” are getting to be pretty arbitrary, especially when it seems like each calendar year gives us between five and sometimes even ten (or more) comic movies. But my theory as to what gets fanboys to drag their girlfriends to movies for a second and third showing because it’s “epic” or movies that draw audiences from all over the globe to return, sequel after sequel, spin-off after spin-off to see “the best” superhero films of all time (so far) is simple:
You could argue for hours about how the screenplay and characterization of The Dark Knight trilogy made that film’s fictional world come to life. You could even say that the directing and the grand scope and vision of said director made the performances seem vital, real, and possible. But when it all comes right down to it, it’s pretty easy to remind yourself that Batman Begins would not have worked without Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth and Liam Neeson as Ra’s al Ghul, The Dark Knight would not have worked without Heath Ledger as the Joker and Aaron Eckhardt as Harvey Dent, and The Dark Knight Rises would not have worked without Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Anne Hathaway’s butt… I mean… Tom Hardy as Bane.
So, every now and then, I’ll leave my regular reviews and columns to spout off my thoughts on the absolute perfect casting for comic movies that really deserve the spotlight. Or, if I’m lucky, the green light. After all, who better to cast a comic book movie than the comic book fans? Am I right? Well, I guess you’ll just have to check back every now and then and see for yourself.
See you all on the next Comics Casting Couch! I’ll save you a spot!