Friday, June 6, 2014

From Strip to Screen: Superunknown

What a difference one month makes.

May has been and gone, as Marvel, Sony and Fox have now had their tries at pitching the much-vaunted tentpole movie of the pre-Northern Summer season. The results were not entirely as predicted - well, not by me, at least.

Captain America The Winter Solst- er, Soldier went gangbusters, proving that the known Marvel superhero shop is still doing great business. Very big box office domestically, even, against which other superhero movies were inevitably measured.. 
Against this, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 simply failed to live up to its name.The common criticisms amounted to too many villains (wiht the aside being studio meddling in the script) and a lightweight plot, despite strong and almost universally-praised chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Sony now has not only a third movie in the franchise to pitch after this perceived disappointment, bu the promised Sinister Six spin-off, generally regarded as a tougher sell. Internet mischief being as it is, some in the fan community have taken the opportunity to  fly the 'Give it Back to Marvel!' flag, including a misjudged tweet by Max Landis; but for the moment it appears nothig will necessarily change. Hopefully an improved sequel or two will come. It's amost unheard of, but not entirely...
...because, Holy Cow - X-Men Days of Future Past went HUGE! This despite a visibly limited promotional through-line on toys and merchandise (Marvel now being accused of interference with Fox's comic movie franchises), and the X-Men series being regarded as a mixed bag outside of two of the original three movies and First Class - a fifty-fifty split, in other words. But reviews and audeinces have been very strong. Seems my prediction here was really off - even the cheeky inclusion of future Avenger Quicksilver into the movie turned out to be an unexpected highlight. Go, Fox!

DC/Warners sat out this movie round again, though there's very strong and positive word on both Flash and Gotham as imminent TV series, and the recent Affleck Batman reveal pleased a lot of DC fans. Indeed, a weak movie title in Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice aside, it seems DC Warners'  wheel of fortune is finally turning in the right direction again. 2016 is a logn way away of course, but the recent dripfeed of costumes, not to mention filiing being underway right now keeps this franchise alive.
...which leads, ultimately, back to Marvel. For while Avengers 2: Age of Ultron is also filiming at this moment, news of 2015's Ant Man losing Edgar Wright and its failure to date in securing a replacement director must hurt, and it does appear to have dented Marvel's so-far rather enviable reputation for giving unexpected directors free reign.
What happens from here? Well, watch this space. We've stil got Guardians of the Galaxy to come, and the aforementioned CW and Fox DC shows to come, plus Marvel's Netflix series too. Me, I got nothin'. I was wrong about X-Men, wrong about Spider-Man, and I haven't seen anything of the above yet, so don't follow me, as they say - I'm lost!

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