Humor: Marvel Studios’ Not-So-Secret-Sauce

For awhile now other studios have been trying to crack the Marvel Studios formulato varying degrees of success–though as far as I can tell their greatest problem is that they’re approaching it in that fashion (like so great mystery waiting to be solved), when in truth there’s isn’t any secret at all.

In a sense a lot of the heavy lifting has already been done for Marvel Studios in that they haven’t had to convince a large segment of the population to love their characters, since millions of us have grown up doing just that by reading comic books (something Warner Bros, the owners of DC Entertainment, are for some reason only just beginning to get).

So all Marvel had to do was essentially adapt their characters as true to the comics as common sense (a drawing and a actual person aren’t the same things, duh, so allowances had to be made or maybe the story of that character doesn’t quite fit in the framework that currently exists for Marvel features) would allow.

And there needs to be humor.  I’m not talking about the pratfalls you might get from The Three Stooges or anything like that, but the often unintentional comedy that comes from people just interacting with each other.

Here’s an example from the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok.

What makes the scene work is that the humor’s derived not from some sort of pratfall, but from the natures of the chraracters involved.  

Thor is typically depicted as mighty, noble, kind and headstrong; the latter bordering on egotistical.  Combine his own nature with the Hulk (one of the stronger beings in all of Marvel) then you’re definitely going to get all sorts of friction, which can play out in various ways. 

In other words, in the earlier scene Thor is acting true to his nature (in the second scene he’s just an object for Hulk’s ire).

 It doesn’t make the movies comedies, but what it does is make them more naturalistic and less of a slog.

Because isn’t just living day to day difficult enough that just maybe you don’t want the movies you watch to get away from things for a little while to reflect that same esthetic?

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Dredd Netflix-bound?

Take this with a HUGE grain of salt, but according to Superherohype Karl Urban is talking to venues like Netflix to continue the story of Judge Dredd in the television space.

I have no idea if this is true, but it’s a great idea because Dredd, while underwhelming in theaters in 2012–financially speaking, because it was an awesome movie that most importantly was true to the character–could be poised for a comeback on a space like Netflix, which would work really well toward expanding the world and the mythology of the Cursed Earth.

Luckily, the movie wasn’t terribly effects-heavy, so cost may not necessarily be an issue, and $50 million (or thereabouts) doesn’t sound like too much stretched over a season or two.

I also wonder, if Dredd were to to become a Netflix series, would they have an international partner, since the original movie was shot in South Africa. which has a look that was crucial to the movie.

Then again, being on Netflix is doing wonders for Daredevil, so who knows.

Doctor Strange Trailer This Tuesday!?

Screenshot 2016-04-06 16.05.58

The Doctor Is In!  And He’s Strange! 

According to Comicbookmovie.com, the first trailer for Scott Derrickson’s (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil)  upcoming Doctor Strange will be released this Tuesday!

As you can tell from Derrickson’s resume, he’s really into horror movies.

And that’s a good thing because there’s always the chance that not only will Doctor Strange be scarier and weirder than anything that Marvel Studios has done so far, but that it–or a sequel if it does well at the box office–could be used as a launching pad for the adventures of The Midnight Sons, characters that inhabit the darker, more supernatural corners of the Marvel Universe, like Ghost Rider (the rights have reverted back to Marvel a few years ago), Blade (ditto) and Morbius, the Living Vampire.

And before anyone rules out The Midnight Sons, keep in mind that ten years ago no one in their right mindwould think that there would ever be a movie based on Doctor Strange, Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts.

Though come November, there will be.

Is Marvel On The Verge Of Regaining The Fantastic Four?

This post is based on (admittedly) thin evidence, though there is a logic.

This year Fox released their latest version of Fantastic Four, which was–to put it bluntly–a box-office disaster, earning almost $167 million against at budget of at least $120 million.

At this point, to break even (typically double the production budget), which is the most that Fantastic Four can hope for at this point.  There are a lot of people who hope that Marvel Studios regain the license to the characters, though this was before one of the producers, Simon Kinberg, announced that there were plans for a sequel.

Which is utter nonsense, and little more than the producer of a failed movie saving face.  The proof is easy enough to see because you’ll find few companies willing to take a franchise that has already failed–and blatantly so–and pump more money into it.  By way of example, Disney’s Tron: Legacy earned over $400 million on a $170 million budget while Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim earned $411 million on a $190 million budget.  Most of that money was earned internationally, which was probably why Universal was so reticent about going in on a sequel with Legendary.

Both films were moderate successes, yet neither are getting sequels (though hope springs eternal for the latter). Continue reading

Can There Be A Overwatch Feature In Our Future?

Blizzard Entertainment, creator of games like StarCraft and WarCraft has recently introduced Overwatch, a new game with an interesting storyline revolving around a time in the future when wars have been ended by superpower operatives, ofne of which happens to be a talking, armored gorilla.  It the cinematic-style trailer is to beloved, it’s going to be amazing.

Though what’s more interesting is that the cinematic looks very…cinematic, almost as if Blizzard may have plans beyond the video game; and before anyone consigns that to the wiles of an overactive imagination, keep in mind that WarCraft is already being made into a feature, directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code)

Ewan McGregor As Doctor Strange? Not Buying It

Doctor Strange  Sorceror SupremeEvery since Joaquin Phoenix decided to pass of the role of Marvel Studios’ Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange, all sorts of names are being bandied about, such as Ethan Hawke and Keanu Reeves.

The latest is Ewan McGregor, and I think it’s unlikely (Ethan Hawke would be my choice, and it helps that he’s worked with the director, Scott Derrickson before in Sinister–that being said he also worked with Reeves in the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still) because McGregor may be up for another Star Wars film, though without knowing the timeline or even if it’s something he’s interested in or was even if it was offered to him, it’s hard to say.

That being said, I hope an American actor plays Strange (which isn’t to imply that it’s in any way unusual that a very American character isn’t played by one, like in the case of  Thor (Chris Hemsworth’s, who’s Australian, though his accent worked really well), Loki (Tom Hiddleston, British, and for similar reasons) and Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield, also British).

 

Has Marvel Found Its Punisher?

Punisher skullWith Marvel Studios’ Guardians Of The Galaxy coming August 1st, there’s a lot of speculation as to what other characters they will bring to the big screen.

That combined with Marvel being interested in working with Aaron Eckhart on an unnamed project, I wonder if it’s a relaunch of the Punisher.  It’s important to notice that the article was written 11 months ago, before Marvel had regained the rights to the character.

There were three movies based on him, with Dolph Lundgren in 1989, Thomas Jane in 2004 (who also starred in a short film, The Punisher: Dirty Laundry in 2012) and most recently, Ray Stevenson in Punisher: War Zone in 2008).

Lundgren’s portrayal was actually pretty decent, but also tends to be the most maligned in terms of public perception (it didn’t help that he lacked certain characteristics that the Punisher is known for, like the skull insignia on his chest).

Aaron Eckhart certainly has the physical chops for the role, so if that’s Marvel’s plan, he’d be great for it.  Another important point to mention is that there are numerous fan films based on the Punisher, two of which I featured here.

They’re a tribute to the popularity and longevity of the character, and I hope that Marvel can see that people want to see more of Frank Castle.

The Punisher: Dead Of Night

The Punisher: No Mercy