Justice League – Teaser Trailer – Aquaman Edition

This morning a teaser trailer Zach Snyder’s Batman v Superman was released, and…meh.

After all, it’s a teaser trailer, which is little more than a few carefully chosen shots from the upcoming movie seemingly designed to drum up interest.

It seems that Warner Bros/ DC Entertainment are taking a somewhat novel approach (‘novel’ in the sense of being unexpected, as opposed to being new or unique) in that they seem to be releasing teaser trailers composed of content focusing on individual members of the team. 

Having only seen Aquaman’s teaser I wish they’d go back to a more tradional format because it does them no favors. 

It’s too brief–after all, it’s a teaser trailer–to really make any sort of impression, and I expect the others to do the same. 

At this point Justice League is Zach Snyder’s last chance to get it right.  He whiffed Man of Steel and screwed the pooch on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which is pretty remarkable when you think about it.  Then again, when you take it upon yourself to ‘reinterpret’ characters no one asked you to in the first place, you’ve got to expect–that’s not entirely fair.  As much as Snyder doesn’t get these characters, which I find easier to accept than he does understand them, and proceeded as he did to spite fans, I am comfortable saying that Warner Bros executives seem too stupid to pick up a comic–so it’s not surprising that there’s more than a little blowback from both critics and the general public.

There’s one shot of the entire team toward the end, and I have seen better likenesses of living, breathing people in the window of Madame Tassaud’s

In other words, it underwhems.

Namor The Sub-Mariner Rises?

I’m going to just come out and say it.  Aquaman is lame.  And sure, much effort has been invested by DC Comics to give the character just a bit of much needed edge in the past few years, though his corny past is never terribly far behind.

If your preferences ran toward water-based superheroes, as mine tended to do, Aquaman was never a character I could take particularly serious.

Now Namor, The Sub-Mariner?  Quite possibly the coolest king Atlantis ever had as well as one of Marvel Comics’ earliest characters. 

Though the oddest thing about him is that–when not being an arrogant douche–he literally spent an inordinate amount of time trying to conquer the surface world, and yet he somehow remained likable.

Namor was an ‘anti-hero’ before the word ever entered the popular lexicon.  

Though what’s the point of all this, you may be asking?  

That’s simple.  For a long time it was assumed that the rights for Namor were at Universal Pictures, along with those for the Incredible Hulk.

As far as Namor is concerned, that’s  apparently not the case, and Marvel Studios may be prepping a movie based on their irascible Prince of the Deep!

And to whet your appetite a little bit more–as if that were even necessary–here’s the opening to Namor’s cartoon, made in 1966.

Is Sony Mismanaging The Spider-Man Franchise?

Part 1: Send In The B-Team

Looking at Marvel today, it would be easy to assume that they have always been as successful as they are.  Though you’d be wrong because, before they were purchased by Disney, even before they launched their movie production arm, Marvel Studios, they were flirting with bankruptcy.

To stop the bleeding, they licensed the rights to their most successful characters to 21st Century Fox, Sony, Universal and New Line (Marvel received a percentage every time a film was produced with their heroes).

So 21st Century got the X-Men and related characters (and exclusive use of the term ‘mutants’) as well as the Fantastic Four.  Sony got Spider-Man and related characters, while Universal had the Hulk and Namor the Submariner (Marvel’s Namor in terms of his abilities is similar to DC’s Aquaman, except stronger and more awesome).

But Marvel knew that no one could exploit their characters better than they could, so they threw the ultimate ‘Hail Mary’ pass.  To get a loan to build their own studio they borrowed on the strength of their remaining characters.

In other words, it was time for the B-Team to take the field, and Iron Man was released in 2008.  The movie was directed by John Favreau and starred Robert Downey Jr–an actor who at the time was known more of his drug use than his acting ability–and went on to earn almost $600 million (on a $140 million dollar production budget).

Marvel Studios was born, and they were eventually purchased by the Walt Disney Company for $4 billion dollars in 2009 (some analysts thought Disney had overpaid. They were wrong.).

Part 2: Raimi’s Spider-Man Films

As I said earlier Sony licensed Marvel’s Spider-Man and in 2002 released Spider-Man.  Sam Raimi, known primarily for the Evil Dead series of movies, was chosen to direct.  He cast  Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker and Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson.  The first film cost $139 million to produce, and earned almost $822 million dollars worldwide; a very tidy profit.

Spider-Man 2, introduced Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina) and was considered the best in the series.  It was more expensive than the first film, clocking in at $200 million and eventually pulled in almost $784 million dollars worldwide.

Still profitable, though not quite as much as the first film.

Spider-Man 3, the last film in the series directed by Raimi, cost $258 million, and earned almost $891 million dollars.  What set it apart from the earlier films was that it featured three villains, Sandman, Venom and the New Goblin (that’s actually what the character is called on IMDB).  Raimi fully expected to direct Spider-Man 4–even after being forced by producer Avi Arad to use Venom, a character he didn’t want in the movie, or like for that matter.  In retribution he cast Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom because Arad thought he was a bad choice for the role.

Spider-Man 3 did very well, despite being the worse reviewed of the series.  Sam Raimi was apparently prepping the fourth film in the series, before his deal fell through.  As a result he was out and the entire franchise rebooted just five years later.

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