Monday, May 6, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer
There is a big indicator for me, one that blinked in my eyes like oncoming headlights, and it was a signal to me personally. It was a promise that superhero movies are going to continue to evolve and get weirder, they are going to continue to embrace all of their comic book roots. Honestly, I couldn't be happier.
In 2019, it seems really weird to think that nineteen years ago, the first "X-Men" movie hadn't quite been released yet, but I read that studio execs were shit-talking it behind filmmakers and actors backs. They were ready to write it off completely after it bombed at the box office. It was going to bomb, right? The only superheroes we'd really seen onscreen up to that point were Superman and Batman, and the popularity of both of those franchises heading into the new millennium was up for debate. While yes, Blade was a comic book character, those movies were always more of the realm of action and horror, and not so much of the superhero variety. The business was very hesitant about superheroes at that point, and the idea of making a superhero movie was a practical joke. "X-Men" did make money though, then "Spider-Man" made money in 2002. It was that one-two punch that really hit the ground running, making studios believe that superheroes could be box office smashers.
Today, superheroes are common place. We've seen various origin stories of our favorite heroes. We understand what makes each hero different. We've seen serious takes on these characters and we've seen more family-friendly fare. We've seen adaptations of most characters from the leading comic book distributors; DC and Marvel. But on the other hand, we've seen some deconstructionist fare along the way too. Its come to the point where I don't think there are many superheroes in print left who don't have a movie or TV show on the air now. So much so, that they've gone completely mainstream. You don't need to be a comic book nerd to get these characters anymore, to understand them. It's funny looking back on many of the early superhero movies, because they feel so small in scale. Its funny watching the first X-Men movie and watch Iceman only use his powers to cool people's drinks, then fourteen years later he is turning his entire body into ice and creating that little ice surf thing he does in the comics. We've come a long way.
Now that we've come so far, its time to figure out how we keep the audiences coming back. We had to earn the comic book weirdness that seems commonplace now. No way in hell would a movie like "Infinity War" or "Endgame" or "Into The Spider-Verse" work twenty years ago. It took time to get here, and while many thought that the last twenty years of watching superheroes come to life was the perfect time to be a fan of this stuff. I disagree. Whatever is coming next, that's going to be the best time. Because we are going to see this little sub-genre totally unhinged. The new Spider-Man movie is playing with the Multiverse and that is a spectacular and mightly ambitious place to take Spider-Man. But Marvel has firmly earned our trust. They take the silliest of ideas and wring development and emotion from them. No doubt, they will do the same here.
I am very excited to see how Spidey bounces off Nick Fury. I am curious to see how Jake Gyllenhaal handles Mysterio and just how different Mysterio is going to be from his comic book counterpart. No matter what, this looks great.