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Thursday, September 08, 2005

More Comic Book Movies!

This week, Marvel Enterprises Inc. (which will be renaming itself to Marvel Entertainment Inc.), announced it's basically raised $525 million to do up to 10 films in the next 7 years, based on Marvel characters and franchises.

Possible films include the following:

  • Captain America (My personal favorite, the rumored first flick, and the best hero that has been disserviced as a victim of two horrible flicks, a non-differentiated 1930s serial, and multiple cartoon guest appearances, some bad (the "Operation Rebirth-ish" appearance in the 1990s Spider-Man), some good (X-Men: Evolution; Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends).)
  • The Avengers (Which is not X-Men, and is not Justice League, and has a huge stable of front-running characters from which to choose.)
  • Dr. Strange (Think Constantine, but more epic and less creepy ... depending on the story arc; they'd do better with Spider-Man & his Amazing Friends Dr. Strange than 1990s Spider-Man Dr. Strange.)
  • Hawkeye -- He's a flamboyant character that's the quintessential boy scout; think an amalgamated clone made from equal parts Colin Farrell and John Tesh, after you've worked out the lumps ... think about it ... Now, breathe ...)
  • Nick Fury (No, the David Hasselhoff made-for-TV movie does not count, and let's never speak of it again.)
  • Black Panther (Wesley Snipes has supposedly been on again off again for this role, though after seeing Crash, I'd honestly like to see Terrence Howard get a shot.)
  • Ant-Man (Here's a chance for some cool CGI and live-action ant wrangling.)
  • Cloak & Dagger (Depending on their take, this could be successful as teenie bopper or dark goth; Clueless or Underworld.)
  • Shang-Chi (Martial arts action, and Marvel'd do well to think about having this driven by Far East expertise.)
  • Power Pack (I haven't read the resurrected franchise, but was a fan of the original; this is a great marketing choice by Marvel to broaden the demographic.)

And all of this adds to the recent Fantastic Four and next year's X-Men 3, Ghost Rider and 2007's Spider-Man 3 and a possible Hulk sequel.

Even better? By relaunching their indie slate in a more proven market climate, Marvel is in a much better place to leverage cross-character or cross-franchise appearances than is DC (who has Batman with Warner Bros. and Superman with Universal, which will likely prevent a "World's Finest" kind of scenario.

Imagine -- In the comic book world, Captain America leads the Avengers, and Hawkeye and Ant-Man (in all his incarnations) are long-term members of the team. Plus, if Marvel goes with an Ultimates version of the Avengers, Nick Fury heads up the team (and, in the comic, he's drawn identically to Samuel L. Jackson, which has long led to speculation that the franchise was relaunched with film in mind).

Even in Power Pack, little Franklin Reed Richards is the kiddo of the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) and Sue Storm Richards (The Invisible Girl/Woman).

Like you couldn't tell, I'm a long-time fan of comic books, and their overlap with movies and video games. if you are, too, you should check out Superhero Hype and my own "Comic Book Video Games" blog entry.

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