The Avengers: Should They Wear Masks?
Here’s a perplexing question that super hero movies often face. How do you showcase your big name stars and at the same time stay true to the look of a comic book superhero? While it’s easy with some superheroes like Superman, who miraculously is able to maintain a secret identity with a simple pair of glasses, the majority of superheroes tend to prefer the use of masks to preserve their privacy. Also, because fighting supervillains is dangerous business, many superheroes might have some type of helmet or other protective headgear.
How do you showcase your big name stars and at the same time stay true to the look of a comic book superhero?
Do you cover up the face of your most bankable star with a mask? Or in the case of a character like Iron Man do you cover up every inch of your most bankable star with a full body suit of armor. The reality is that big name stars are a big part of filling theater seats on big budget movies, and fans of those stars are kind of particular about actually being able to see the star in the movie.
Superhero movies also tend to command high budgets, and check writers tend to be leery of spending big dollars without a big name star attached to a project. Just imagine trying to explain, we have Robert Downey, Jr., but he’s going to be covered from head to toe in armor for most of the movie. We also have Mark Ruffalo, but he’s going to be a big CGI green monster. Then, there’s Chris Hemsworth, you know the guy with the gorgeous blonde hair, but you want see it, because we’re slapping a big metal helmet on his head.
In addition to the whole covering up the biggest stars issue, there is another big factor when it comes to masks and headgear in movies. What looks really cool on comic book pages can often look kind of goofy on the big screen. For example, the outrage over Captain America not wearing his mask/helmet appears to only be eclipsed by the outrage over how weird Captain America looks when he is wearing his mask/helmet.
So what is a superhero movie to do? Do you upset comic book fans who cry foul over the costume not staying true to the character? Or do you risk missing out on the mass appeal or putting Robert Downey Jr.’s face front and center on your poster?
What do you think the best answer is? Should the Avengers wear masks?
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