Serialized Comic Book Movies Are Possible!

Do you crave more than just one movie about your favorite super-hero every two or three years? Is at least two movies about your favorite super-hero a year possible? I think so!

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By BJD - 2/23/2012


We all love comic book movies, but is three, four, even five enough of any one comic book to satisfy our appetite for them. I know that I won’t be happy until there is an assembly line cranking out at least two HULK movies every year. Oh but the cost and time to make these movies you cry. Are you telling me that you wouldn’t go see a SPIDER-MAN movie in July that ends with a cliffhanger and see another in December that resolves the issue? So if the demand that easily outweighs cost is there why should any studio not dedicate a task force to making these movies? Oh but actors have other obligations and you can’t expect them to limit themselves to one role now can you GFAN? Yes stupid I can! Nobody said they had to be well known actors that deserve multi-million dollar pay checks. I don’t know much about the mechanics of the film industry but I do know that actors and actresses that are dedicated to a TV show for the length of it’s run are paid a lot less than big time movie actors and actresses. So I as a laymen armchair critic am going to put a few ideas out there on how the dream of on going serialized CBM’s might be achieved and I know I can’t be the first to have them.

First, we have the time it actually takes to make a movie. There is no possible way to make two class A movies in the same year, right? Now again, I admittedly know nothing about the mechanics or production of a film but it seems to me that this is not an insurmountable hurdle. In fact the only thing I think that would make it seemingly so is that studio executives can’t accept the idea that each movie isn’t an independent venture. Take the MATRIX for example, once it was accepted that this franchise would be a trilogy the studio was able to get the second and third movie released in the same year and even using the same directors. They accomplished this by simultaneously shooting both movies. So it can be done, and no one says that the same directors have to be employed for every movie. Consider the HARRY POTTER movies, they didn’t use the same director for every movie and at no point in any movie did I sense a disruption to the homogeneous tone, style, and atmosphere of the series. This is probably because there was style parameters set for these movies that each director had to follow, much like TV shows that employ different directors. So if you use style parameters for the CBM’s there is no reason that two different directors couldn’t direct and shoot two HULK or LOBO movies at the same time.

Now I’m going to kill two birds with one stone because the issues dovetail each other. The issues are cost and actor commitment. Expense is only justified by return, and as I have already said I believe the demand is there for serialized CBM’s. On this site alone there are over six million visitors monthly, at least according to Galactus, and I have no reason to doubt him he is God after all and according to the bible God cannot lie, Hebrews 6:18. To put that in perspective that is two percent of the American population visiting this site every month. This does not include the other countless comic book movie sites and blogs that dot the cyber landscape. On top of this consider the fact that when times are economically tough as they are now people simply want to escape their problems. They generally do this with alcohol and cinema, the more fantastic and unbelievable the movie the better. I need to think no further than my own father, who has never been a lover of anything fantastical to prove this. He lost his business, his house, and his wife due to the bad economic environment and over this past summer he went to see THE GREEN LANTERN, THOR, and CAPTAIN AMERICA and called me up after each one and droned on about how much he loved these movies. As for actor commitment, we don’t need Robert Downy JR. Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Nicholas Cage, or Samuel L. Jackson to play the parts of our beloved comic book heroes, instead why not find no-name actors who do commercials during the day and work in cocktail lounges at night but are as equally talented to fill the roles. The studio would offer them more money than they’re used to, say five hundred thousand a year maybe a million, but they are then dedicated to the role of that comic book character for, oh I don’t know, ten years. The studio then trims away a major portion of production cost, the actors salary, the cocktail waitress gets more money then she ever thought possible, and we the fan boys get our hunger satiated year after year…everybody wins!

I believe that what I’m saying here will sooner or later become a reality and is in fact already on it’s way to becoming so. I think Marvel’s AVENGERS experiment is a simple testing of the waters. If those over at Marvel entertainment have even half a brain they’re already thinking along these lines but first want to take soundings in the pop-culture. Of course none of this is really possible until Marvel entertainment gets back the rights to all of it’s intellectual properties. Therefore I propose that every fan boy abstain from all food until FOX and SONY hand all the movie rights of all super-hero related material back over to MARVEL, and for those who feel led by the spirit, please feel free to set yourself on fire in front of Tom Rothman’s house in protest of FOX’s handling of all of our super-heroes. If you’re reading this, you are the resistance.
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11 Comments
HulkbusterNYC - 2/24/2012, 12:46 AM
I couldn't agree more.. I feel that if The Avengers makes as much money as Marvel expects it's only going to push this kind of thing to happening sooner rather than later.. I think of it lIke an HBO series too.. Actors are dedicated to those rolls and they film a whole season every year.. Why can't they film 2 movies back to back a year? Probably would take the same amount of time.. Good write up..
Paulley - 2/24/2012, 1:48 AM
Marvel is very good at getting actors who do not cost the Earth to star in there movies... remember RDJ was pretty much out of the business if it wasnt for Iron Man he wouldnt be an expensive actor.. and SLJ will star in any movie so he cant be that expensive... and Hemsworth was a no-name soap actor.

I think the idea of filming two film back-to-back is a plausible one though you must remember Marvel so far has had no reason to do that for a single character... they have been doing it for two at a time Iron Man/Hulk and Thor/Cap.

The thing is because these characters are tied up in the Avenger sequels as well as their own sequel they really cant hit out double movies... and the non-avenger characters wouldnt get double movies unless they have a first movie thats a success.

Anyway Marvel are doing two movies a year ad mixing up which characters we get which is fine by me.
MarVell - 2/24/2012, 7:58 AM
Nice job. Though I like your idea and would enjoy seeing more CBM's, my fear is, if they start pumping them out faster (two at a time), that the quality of these films could suffer.

As you pointed out, the Matrix trilogy, in my opinion, the first Matrix film was great and the best of the three. Though they filmed 2 & 3, back to back, I felt they weren't as good as the original. Especialy the third installment.

Though Harry Potter was a very successful franchise at the box office, like the Matrix was, the quality or lack of quality, could be argued, depending on ones taste. Making the most money isn't always mutually exclusive with how the movie is recieved by audiences though. Take Spider-Man 3, it made the most money of the three Spidey films, but is the most critically panned of the Raimi trilogy.

Though quality is not an impossibility, when you concider the history of any successful franchise that seized to be successful, in most cases, it's an improbability. Too much of a good thing could end up being a bad thing.
Gerrit - 2/24/2012, 10:39 AM
I don't see it happening. The theaters would become saturaded with CBMs, people wouldn't see them and quality would be an issue.
headlopper - 2/24/2012, 11:21 AM
Good editorial and interesting subject to examine.

My concern is that the quality will diminish due to a rushed release schedule AND ALSO you need to consider over-saturation!

I think over-saturation is the silent killer that very much could kill the genre.
Gold is very valuable because it's rare. If gold were abundant , it wouldn't be worth much more than aluminum.

Think about that a bit...
BJD - 2/24/2012, 12:33 PM
I feel and hear everybody on the over-saturation leading to disintegration of quality issue. As to over saturation I did indirectly address that when speaking of the demand for these movies. As long as the demand is there the market could never conceivably be over saturated. As to diminished quality....uh yeah...this really is a major pitfall and I understand every reservation, but I do not think it necessarily has to be so. The show BREAKING BAD is hands down the best show I've ever seen on televsion and consistently so. The show is now entering it's final season and has not once let up on the quality of writing,acting,suspense,drama, or action. The reason for this I believe is that because, Vince Gilligan the writer, and creator of BREAKING BAD went into this show with a specific vision. He had a beginning and an end mapped out in his head and has never comprised any of it even when the studio wanted him to extend the show for another season. If the same uncompromising visions and attitudes are applied to the serialized CBM's there is no reason that the quality should not be maintained at a satisfying level. Unless the vision itself is fundamentally flawed.....I have to get back to work but I will say more on this
TheCapelessCrusader - 2/24/2012, 12:51 PM
Gfan,

I'm right there with as far as wanting more films to come out each year.

However, having had some experience with film production, I can tell you that to do so for large-scale super hero films would be almost impossible.

With the Matrix, they were able to pull off much of it because quite a bit of the footage required no actual locations or physical actors. As CGI technology advanced, they were able to "shoot" large portions of the second and third movie entirely through a virtual camera.

The special effects required of any big-budget CBM make a long turnaround time for post-processing almost mandatory, otherwise we would wind up with a series of movies with effects on the order of NBC's aborted "The Cape".

Believe it or not, this approach was tried by Hollywood early on in its lifespan. They were pushing serialized films that were absolutely awful.

Most actors of the quality that we have seen in the recent films want to have the creative freedom to move between roles. Christian Bale has been vocal about the strain that focusing solely on Batman has put on his creative life. If the producer shows up to the meeting with a 10-film, 3 year contract, most actors of any established credibility will simply walk away.

For the kind of work you're hoping to see, the Comic Book industry would be better served to adapt several of their properties for television which, in fact, they are in the process of doing.

Most who go to see CBMs do so because they're looking for the spectacle that you get on the big screen. Like it or not, that is probably never going to be a quick process, at least not as long as quality is a concern.

BJD - 2/24/2012, 3:24 PM
@capelesscrusader: I appreciate the opinion of an expert (if you want to be called that), and I do have a buddy who actually does animation for all the ICE AGE movies who has echoed some of your thoughts when I muse about this with him. But I'm still of the opinion that probably with in the next ten years the technology will become so advanced that "turn around" time on post SFX processing will be more than cut in half from what it is currently now.

As for the actors with credibility...well I did address that...we don't need actors of any real credibility, we just need good actors who no one has ever heard of, who would be more than happy to sign their professional life away for the next ten years because it means a major upgrade in, lifestyle for them.

Thanks for reading!
superotherside - 2/24/2012, 7:48 PM
Agree with everything you said. After all the other actors get finished with their roles, just move new ones into their places. For instance after RDJ doesn't want to play Stark any more, I think that Dominic Cooper would be the perfect person to take over. He was perfect in CA:TFA as Howard Stark, so I think he would be fine as Tony. He would be able to change enough to look more like Tony than Howard.

With live action TV series, I think they should just have a partial continuity, not exactly stating it's in movie continuity but yet going along with it, but having probably most of the characters being played by different actors than in the movies, because the actors in the movies I doubt would want to play in a TV show. Still it would be perfect. Couldn't agree with you more.
thunderforce - 2/25/2012, 6:49 AM
I do think we will see it soon where actors can be scanned and computers can crank out movies 24/7 and you wouldn't have to pay the actors as much because you would just be using their likeness and they wouldn't be acting . That is what would be cool then I can have a couple movies every year .
gamecreatorjj - 2/25/2012, 10:44 AM
we do not need this, too many people would skip the second one, or not even know about it, the market is already on its way to over saturation (I'm getting tired of all these superhero films) when you have the fans of the comics, not even excited because there are too many that are too alike, you have a problem, the reason i liked ghost rider 2 so much was because it was a breath of fresh air, not the same old super hero formula, and that is what i fear with the avengers, spiderman, ironman 3, thor 2, and man of steel, thats its just going to be the same thing told 5 times, its a bit overwelming, im never going to watch another transformers film, and as 2013 dawns, even though its long away, i've already decided on which ones to skip, since we have around 7 coming out next year, if the rumors are true and we have 3 x men movies (wolverine, first class, deapool) then we have already reached the point of serialization, and after avengers, if you have 2 of the avengers coming out in one year, thats nearly serialization. the movies need to calm down, im good with 3-4 a year, but thats it, im getting tired of all these films, its hard to take them seriously anymore, im guessing by 2015, unless something big happens to re invigorate spirits (Justice League), the market will die itself, and by die, i mean back to the early 2000's one every couple of years...

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