Comic-based movies have become a phenomenon in recent years. You can’t seem to go a month without a new Marvel or DC movie being announced or released. They’ve become a big business and having seen Wonder Woman earlier this week I’ve been thinking about them a lot these past few days.
I find most of my favorite comic book movies are unrelated to any of the big franchises. Movies like Sin City, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Super to me tend to be the most engaging. What I believe all three of those movies have in common is that they feel like something the director actually wanted to make. Studio interference is minimal and directors got to create their vision.
That’s not to say the big franchises can’t create good movies either. I mean being honest movies like Iron Man, X-Men: Apocalypse and Wonder Woman aren’t necessarily terrible. I understand why people enjoy those movies. They’re ‘switch your brain off’ movies made for the lowest common denominator. Nothing more, nothing less.
I think this year’s Logan is a perfect example of a movie that rises above its peers and is unique. That movie strayed far away from the X-Men franchise, with an emotional story, a depressing, almost dystopian world and gritty violence. I hope the one thing to come out of that movie is that giving directors creative control can be a good thing.
To me, the biggest case of studio influence is Suicide Squad. Although I don’t think David Ayer is a brilliant director, having seen most of his movies that were made before Suicide Squad, it’s apparent to me why he was brought on to do Suicide Squad. Most of his movies feature flawed protagonists (or in the case of Sabotage, downright arseholes who you hope to get brutally murdered) and a gritty, down to earth feel.
Although I cannot be certain, I can see a version of Suicide Squad that doesn’t necessarily involve a blue thing beaming up into the sky and other over the top supernatural things. There’s also one scene in the movie where I’m 99% confident it was reshot so a certain character didn’t die. What I think happened is the studio saw a darker version of Suicide Squad and panicked (especially considering that was one of the big criticisms of Batman Vs Superman) so they decided to do some reshoots.
As for the future, I think comic book movies will keep happening so long there’s money for them. Marvel and DC probably have movies planned for at least the next five years or so. I also expect more violent comic book movies due to the success both Deadpool and Logan have received, even though violence isn’t the only thing either movie had going for it.