Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hope you liked the new Wolverine movie...


...because you're going to get a lot more like it.

Seriously... do we really need:

Fox is also in the formative stages of a "Wolverine" sequel that will encompass the samurai storyline that was hinted at as Wolverine sat in a bar in Japan as the film concluded (Daily Variety, May 4).

Separately, Fox is developing "Magneto," a film about the X-Men villain with a script by Shelton Turner, and "X-Men: First Class," which Josh Schwartz is penning.

Golly gee... more mutant teenagers and a strange, offshoot ninja/samurai storyline for Wolverine that really was played out by the end of the 1980's. Oh, and Deadpool, "one of the most popular [characters] in Marvel Comics' X-Men universe." Um... really? Deadpool? Because, according to Mr. "Pool's" Wikipedia article:

Wizard Magazine ranked Deadpool the 182nd best comic book character of all time, of their list of the Top 200 Comic Book Characters of All Time.

Wow. 182nd. Out of *200*. That's well below such stellar and film-worthy characters as The Enlongated Man (#160), The Watcher (#150), and Alfred Pennyworth (Batman's butler - #142) - definitely solid characters, but not exactly names that fly, trippingly, off the tongue when one considers making a dedicated feature-lengh film. Methinks someone at Marvel's been huffing ink fumes again...

I went and saw the Wolverine movie this weekend and all I can say is... meh. It wasn't bad, certainly not, but it wasn't really anything special, either. It certainly would have helped if Hugh "Does My Goofy-ass Beard Look Stupid?" Jackman hadn't sleepwalked through most of the film. Seriously... it felt like even he was bored by the whole thing - you could almost see the words "this is what I'll be typecast as for the next 15 years?" scrolling across his forehead.

I know... I know... as someone who wants to one day make a living in partnership with the comic industry, I suppose I shouldn't talk bad about a huge franchise like the X-men, but given the wealth of other (and, let's face it, better) story arcs out there, written by amazingly talented writers like Bendis, Millar and others, do we honestly need endless re-hashings of a few cherry-picked characters' back-story? Something about it just feels like Marvel is deciding to "dumb down" the superhero genre to be more palatable for the general market, a choice that never seems to work. Do they really want to get a reputation for churning out schlock, to the point where your average moviegoer responds with apathy? Because I know I'm yawning re-reading that Variety article...

Let's hope that the new Avengers flick (which seems to be based... loosely perhaps... on the gritty and very adult "Ultimates" storyline, will be good (although I'm certainly not holding my breath)...



Aaron said...

It's important to note that Wolverine, along with all of the other X-stuff - isn't being made by Marvel. That's stuff that has been licensed out to Fox, and so long as Fox keeps paying the fees and doing something with the characters every five years, Marvel can't do much about it.

But Marvel is now in the film studio business, and they're the ones who did Iron Man and Incredible Hulk - and they're the ones who will be doing The Avengers.

Matt Cook said...

All good points... I'm just saying that the quality of the "Fox Shlock" really shows, IMHO. I also know that Marvel wants to be in the movie biz more than they want to be in the comics biz - they've made no secret of that fact for years.

I do find it hard to believe that they "can't do much about it" though - I mean, this IS their valuable IP, and from what I know about Marvel, they aggressively defend it.

Hopefully the Avengers movie will save us all. =)