Thursday, January 29, 2009

MUST READ ARTICLES: More on Superhero Movies Based on Comics

Lynden Barber, the freelance journalist who published the article "Triumph of the Fan Boys", in the Weekend Australian, which we referenced in a previous blog post, has expanded on the subject matter by publishing an edited interview on his blog with US academic Dr Peter Coogan, director of the Institute for Comic Studies. 

Coogan cites several reasons for the rising popularity of the superhero genre in film – one is the development of CGI technology and the second is that film producers love pre-developed brands with a built in audience. The third and most insightful observation for us for the intensification of film productions and the strong audience response is the following:
... the primary difference is respect – respect for the material. The main difference between Batman and Robin and Batman Begins is that Joel Schumacher doesn't respect Batman, but Christopper Nolan and David Goyer do. Superman 1 and most of Superman II were good because of the accident of Richard Donner being a fan – the Salkinds didn't know he was a fan, they hired him because of the success of The Omen.

But look at the scenes he filmed for Superman II and compare them to Richard Lester's – the difference is respect. Hollywood has somehow learned to give superhero movies to directors who respect the material and most oftens are fans themselves – one can say that the inmates have taken over the asylum, but it turns out they're crazy about running the place, not just crazy.
Go read Part I and Part 2 and "Mythic Archetypes and all that Superhero Jazz" NOW! Then let us know what you think.

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