Hero Chat Episode 1 – August 1, 2012


 Why and how have comic book movies become the #1 blockbusters every year these days when they used to be laughed at. Which movies do we credit for that?

Good one… I’d go for Spider-Man right off the bat.

I’d say X-Men started it.

Sure, X-Men came earlier but it wasn’t really that big a blockbuster. It made less than the first Batman movie.

What about Tim Burton’s Batman?

It’s the grandfather.

Sure, one can say that but it seemed like such its own thing… I think in both cases, you had characters who were well known all over the world paired with visionary filmmakers who knew how to make them work in movies.

I guess you could go back as far as Superman, but that’s an exception.

The original Superman grossed $134 million unadjusted and that’s pretty big for the times. But then after Tim Burton’s Batman, so many movies were released that turned superhero movies into jokes… like Batman & Robin.

Right, it reached a high point, then was dragged down again.

Looking at the list on Box Office Mojo you can definitely see the up-swing when Spider-Man came out.

See, that’s why I cite Spider-Man as changing everything… it set box office records, it reached non-comics readers.

Well, there’s a reason we first started out as SpiderManHype.com before we turned it into SuperHeroHype. I would say Spider-Man (2002) as well. Even though X-Men came out in 2000.

It’s actually surprising that the comic/superhero movies have survived after duds like League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Catwoman and Constantine. But look at how well X2, which came out after Spider-Man, did compared to X-Men.

Yeah, exactly Ed.

Yup. I also think that we’ve finally got to a point where actors, directors, and writers who are fans of these stories and characters are ready to commit to making these movies. Prior to that it was mostly because of the paycheck or they owed the studio a movie.

Spencer, that’s true, too… it’s not as easy to say “no” to a superhero movie now and in fact, lots of actors petition to try to get those roles.

Regular moviegoers were not in the frame of mind yet. Bringing us full circle…

You can also see in terms of box office that the much more violent comic book movies don’t have the legs that the more “bright, comicy” films had/have.

What I wonder is how long the superhero movie trend can last… everyone keeps expecting it to crash and burn. Thor and Cap didn’t do HUGE numbers, both under $200 million, but with Avengers, will the sequels get a much bigger bump?

Well they’ve been predicting that for some time, and for every Avengers and Dark Knight Rises we get two Jonah Hexes.

Yeah, can we see Iron Man 5, Thor 5 etc? We’re going to get Justice League, so that will extend all those characters.

 I think Iron Man can last a couple more flicks, and I do think the Cap/Thor sequels will fair better. Snow White and the Huntsman made all that money from Hemsworth’s face.
I’m kind of bummed Zack Galifianakis interrupted my question to Robert Downey at Comic-Con… I asked him if he’s still having fun playing Iron Man. Because if you think about it, no top-level actor if they’re really serious about acting (as Downey) is, will want to play a role forever.

Hugh Jackman said something similar about Wolverine recently.


Spencer, is he still into playing him? He’s going on his fifth movie (not including First Class). I get the impression Hugh is the only thing keeping that franchise alive.

I agree. He said as long as he’s still having fun playing the role he’ll keep it up. I’m partly hoping that he’ll lose interest and then in twenty years we can get an Old Man Logan movie.

Well, Hugh Jackman has been Wolverine for technically 12 years now, so I’m guessing things will last.


The thing is that Robert Downey had a career before Iron Man… Hugh didn’t…Chris Hemsworth didn’t…. But on the other side of the equation is the Ryan Reynolds/Green Lantern one… will Warner Bros. ever want to make another GL movie with him or will they learn a lesson from Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance?

Well I wouldn’t mind seeing Reynolds as Green Lantern again as long as they don’t have too many cooks in the kitchen with the script.

I think GL was one of the reasons people started citing that superhero movies were dying… but anyone who looked ahead to 2012 with Avengers, Dark Knight, Spider-Man would know otherwise.



Right, they’d need a better script… and another director… and would have to really focus on Mark Strong’s Sinestro since that was one of the strong points. I think they’d have to go right into Sinestro War and the Yellow Lanterns.

Yeah, I think before they can get any of that done they need to do like you said in that piece you wrote a few weeks ago and find their own Kevin Feige, someone who can lay out the ground work of what they’re going to do for the next several years, without much studio interference, and has respect for the source material.

I think Geoff Johns would work if he set aside his comic work and focused on the movies.


Yeah but I like his comics too much to want that to happen.

Or maybe he could put together a brain trust that includes Mark Waid and others. George Perez on character designs.

That would be great.

I don’t like the idea of Nolan being that guy, though… and that seems to be where they’re going.

 Yeah, he’s a great filmmaker but I don’t think he should be in charge of all the movie incarnations, because you can only do so many of them “realistic.”

Right, and I don’t get the impression he cares that much about the comics. I have to say that I like when movies have some semblance of the comics whether it’s storylines or visual references.

Yes! That’s one of my love/hate things about his Bat-movies. He seems to really enjoy the stories because he harvests so many different ones for each movie but then he just makes them his own, which isn’t exactly a bad thing… but it can be frustrating for huge fans.

I think one of the keys to Iron Man is that the actor understands the character as much or more than the filmmakers. And I’d say the same for Chris Hemsworth/Thor and Chris Evans/Cap.

Especially Evans I think.


That’s why I think Ryan Reynolds would be great in a Deadpool movie… maybe not so much as GL.

Yeah, him as Deadpool would have been cool and I get the feeling he only got GL because WB said “Well he kind of looks like this picture.”

And that’s it for our very first Hero Chat. It’s undecided whether this will be weekly or bi-weekly but a lot of that will come down to SuperHeroHype readers and whether they like reading a “podcast” and if there’s enough conversations within what we discussed that you have stuff to add in the comments. Let us know what you think of this concept and any of the topics discussed.