Today over lunch, I was having a discussion with Marc, a friend and fellow nerd from work. The discussion centered heavily on the mass quantities of super hero movies we've gotten over the past ten years or so. Some are so good and some are not. Marc proposed something drastic. He says the bad movies shouldn't get made. Of course, that's subjective. It may be somewhat universally accepted that Batman Begins and Iron Man are great movies, but the quality of both recent Hulk movies is much more debated.
Do we get the great movies simply as a rule of averages? Because we have so many comic book movies, are some just naturally going to be good and some are not? Isn't that the way it is in any genre? Jason Bourne movies get made, but so do those Fast and the Furious movies.
And I guess I wonder, if I only watch the good movies, am I hurting my overall enjoyment of movies in general? If I watch the bad movies, do I not appreciate the good ones so much more when I see them? Do I not recognize greatness by having lousiness to compare it to? I don't know. Just some food for thought.
So, with the myriad movies that have been made, plenty of characters haven't had their shot yet. Marc posed a question to me today during the discussion and I figured I'd pose it here as well.
Challenge #1: Which character or team that hasn't had a movie in the last ten years or so needs to have a movie? Who should be the director? Who should be the star(s)?
Challenge #2: With all the reboots (Hulk, Punisher, upcoming Superman), which character or team from a comic book movie from the past ten years should be rebooted? Again, who should direct? Who should star?
Bear in mind the backdrop for this discussion was quality. Granted, I think any comic book character has the potential to be good, but who are some of the great characters we're missing on the screen? Pick a director fitting that type of character and with experience in the genre. And for the star, who can command the screen presence to pull of the lead character effectively while doing fantastical things on screen?
For challenge #1, I'm going to answer with The Flash, directed by Tony Scott, starring Ryan Gosling. Preceding bullet time and the CSI shows, the 1990 Flash TV show came about ten years too early. Now, a serious crime drama movie with a sci-fi element could be done so much better. Tony Scott pulled this off with Deja Vu. And he could really interject his own style to keep the speed effects from being too boring. Make it light-hearted and fun with a superb actor like Ryan Gosling. He can pull off the awkward, yet endearing police scientist and still be a hero.
For challenge #2, Daredevil, directed by Paul Haggis, starring Guy Pearce. Do a back to basics, origin reboot. Strip away the more fantastical stuff like Elektra and Bullseye. Make this a crime drama that just happens to have a vigilante in it. Guy Pearce was always my choice for this role. His performance in Memento sold me on his ability to portray a guy with a thirst for justice who has to get over a handicap. By the way, they should get a spare suit from the Spider-Man movie and just modify that to make the Daredevil costume. No cheap-looking, red-pleather suit this time.
I told Marc about this post and he sent me his answers (along with graphic support) to the challenges. I thought I'd share them with you here.
Ron Howard directing Green Lantern starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Hal Jordan and Scarlett Johansson as Hal’s love interest … and because she’s really hot.
Set in the iconic America of the 1950s, a young pilot-prodigy, Hal Jordan, accepts an offer from the US to be the first man in space. After the first successful moon landing, Hal is caught between two warring aliens and the classic story of the ring and Hal’s fateful decision plays out. Hal is saved by the power of the lantern ring and returns to earth just in time to stop its eminent destruction from an invading alien race. Director Ron Howard has proven with A Beautiful Mind and The Cinderella Man, that he truly gets America from the 1930s, 40s and 50s and has shown a passion for space with Apollo 13. He truly understands what makes heroic characters heroic. Jake Gyllenhaal has proven that pretty boys can act and has proven his old-school, aw-shucks likability from his period work in October Sky.
M. Night Shyamalan directing The Incredible Hulk starring Joaqin Phoenix as Bruce Banner and Bruce Willis as the yet-to-be-named head of a government task force sent to bring Bruce to justice. And Rachael McAdams as Betty Ross.
Not necessarily a reboot, The Incredible Hulk would follow the past two films as cannon and now Bruce is on the run with an U.S. Government task force hot on his heels. Leaving Betty behind, Bruce hits the road in an attempt to rid himself of his inner monster once and for all by finding an ultimate cure. The main protagonist in this film would be the Hulk as Bruce treats him as a separate person all together. The secondary protagonist, Bruce Willis’ character, would always be just one step behind Bruce in a twisting-turning game of cat-and-mouse. And in the end, Shyamalan can add his famous twist by revealing the only true cure for Bruce lies within his love for Betty. She is his only cure. Shyamalan could bring a scarier, more emotional edge to the series while still being able to pull phenomenal performances out of two of his past, proven actors. Joaqin is fabulous at externalizing inner turmoil and will bring great maturity and suffering to Bruce Banner.
The cool thing is, this is exactly how I found this picture. I didn’t color the eyes a bit. Weird. Minutes after this picture was taken, Joaquin actually turned into the Hulk and ate his personal assistant. Eww.
By the way, Marc has a blog, Zerogami. If you're into video games, check it out. Even if you're not, check it out. I never have a clue what he's talking about, but I still read it.