If you’ve ever seen some of the old Batman cartoons or that utterly ridiculous rendition with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, you can appreciate the leaps and bounds taken by Marvel and DC Comics over the last few years in the film world.
Developed through a sense of actually-decent film making in the Spiderman and X-Men series–at least in comparison to the large budget, non-thought out style of the last few decades–the two comic book titans have started to boast their4 abilities to fund better movies, and it’s most obvious in the choice of actors.
Alongside a couple serious movies, an Aronofsky film being one of them, Natalie Portman has signed on to do Thor, which is set for release in 2011. Granted, she got her start in the Star Wars series, but she has developed into a respected actress, and can bring a larger audience to the movie.
The same was true with Edward Norton in The Incredible Hulk, Tobey Maguire in Spiderman only three years after The Cider House Rules, one of Robert Downy Jr.’s big return movies in Iron Man.
Also noteworthy, former Van Wilder Ryan Reynolds will be Green Lantern. He’s married to Scarlett Johansson, so that makes him respectable, I guess, if only for the sheer fact that any guy would appreciate that.
The real idea here, though, is not just in the better quality of the actors. That’s not entirely new–remember Jack Nicholson as the Joker? More than that, it’s testament to the developing genre that is actually producing some good movies. It’s one that has big plans, too, with Captain America, Green Lantern, Thor, and The Avengers all announced in the last year.
Of course, The Dark Knight can’t escape being categorized into this. It’s DC’s baby over the last few years and damn near took Titanic’s title. I remember. I saw it seven times in theaters.
While none have quite reached the same level as Chris Nolan’s brainchild, which made it as far as winning two Oscars and nominated for another six, it still begs attention, this new genre. It’s used the success of some of the earlier, halfway decent movies, to build a future that film lovers and comic nerds alike hope to see produce some good work