Look at that picture above, how many of those characters star in their own mega-blockbuster franchises?
What's that you say, all but the ones on the right?
I kid! And Batman was on the right side, so yes, little joke... but seriously, almost all of them have or will soon have their own film franchises. That being said, it may be hard to imagine that just a decade ago many considered superhero films a risky investment at best, and a fad at worst; especially now, in a world where we could very well be seeing anywhere from 28 to 42 Marvel movies alone between now and 2028 and DC announced plans to release up to three films a year between now and 2018.
Yet, according to Paramount Pictures former studio head John Goldwyn, that's exactly what superhero films were, "A fad."
You see, back in 2003 all we really had was Spider-Man and X2: X-Men United as proof of the genre's potential, and on the other hand we had Batman & Robin and Ang Lee's Hulk serving as counterpoints. Needless to say there were still some detractors in the industry, as the Image Comics founder Rob Liefeld can attest to when he was trying to get a Youngblood movie off the ground:
Thanks to BleedingCool for the scoop!
In all honesty, I'll risk being on the wrong end of this argument to say Mr. Goldwyn is undoubtedly a highly competent and successful industry figurehead, and while he did end up stepping down from his position at Paramount that same year, he also went on to produce the highly successful TV show Dexter as well as a slew of successful films.
That being said, Rob Liefeld's story really epitomizes how nothing is a sure bet in Hollywood, and nobody really knows anything when it comes to what will or won't work. As much as we like to pick sides on the Marvel vs. DC fan-wagon, the fact that we can even have these debates is something to be eternally grateful for.
It's amazing how far we've come! Hollywood is a risky business, but thankfully the guys at Marvel, DC, Warner Bros., Fox, and Sony were willing to take a chance and give us what our comic-book-nerd-forefathers could only dream of: our heroes' day in the spotlight.