Superheroes are every where you look now days. From TV to movies to video games, you can't escape them. Especially movies. Fox, Marvel, and DC, together, are putting out over twenty, 20, superhero movies between now and the end of 2020. And there are even more scheduled past that.
Superhero movies have had their ups, their downs, and plenty of WTF moments. And their rise in popularity can't really be pinpointed, but we can see where and when the genre changed. So, I figured I take a look at five of those movies.
Directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve, Superman brought one of the world's most recognizable heroes to the big screen to widespread acclaim. It is a beloved film that captured the comics really well. It also happened to have Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, Gene Hackman as Lex Luther, and Marlon Brando as Jor-El.
Superman and its sequel helped usher in a new age of superhero films. It allowed these types of films to be taken seriously. And without this film we would never have gotten films like The Swamp Thing or Tim Burton's Batman. I'm not even convinced we would have gotten the films we have today.
Batman and Robin (1997)
Speaking of Batman, the fourth installment of the '90s franchise almost killed the entire genre. Batman and Robin is a terrible film that introduced use to things such as the bat credit card and bat nipples. It also gave us George Clooney as Batman and that should probably get someone arrested. Just kidding about that last part. I actually think he was a good Bruce Wayne. He was just a terrible Batman.
Anyway, this movie was disliked so much and bombed so hard, it put a hold on most of the comic book movies in development. It forced studios to rethink their plans and start over. It almost killed the genre completely if not for the next film on this list.
Many people claim that Spider-Man started the current trend of superhero films. Some even argue for the Blade movies did it. However, it really was the 2000 movie, X-Men. Bringing together actors like Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Halle Berry, and Anna Paquin, the film was a star studded success. It also happened to introduce the world to a man named Hugh Jackman. So, yeah, the movie had a lot going for it.
The movie was a success that started a franchise that continues to this day. It has been a staple for 20th Century Fox and the genre ever since. It even allow the studio to produce movies based on other, lesser known X-Men characters such as Deadpool and Gambit. And with Deadpool being rated R, it could end up being a big milestone for the genre by itself. All in all, X-Men was pretty big for the genre.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Another Batman film on this list This time for a different reason. The Dark Knight, the second movie in the Nolan trilogy, is a great movie. And not just for the genre. It critical acclaim and even generated Oscar buzz. When it didn't get nominated for Best Picture, it forced the Oscar to change its rules. Heath Ledger's performance even won him an Oscar.
The Dark Knight forced the movie industry to take notice. A superhero film could be good. It could be a real drama. And it could deserve awards. It was taken seriously, and it brought legitimacy to a genre that is sometimes looked upon with contempt.
Marvel's The Avengers (2012)
And who could forget this movie? Even though Iron Man kick-started the MCU in 2008, it didn't become a reality until 2012 when The Avengers hit the big screen. With Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor (and The Hulk, I guess) all taking a break from their own franchises to join forces, this movie had, at the time, the biggest opening weekend ever. It was also the first film to ever make over $200 million dollars in one weekend.
Without this film working, there would be no MCU. I doubt there would be a DCEU. We wouldn't have gotten Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man. We wouldn't be getting a Black Panther or Captain Marvel (eventually). There is so much of the current superhero landscape that we have thanks to The Avengers.
So, those are just my thoughts.
What do you think? What was a game-changing film in your mind?