The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

Published 8 months ago by , Updated March 11th, 2014 at 9:29 am,

 Comic Book Superhero Movie Casting Controversy Race The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

Superhero movies are the big champions of the cineplex these days –  the most steadily reliable big-buck earners Hollywood studios can put out. Casting these films is therefore a big deal; a studio has to both please a core fanbase that is very finicky about the depiction of the characters, and pick someone who can carry a mega-budget film on a global stage, drawing in big crowds all along the way.

When you lay it out like that, superhero movie casting is a really big deal for all parties involved (fans and studio) – and lately, frankly, we’ve been tossed quite a few curveballs. “Race-switch casting” has continued to court controversy, as actor Michael B. Jordan will play a black version of The Human Torch in the new Fantastic Four movie and Jamie Foxx a black version of Electro in Amazing Spider-Man 2.  Even without race-switching controversy, comic book fans have been almost as perplexed about actors like Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and Jesse Eisenberg being cast as characters like Batman, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor in DC’s Batman vs. Superman movie; Michael Douglas playing an elderly Hank Pym in Marvel’s Ant-Man; or Channing Tatum possibly playing Gambit in the X-Men movieverse.

Indeed it seems that, at the moment, superhero movie casting involves more twists and surprises than an M. Night Shymalan movie – and those unpredictable choices are causing rifts all over the fanbase. For every person who is intrigued and/or patient for forthcoming evidence of an actor’s performance or a film’s quality, it seems like two more are outraged to the point of boycotting a film they have never seen, based solely on the fact that it does not fit their mold of what that comic book movie should be. But let’s be honest here: superhero movie casting is, at its core, a pragmatic and business-oriented process – one far simpler than the criticisms and conspiracies that many angered fans find catharsis in flinging all over The Internet.

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THE COMPLAINTS

The angry fanboy The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

If you don’t frequent Internet movie sites or their subsequent comment forums, then maybe (hopefully) you’ve been spared a lot of this. In case you aren’t aware, here are the top complaints fans make about Hollywood’s mis-casting of superhero movies:

  1. The filmmakers are idiots who have little knowledge and/or respect for the source material.
  2. Casting directors are idiots who don’t understand these characters – or the obvious casting choices that fans post online everyday (which should be followed without hesitation).
  3. In the case of race-switching, it is political correctness pandering meant to foster the illusion of diversity, which is disrespectful to the tradition of these characters AND the general public.

You hear these three reactions (in slightly varied forms) every time another surprising or canon-altering superhero casting announcement is made; and yet, nearly all of those same complaints seem to miss the simplest and (to me at least) most obvious fact about the casting process: It’s all about business and making the most bucks possible, and it’s a strategy that has traditionally worked.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT MOVIE BUSINESS

Movie Demographics The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

If you’ve never heard the term “demographics” allow me to elaborate: in the eyes of a business (like major movie studios) society is broken up into a pie chart. Children, adults, males, females, minority, non-minority, etc., etc… the divisions vary, but the core idea of the demo pie chart remains the same: know the playing field. Now, some businesses thrive by focusing on one sliver or section of the chart as their target demo – but major tentpole movies are NOT one those businesses. A movie that costs $100+ million ($200+ million in some cases) is trying to take as big a bite out of that demographic pie chart as possible – and casting plays a huge role in that agenda.

I don’t make the rules of human behavior (I sometimes like to pretend I do), but it is not a groundbreaking revelation to point out that things like the race, gender and the age of a cast of actors are major factors in a movie’s appeal. For example: most gross-out raunch-com movies are seen by younger people, while mature rom-coms tend to skew more toward adults. And  before you say race isn’t a factor in all this, ask yourself: how many movies with majority black casts achieve “crossover success” at the box office? (Hint: the fact that the term “crossover success” is an actual term is a sign in and of itself.) For a major tentpole, the filmmakers need to recoup every dollar possible in their race for big profits (a race that now seems to have a billion, not million-dollar finish line) – and that means tapping every pocket from as many demographic quadrants as possible to get it.

Fast and Furious 6 Cast The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

Now, a case can be made for why ‘pandering to PC standards’ or ‘affirmative-action casting’ are the enemies of true progression; but then again, there is plenty of evidence that diversity actually sells when it comes to blockbuster films. The Fast & Furious series is one of the most successful non-superhero movie franchises currently in business, and we’ve already pointed out that having one of the most diverse casts in Hollywood (black, white, Latino, Asian, and everything in between) is probably a strong indicator as to why those films are now inching toward the billion-dollar mark worldwide (key word) with each new installment. Sure, it could be the mindless action and pretty faces selling those tickets, but something tells us that allowing gearheads all over the world to see their segment of the sub-culture represented onscreen doesn’t exactly limit the movie’s appeal.

…Which brings us back to the more recent example of the Fantastic Four reboot.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT MOVIE-MAKING

fantastic four reboot josh trank The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

People like to fantasize that if Marvel Studios held the rights to ALL of its characters (like F4) then all would be well. That’s a nice fallacy, but Marvel Studios is probably the one place where they know better than anyone how problematic it is to sell a modern Fantastic Four - and no doubt Fox has had similar concerns about the overall viability of the property.

According to Diamond Comicsin January 2014 Fantastic Four was number 76 out of the top 100 comics sold for the month – which is more or less the tier it seems to be stuck on, these days. That’s to say: the readership is not all that strong. If the core source material is not scorching-hot with comic book fans, why would a studio gamble on that exact same concept selling as a major blockbuster film? It might seem strange and/or offensive to say this, but a story about an all-white family of superheroes just may not have enough wide appeal to make it in the modern global film market. That concept and setup didn’t attract a large audience to a show like ABC’s cancelled superhero family TV series No Ordinary Familywhich was essentially a re-tooled Fantastic Four. After a one-and-done TV concept and low comic book sales for the “classic” version, it’s fair to say that all-American superhero families aren’t quite the draw they used to be.

Michael B Jordan Responds to Human Torch Criticism The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

As cynical as it may seem, casting Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm has generated massive interest in this project (angry comments ARE interest, remember) – and though it may be regrettable to admit, seeing a Fantastic Four movie with a black actor in a lead role WILL secure a certain audience that would not see the movie, otherwise (“Oh, Human Torch is black now? And it’s the dude from The Wire? I’m in!“) Add to that a respected young British actor (Jamie Bell) as The Thing, and a spunky up-and-coming actress (Kate Mara) to give females a more grounded and relatable Sue Storm (as opposed to super beauty queen Jessica Alba) and already one can see where the filmmakers are going with their demographic reach: all over the chart.

DC’s Batman vs. Superman movie is pulling star-power (Affleck), international appeal (Gadot), indie/greek cred (Eisenberg) – with rumors of more diversity in the works – in order to open up their mega-tentpole to as many people customers as possible. Peel away the makeup and CGI from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy gamble and you’ll find a full-service demographic chart, including popular actors of color (Zoe Saldana, Djimon Hounsou), A-list star-power (Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel), indie/comedy cred (Chris Pratt, John C. Reilly), etc.  Captain America 2 follows the same pattern with Anthony Mackie and Robert Redford in the mix; Amazing Spider-Man 2 has Jamie Foxx and Dane Dehaan to help spread its reach… This wide-net demographic (catering, pandering, servicing – call it what you will) is simply part of the blockbuster movie game plan, and superhero movies are simply the biggest blockbusters of the day.

Meet The Guardians of the Galaxy The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

In short, this is all just Hollywood business as usual: doing what it “takes” to make big bucks.

With a film like Fantastic Four - where there are fewer characters to work with – the deviations in casting are much more apparent than, say, having Bradley Cooper’s voice behind a CGI space raccoon – or a having a character like Electro (who virtually no one has ever nominated for a “Best Supervillain” award) suddenly switch races. Regardless, the underlying principle is the same: a blockbuster film needs to have MUCH wider reach than a comic book, and when hundreds of millions of dollars are on the line, the “obligation” to “honor” the source material comes in at a distant second.

…And why not? After all, in the end, how much is fanboy happiness really worth?

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THE TRUTH ABOUT COMICS & FANS

Callie Cosplay Sue Storm Banner The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

Photo Credit: Callie Cosplay | David Love Photography

As stated before: the Fantastic Four comic book hasn’t exactly been a hot seller. Generally speaking, as a modern-day concept, F4 is shaky – whether on the comic book page or the big-screen. But then, this isn’t the first slump Fantastic Four has found itself in – and the “stunt casting” for this property started LONG before Michael B. Jordan came along. In fact, the Fantastic Four comic has been swapping original members for other (often more lucrative) Marvel superheroes for years.

Those who still read the books will tell of recent stories where Spider-Man and even (gasp) Doctor Doom were part of the team;  in the early ’90s, we got a completely  New Fantastic Four that was made up of Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk and Ghost Rider (guys you still see in the movies today, get it?); within the last few years, a “New Fantastic Four 2.0” included characters like Red Hulk, Venom, X-23 and Ghost Rider (again). Those rotations usually help to reinvigorate the property when the core Four have lost reader interest – and such alterations to the team lineup over the years illustrates an important reality:

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Comic books change all of the time.

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Comic fans know the term “retcon” well; it’s a term that refers to the (often drastic) changes that a new comic book creative team makes to existing canon. In terms of creative vision, comic books are like seasons: with each new creative team, a book can change to a whole different climate. Some are harsh and bad climates, others fun and pleasant – but within the medium it is generally accepted that change is not only a reality, but the norm. Somehow, that aspect of comic books is being lost in translation to film.

Fantastic Four Future Foundation and New Fantastic Four The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

The Second “New F4″ and “Future Foundation” teams

When looking at casting choices, story directions, costumes or pretty much any other aspect of comic book movies, it seems there are a lot of fans who demand to see something set in stone within their minds. However, a stone monument to a comic book property is hypocritical when comic books themselves aren’t fixated like stone, but are instead fluid like water. In other words: if comic books can shake things up, change, and present new visions of their characters and stories, why can’t comic book movies?

If Chronicle director Josh Trank drops a trailer for a wildly different (but awesome-looking) Fantastic Four movie, hardcore fans may hold out and boycott it for not sticking to canon, but a lot of average moviegoers – from a wide range of demographics – might be inspired to go see it. The same goes for the new Batman, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor of Batman/Superman, or those strange critters from Guardians of the Galaxy. If the new movie version looks cool, the old canon will be quickly forgotten by the masses – if it was ever really known at all. Which brings us to a pivotal point regarding the future of these films.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE FUTURE

amazing spider man 2 trailer electro 1024x576 The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

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Superhero Movie Math: x > y

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At the moment, when it comes to the success of comic book movies, many fans assume “x” to represent “the core fanbase,” and “y” to represent “the general moviegoing public.” However, that’s specious reasoning. A film like this Fantastic Four reboot, if it snags mainstream appeal in a wide net of demographics – but is boycotted by the hardcore fanbase – it could be a solid success, which would forever redefine the equation above. If studios see box office results that prove “x” to be “the general moviegoing public” and “y” to be “the core fanbase”? It will be all-too apparent that radical changes to the material won’t doom a comic book movie’s chances at mainstream success; ergo, catering to fan demands will be seen as a very distant second to creating a version of the property with global appeal as a blockbuster movie.

Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

Some fans may not realize it, but we’ve already entered into this transition, and the results aren’t looking good for fanboys: Iron Man 3 pissed a lot of comic book fans off (that whole Mandarin issue) – but that didn’t stop it from reaching a billion-dollar box office payout. To many non-comic book fans, Shane Black’s version of Iron Man was a hit and the anger about the Mandarin was short-lived; Thor: The Dark World showed little sign fan backlash as it clocked over half a billion dollars worldwide. When the money is still on the table – even though fanboy love is not – studios have little motivation to cater and cow to the wishes of a niche group – a realization they seem to be quickly coming to.

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CONCLUSION

Ultimate Fantastic Four Movie Cast 2015 The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

There is no sacred mold to adhere to, anymore. Superheroes have hit the mega-mainstream and like all things in the pop-culture zeitgeist, there comes the obligation to appeal to as many people as possible. That is almost the exact opposite philosophy of the intimate niche worlds comic book writers and artists create for readers of a certain era and context – before the books inevitably evolve and change to create new and different intimate niche worlds for new generations of readers. As comic book movies age, they will carry on in the tradition of their source material inspirations and evolve and change in attempt to meet the different contexts of different eras. Superman may get edgier, Lex Luthor scrawnier, Johnny Storm blacker, or Hank Pym older, but one thing will remain constant:

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People won’t pay to see a crappy movie.

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Quicksilver X Men Days of Future Past Costume The Truth About Superhero Movie Casting

After all this serious talk, that’s really the punchline: much of this deep, social/economical/racial/philosophical debate will ultimately be decided by what these respective movies look like when the trailers and/or other promotional materials are released. If they look badass, the world (including many of the sworn boycotters) will line up to buy tickets to the No. 1 source of blockbuster movie entertainment; however, if the trailers and promo materials look like garbage – faithful to the source material or not – then even the most ardent supporters will turn on the film like Caesar at the Senate. And  if/when the box office returns are low, it’ll be back to the drawing board for the studio.

As always seems to be the case, dollars will decide – so spend wisely, rather than dogmatically.

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TAGS: ant-man, batman, batman vs superman, captain america 2, fantastic four, guardians of the galaxy, iron man 3, spider-man, superman, the amazing spider-man 2, the avengers 2, wonder woman, x-men, x-men days of future past

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  1. There are IMHO only two ways that Fantastic Four really succeeds as a film:

    1. As a 1960′s period-piece that plays up its retro-anachronistic nature for nostalgic value. Not likely to happen.

    2. As a modernized, sleek, younger, edgy reimagination. The core elements (dysfunctinoal family dynamic, lots of science, public-known identities) can remain constant, but creative liberty should be taken otherwise.

    • To add: Fantastic Four should be the ultimate geek-appeal franchise. While it does need to be serious and edgy, with the science angle there is potential to tap into a vein of modern “nerd culture” to a certain extent. It could be for sciency what Tron is for graphic designy. Or something like that.

    • Doing a retro movie could work. Look at how popular Mad Men is.

      • could have worked. Obviously, Trank’s version is what is going to happen. I predict a found footage origin and a focus on Sue Storm’s powers, with the Thing playing a version of the Hulk smash which obviously isn’t the Thing.

        Am I the only person bummed that they will not see a fight between the Hulk and the Thing?

        • @Chris C . No you are not the only one bummed I have been waiting for a Hulk vs Thing since those first crappy Fantastic Four movies.

          I would settle for Hulk vs Wolverine. I probably wont even get a Hulk vs Red Hulk

      • Mad Men averages less than three million viewers per episode, though. Sure, Home Releases and streaming sales make it higher, but it’s not super.

        • How’d the Incredibles do?

          • You’re seriously comparing a children’s animated movie with a cable TV show for adults?

            • Hi Dazz, no I’m not. I’ll wait for you to re-read the above.

  2. I don’t know….. The Last Airbender was DOA before it ever got the screen. Controversial, protests and attracted all the wrong attention. And a bad movie. Never had a chance.

    • Yes, but Airbender had two giant strikes against it: one, it turned a diverse and demographic-snaring cast into a white-washed, next-to-no-demographic blandfest, and two: M. Night.

      • Then you haven’t seen the movie and perpetuating a myth. The cast for Team Avatar captured all the demographics: Aang (American Indian descent), Zuko (Asian Indian), Katara (white), Sokka (white) and Suki (Asian). The Four Nations were then cast accordingly: whites for Northern Water Tribe, Inuit for Southern Water Tribe, Asians for Earth Kingdom, dark-skinned folks for Fire Nation and mixed for Air Nomad. Paramount spent $150 million on the line and used up one foreign movie quota to show the movie in China in 2010, so don’t think of them as fools to not do proper demographics research and have M.Night take their “advice” into consideration.

        The real “white-washing” is the systemic removal of facts on the diversity of the casting on the movie by the hardcore fans and others fans who have succumbed to peer pressure. These “true” fans were expecting different races for the Four Nations, which is mostly a “Planet of the Asians (and Inuit)”. Then we have people who are offended at the “cultural cross-dressing”, i.e., Asians who thinks whites are not good enough to dress-up as Asians, and whites who thinks they are too good to do just that.

        But you are right about M.Night. He is pretty much Hollywood’s favorite whipping boy for all the evil that has been done (and is still doing) by the rest of the movie industry. They should have hired the Wachowskis for The Last Airbender, since they did a fantastic job turning Speed Racer into a movie with an authentic all-Japanese cast. >.<

        • Speed Racer lost $30 million. Flawed concept.

          • The Last Airbender made $319,713,881 out of $150 million. Diversified cast appeals better to the masses better than all-Asian (or all-white) cast. “x > y” indeed.

  3. Where I agree with the article where it states that the casting of Michael B. Jordan has generated tons of talk about the movie; that publicity means nothing if people refuse to see the movie because of the casting choice.

    • And i for one will watch this film…when it’s online to torrent….just like I did The Amazing Spider man. I will not pay to see these films. The Amazing spiderman was too soon for a reboot after the Sam Rami films. when I finally did see it, I was glad I saved my money.
      There was a time I would rush out and see a Superhero film…opening day. That hasn’t happened since The abysmal Superman Returns. I didn’t see The Avengers until 2 months after it’s release ( kind of regretted not seeing it sooner…because it was really awesome)
      I just don’t like the recent slew of movies and their casting choices. I will see Batman vs Superman…but unlike seeing MOS opening day…I’ll wait until I get feedback from the masses and then make a decision if to go see it or wait to torrent it.

      • Or, you could NOT watch movies from illegal sources.

      • Geeze, its only $12. Dont act like you wont be able to afford food and shelter if you pay out for a crappy movie 2-3 times a year.

        • You do realize that some people even blowing 12 dollars on a movie is a luury. A lot of people have bills and they don’t make enough to pay those bills so for some wasting 12 dollars on a movie they might not like is just wasteful.

          • Just saying its not the end of the world if they choose to spend the $12 instead of stealing it for free. Critics can be very helpful in determining which movies are worth seeing, so its not like you have to go in blind.

            • Also, trailers exist to help you make up your mind and decide whether it’s worth watching or not. I assume from my couple of years on this website that American moviegoers have never heard of trailers because they still blindly walk into obviously terrible movies anyway.

              • lol, thats true too! If you pay good money to check out Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance in theatres, its your own damn fault! :p

              • There were actually a couple of trailers I liked and then the whole movie was horrible and there were trailers I didn’t like, but the movies were actually good. So I really don’t put too much faith into a trailer for how the movie is or isn’t.

                • How about this: If the Rotten Tomatoes rating is below 60, then you are taking a big risk.

                  • I actually like what I’ve seen on Comcast On-Demand a few times. For some movies they had a 10 minute preview of the movie and it was the first 10 minutes of that movie and not just clips for a trailer. I think movies should do this because I think this give a better understanding of the movie.

        • Whoooaaa Ryan, those were terrible movies!!!

      • I don’t like this casting choice, but I’m at least willing to give the movie a chance. I won’t see it in theaters, but that has nothing to do with the casting.

      • Downloading movies illegal are part of the issue as to why Movie Studios change the source material to a demographic that WILL go out and see a movie. You would make a conscious decision to use a torrent site to watch a movie that wasn’t all that bad, but because it has certain aspects you don’t like..that makes it abysmal and unwatchable. Your reasoning is foolish and shows why Film Studios rather change character origins, races and story lines to appeal to an audience that will see a movie based off of content and appeal rather than an audience that is only interested in picking the movie apart. I hope your computer crashes!

      • Yeaaah, Amazing Spider-Man, to me, was not good for some reason.

    • Which people?

      Who – beyond comic book fans – do you think will be upset about the casting of Human Torch?

      • By just being on here there seem to be a lot of people who are talking about the casting, but refuse to see the movie. His casting is generating buzz, but buzz means nothing if it doesn’t increase revenue. I’m not sure what other people are thinking out in the real world and I don’t know who or who will not see this movie, but it doesn’t change what I said about getting people to talk about your movie only matters if they go and see your movie.

        • How many people will actually refuse to see this movie solely because they changed the race of a B-list (C-list?) character? If the trailers look good, Im gonna see it!

          • Well, not just that, that’d be silly, the truth is these studios feel they have a built in fanbase and have been shoveling sh%* for a while now.

            • He wasn’t a B-list character til this.

      • Personally I don’t want to see the film but it has nothing to do with casting, I just don’t trust Fox not to make a this a screw-up. I like the casting but I just have the impression that Fox is going to find a way to screw things up and I din’t want people to think I didn’t see the film because there was a black human torch in the film.

        Also if he does turn out to be bad then Micheal B. Jordan could always be Captain America, it worked for the last guy who played Johnny Storm.

      • Exactly, spot on.

        The odd & at best scoughinly funny trend to hate-wagon regarding decisions about a movie (casting or otherwise) that ppl haven’t even seen a trailer for yet (never mind the film itself) is so ridiculous it would actually be funny if it actually wasn’t a full blown symptom of some kind of narcissistic personality disorder that’s most probably specific to ppl living in basements & who get their food thru a flap-door that only mothers have the key for lol

        It’s one thing to have a healthy predilection & curiosity for the latest news about this kind of thing; it’s s’thing else entirely when ppl are so obsessed about these things, treating them on the same level as the new & groundbreaking developments in any branch of physics (be it quantum, nuclear, astro…etc), equating one’s preference for a particular interpretation of a comic book or particular to specific casting ideas, to actual scientific maxims, formulas & so on.

        If there’s one thing that the slow & gradual explosion of comic book sub-culture into the mainstream in the last 20 years has taught us, it’s that the richness of a comic book’s world lies in its many wonderful iterations & variations on its themes. Some will still pound their talking sticks up & down, smacking ground with a refrain of “it’s got to be this way & that’s it, that’s canon & I’ll aim mine to the director’s backyard if he/she says/does different!!!” But the truth is that the comic book world is one of fluidity, change & pushing boundaries in order to have us look at the same thing differently, or showing the familiar in the unfamiliar.

        It’s like learning to like ppl giving their own spin/cover on your favorite tunes. It’s all fine & good to have a preference, or the version of it that you first heard; but becoming fixated on that finds us creating a world stuck further & further back & the one looking forward becomes less & less appealing because it’s more & more not what we want to see, which is what we first saw & loved.

        I like to be open to be surprised, challenged & delighted. I find that the best way to not be surprised & delighted is in having ideas & preferences that are all too specific & set in stone.

        A black Torch! Flame on M^%^&^r F&^*&^*(^r!

      • As you pointed out in your article the Fantastic Four is not really moving many comic book units these days with an estimated 28,045 sales in North America last month. Translated into ticket sales that barely covers the cost of paying for the guys who set up the lights.

      • Upset is overstating it, when you consider actual consequence.

  4. I feel like it’s been said before but why does Screen Rant always talk above Marvel and their properties in a subtle negative tone. It always feels that within the context there’s hope Marvel will fail lol. I know someone else mentioned this before me someone on these boards lol. Come on ScreenRant don’t be jealous because Marvel has it’s movie house in order and DC doesn’t. I wish the best for DC and wish Warner Brothers(a company that should know how to respect these properties since they have so many famous characters under their belts that are never disrupted or changed in to drastic a way i.e Bugs Bunny) would start taking these properties more seriously than they have. I always read about Marvel writers being on the set or at least getting the call for advisory purposes…I’ve never once read an article of Mike Grell being asked to write an Arrow episode(although he did do the interior art to the DVD box lol) or Geoff Johns input on Green Lantern cause wow that movie had potential but it failed so hard lol. I’m just saying they let their movie studio just do whatever without remembering that they have to stick to a certain script. Most of the Marvel directors have to stick to a certain foundation and can change very little only dictate where the story goes and it’s really clever. In Green Lantern we got Hammond? WTF? lol Man of Steel is a step in the right direction though I really enjoyed that movie.

    • I think that maybe you might just be hyper-sensitive do to, most likely, a raging hard-on for all things Marvel.

      • I’d agree there, Ryan.

        Nowhere in this article did Kofi even say “Marvel has it pretty bad”, it wasn’t even hinted at. If you actually read the article instead of seeing “Screen Rant hates Marvel” somehow, you’d see that Kofi talks about how ALL studios have the same level of criticism regarding casting and costume choices, whether a studio releases a Marvel property or a DC one.

    • Marvel wears its history like badge, and Fox could learn a thing or two from Marvel/Studios/Disney. It once was, when they tried too hard to be identical to the comic, the film would fail, now it appears evident there is a suitable medium which pleases all and Marvel is, when others aren’t. I even thought Guardians of the Galaxy was a misstep at first but, I now see how brilliant a decision it was, perhaps this will be so for FF. (=

      • …and AS2 lol

  5. I live for you guys pointing out the lack luster F4 sales when people b**** about it not honoring the source material!

    • Comic titles waiver in and out of favour with people usually due to whomever is handling the book at the time. Doesn’t really make much sense to refer to numbers that don’t apply to the category you’re addressing, I don’t buy comics but, I care about the source material, in that alone your hypothesis is wrong.

  6. Well this was a pleasant read. I agree 100%. This is buisness first and foremost.

    Casting is not controlled by fans for a reason. While we sit and cry and rant that blahblah will kill a francise…..that doesn’t exsit…is stupid. We have seen actors and actresses do drama, comedy,horror, and such. Just because certain actors and actresses are type cast doesn’t mean they will fail in a different type of role.

    Ill se an example guardians of the galaxy. I wasn’t really following the film as I never really read the books so I decided to wait till I see the first trailers. I wasn’t amused and I made it clear I was unhappy. But I decided its dumb to hate on a movie cuz of whose been cast.

    People bring up batman and robin a lot. At the time the film was filled with a listers. But choices made in writing and design ruined the film. Those are what killed the film.

    Also a silly thing is basing an actor on a past movie. Every movie can not be expected. To have a billion dollar worldwide appeal. That. Is rare for a single film. This obsession many say that any superhero must make a billion to beat avenger is stupid. Avengers turned into a cult film and many my self included saw it multiple times. Some films need to be shaken before being served and films like batman vs superman gathers intrest even because of a simple casting chice will draw haters and approvals. It makes the news sites. Its making noise that wb wants. It wants people talking bout the film.

    Also final thought. The concept of a plan. Marvel has one set till 2021 or something. Fox has plans for fantastic foura and even more with xmen. Sony is making waves with spiderman and his spinoffs.as for wb and dc…..they are releasing bvs in 2016, but we know gal gadot is contracted to 3films. We know bvs the other two has been hinted at a solo film and a justice league film. Dc is making waves with wild rumors of green lanterns and aaquaman as well as cyborg. Not to mention tv shows and ties to posiible movies. Just because sony fox and wb are not following marvel means they will fail. Just because they cast a new face opposed to a vetran actor..means the movie will flop.

    We need to be more open to see the characters we love. Regardless of the man bennth the masks.

  7. I love your site and all your articles, but please stop saying fanboys is the comics/ comic adaptation audience. 37% of reader of women, and %40 of the audience of avengers in only opening weekend. we are also you’re readers on this site though we might not comment as much because a lot on the internet women are excluded from these conversations. please stop saying only fanboys. you can add fangirls, or just say fans. please and thank you.

    • The reason he uses “fanboy” is because of the negative connotation that comes with it and rightfully so, judging by the ridiculous comments they tend to spew.

      • Bwahahahahaha. Dazz, you are THE definition of fanboy. I always read your posts, you are the most rude, self unaware person I’ve seen on this site. Well, except for Arhaeon.

        • Let’s bi==not turn this into a mudslinging contest fellas.

          Thanks,
          Paul Young – Moderator

  8. I can’t even lie “Oh, Human Torch is black now? And it’s the dude from The Wire? I’m in!“ is EXACTLY why I’ll go see this version in theaters this time. Lol

    • “the dude from the Wire”, he is great as Wallace, but he was only on for one season. If anyone is “the dude from the Wire” it is Clarke Peters.

    • This was well written.

      And I’m glad it was so eloquent. I’m not a comic book fan. I’m a comic movie fan. I could care less whether or not they change the source material. And I’m glad that they do, really glad, because I keep getting surprised and feel like a big 13 year old when I sit in the theater with my kids and take in the next huge, epic adventure.

      It’s great.

      If the fanboys/girls dictated the stories, we’d never be guessing anything. We’d know exactly what was going to happen, and there’d be no artistic expression… just rehashing.

      • What I was going to say! Well said!

      • “If the fanboys/girls dictated the stories, we’d never be guessing anything. We’d know exactly what was going to happen, and there’d be no artistic expression”

        No, your are stating an opinion. Whether you respect comics as art or comic book fans as legitimate fans is entirely up to you. You are welcome to your opinion and so is everyone else.

        • Nope, he’s stating fact.

          Fanboys were mad because they expected IM3 to follow the Extremis arc panel by panel and hated the changes made, even if they made sense as far as the story being told on the big screen.

          Look around at any comic book movie article. You’ll notice the majority of comments are along the lines of “I’d cast this person” or “I hope they use this comic book storyline”.

          • No, he is stating an opinion. So are you by the way. Don’t try to speak for any group. Don’t call comic fans “fanboys”.

            For myself, I hated IM 3 for every reason but Ben Kingsley Mandarin. I thought his screen time was by far the most enjoyable aspect of the film. I hated the ending, it was terrible. All spectacle, no substance. But that is me.

            • ” Don’t try to speak for any group. Don’t call comic fans “fanboys”.” or do I suppose, but don’t expect everyone to take you seriously.

        • It is his opinion, but as a former comic collector I have a question for “die-hard” fans. How does changes in another medium harm or detract from the original source or negate it any way? Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends had nothing to do with anything in the comics, but we enjoyed it and still read the monthlies without losing our minds or anything else. The X-Men cartoon in the 90′s diverted from the books a bit (by necessity) and fans of the books were not lamenting about canon or the changes to the original books being blasphemy.

          • It doesn’t it just doesn’t add anything either.

  9. I know this is a little off topic, but would anyone else prefer to see the Red Hulk/Ghost Rider/X-23/Venom Fantastic Four now? Because that looks a lot more interesting than 4 20-somethings getting mediocre superpowers.

    • So you’ve read and hated the Ultimate FF comics then, where the FF are early 20-somethings who get their powers after accidentally traveling through the Negative Zone?

  10. Question: Why are the majority of the casting complaints centered around WB/DC & FOX movies & not Marvel Studios?

    Answer: Marvel Studios knows how to cast the right people for the right roles, period. Regardless of age, gender or race, they get it right & frankly it’s not that hard to get it right, not nearly as hard as other studios make it.

    When a WB/DC casting announcement is made, message boards across the internet light up with hatred, laughter, disgust & bewilderment. WHY? Because they are clearly & obviously bad choices. Who says? Comic book & non-comic book fans alike, that’s who. When Marvel Studios makes a casting announcement people get excited & start to eagerly anticipate the first trailer & eventual release of the film. That is not a coincidence that is not a fluke that is a fact. The string of failures that WB/DC & FOX have produced over the years when it comes to CBM’s has left fans understandably lacking in belief in both of these studios.
    What average movie goer had ever heard of The Guardians of the Galaxy before last week? Not many, but now it’s one of the most anticipated movies of the year, even ahead of X-Men. Meanwhile Batman vs Superman has become a punch line.

    I love Batman, Superman & DC, always have, always will & it grinds me to no end that they are so hopelessly behind and losing ground to Marvel in the CBM genre everyday. But they have nobody to blame but themselves. The people they put in charge are the problem. DC could be & should be bigger than Marvel but they are not because of a complete lack of leadership & direction. Poor casting choices are just a symptom of a bigger problem.
    Michael Douglas is cast in Ant Man, Ant Man of all things, & people cheer & anticipation builds for a movie based on a character they probably never heard of before. Jessie Eisenberg & Gal Gadot are cast in Batman vs Superman & people say “Who?” & then laugh. It’s just not fair. I’m tired of WB/DC being a punch line.

    Why, if these casting choices are so good, is there such a need to explain and defend them so much & repeatedly? Great article, but it doesn’t offer any real answers to the real problem.

    • +1000

    • This times a million.

    • To your point, Screen Rant just put up an article about Patrick Wilson being in talks for Ant-Man, possibly as a young Hank Pym. The reaction? All positive so far.

    • I guess you weren’t there when Chris Evans was cast as Captain America. People started to complain “OMG!! He already was a bad Human Torch, I cannot picture him as Captain America!!!” He will fail!!!” Or when Mark Ruffalo replaced Edward Norton “He is not Bruce Banner, he will ruin the film!!!” You see, Marvel has not been without surprise when it comes to its casting choices.

      • Nice post, Syndrome.

        “Great article, but it doesn’t offer any real answers to the real problem.”

        Pfff… what “real” problem is that exactly? The problem of the negative voice being louder?

        The problem of over-reactive posts on the internet? That “problem?”

        What about the problem of “online-reputation-management.” If you want to talk problems we should probably start with something real.

      • To Nate:

        Surprises in casting choices are one thing, but flat out overwelmingly obviously bad choices are another. Chris Evens at least looked like Captain America. The uproar over the casting choices in Batman vs Superman vs the wimper of “surprise” over Chris Evens as Captain American is not even comparable. The popularity of the character has nothing to do with it either, but faith in the studio does. Marvel Studios past sucesses buys a lot of manuvering room with people & fans when it comes to casting, WB/DC & FOX’S past failures buys them very little to none.

        • “…but flat out overwelmingly obviously bad choices are another.”

          Obviously bad choices based on what, exactly?

          Personal pre-conceived notions of what something should or shouldn’t be, while scoffing at the very idea of creativity?

          There is no such thing until you have something to go on, otherwise you are just another squawking internet parrot.

          • So doc, which has the high ground in your delusions? The pot or the kettle?

            • Exactly, the elitists on this site are quite annoying.

            • Nah, it’s far more annoying that when you can’t contest what is being said, you dodge the point with quips and attacks, as usual.

              • Excuse me, good Dr. but what exactly needs to be contested. It’s the same thing every time with you, sir.

                You are the type of person who think that someone that has a differing opinion than yours is an idiot. I’ve read many posts of yours speaking down to people, which is why I choose the word elitist.

                I always read your posts, anything you write as a simple post is usually intelligent and well thought out. It’s when someone says something you disagree with, you go into attack mode. You’re very defensive of the things that you like, which is okay to a point.

                Someone thinking that a casting decision is bad has just as much merit as you thinking that the casting is good. Neither of you sat in the audition, neither of you have seen a trailer and neither of you know what the future holds.

                There is no need to attack every negative post, Dr. Some people think differently than you, there is no need to attempt to “educate” them.

              • Well, I had pleasantly respectful reply to you and OF COURSE it doesn’t post.

                The point was, good Dr, that your positive opinions hold no more weight than someones negative opinions. Your very passionate about the things you like but to a fault. You put people down who express doubt in something you like, not cool.

                Again, I had a better post but $hit happens.

                • Actually, the point I’m making is regardless of the positive or negative opinions… both are wrong until we see the movie.

                  Which sentiment is more sensible when regarding something you haven’t seen a single frame of:

                  a)”let’s see how these casting choices play out”

                  b) “these casting choices are terrible”

                  The reason I enjoy coming to sites such as this is because I enjoy movies and enjoy talking about them. It is more than just discouraging when these sites are polluted with sentiments whose intentions revolve solely around attempting to convince others NOT to enjoy something.

                  To that, I will never have any tolerance. So yes, if you fire unwarranted shots… be prepared for someone who feels differently to fire back.

                  Yeah, everyone has a right to an opinion. Everyone also has a right to challenge an opinion, whether or not you deem that to be “cool.”

                  • Ahh yes, but who are you? Did Hollywood name you defender of the hills? That’s the annoying thing, Dr. Simply because you think a comment about a movie is unwarranted doesn’t make it so. Nobody NEEDS to answer to you.

                    Sooooo when you have tons of snarky replies to people who didn’t comment to you in the first place, it’s not cool. Sure you’re entitled to disagree but you do so in such an off putting way. Sure, I know you don’t care, but still. You seem to take things too personally if it’s a movie you care about.

                    Also, to your question. Of course A is a MORE reasonable answer, I agree. However, that does not make B Unreasonable, maybe less reasonable. Let’s be honest with each other okay? Some casting stinks right out of the gate, not saying BvS, just in general and it’s fair to be hesitant and to post that hesitation.

                    • Careful… or you will expose the REAL truth to all of this:

                      We are ALL full of sh*t and should probably be spending our time doing something else entirely.

                      That idea doesn’t help out our friends here at ScreenRant, where the fact remains that if this site didn’t have the strong contributors in Keyes, Outlaw, Kendrick, Sandy, Tony, P. Young…

                      … I would have stopped coming here a LONG time ago.

                  • I agree and everything I’ve said on the matter is my own opinion on the matter and not meant to sway anyone from seeing the movie. I don’t like the casting, while others do and that’s fine because opinions vary and thankfully some of us can still disagree on something and still be civil about it.

          • As is yourself, I hope to see you again when this movie comes out, so you can tell us what it’s all about.

            • <@Dr.Mindbender"There is no such thing until you have something to go on, otherwise you are just another squawking internet parrot."

    • No, you are referring to comic book fans only, not non-comic book fans. Only comic book fans care about this stuff before a camera has even been turned on.

      • I wouldn’t say that entirely. On Variety.com 70% of people hated Ben Affleck being announced. Now while I may be a comic book fan that’s okay with it, I doubt that 70% on a gossip magazine are just comic book fans.

        • I’d bet Ben received more support early on from “fanboys” than he did from casual fans. Ben is a serious actor.

    • It’s because fanboys are fickle and have decided to hook their anchor to the Disney train, making them hostile to anything other than Disney.

      I think it’s ridiculous but then again, anyone who favours them over the other studios instead of having equal love for them all slips from my radar pretty fast in my “people with valid opinions” list.

      • It’s hard not to favor disney when Fox and Sony are making such awful choices, DOFP has way too many characters in the film and Sony’s made the choice to release yearly Spider-Man films (to be fair DOFP has a chance of being a good film and I’ll see it anyway) also most people just want to see Spider-Man and Wolverine in the Avengers and a fight between The Thing and The Hulk.

        Personally I think Marvel should allow Fox and Sony to produce more Marvel films in return for the use of Spider-Man, X-Men and The Avengers. Basically every studio can reference the events, characters, locations and organisations of the other films so they can all exist in one definite timeline and Marvel doesn’t have to do everything,

        Sony wants to make a Sinister Six film but what if Marvel let them make a Thunderbolts movie? Norman Osborn is the leader of the team and they can use Non-Spider-Man related characters. That way everyone wins. Fox and Sony continue to get their own way, Marvel can focus on the important films and we Marvel fans get tons of awesome movies that all exist in the same timeline plus nobody has to worry about “X Studio owns those rights so we can’t have that”

        • Fox hasn’t made a bad X-movie since Origins and the last 2 were as good or better than most Marvel studios movies critically.

          Sony is not making yearly Spiderman movies, they are coming out every other year.

          You are not doing much to combat Dazz’s comments JamesF, you’re just enforcing them.

    • +1000

      People make jokes but I know plenty of people who can’t wait to see Superman vs Batman including Marvel fans. They crack Ben jokes but when I ask them are they going to see it they say “Yea its Superman and Batman together”.

      Some will go just to compare it to the Avengers and complain but they will go see it. Alot of people still don’t know about the casting.

      I for one can’t wait for Superman vs Batman There is no way they will pull out a turd script like Green Lantern. They know they have to have a great villain to go with Lex Luthor.

    • Actually, it’s yer kind of BS that’s the punch line.

      Reality bites…you.

      You might find that “your” world has less negative DC/BvS reactions depending on the way you think about these things; our thoughts/feelings are read by others & ppl react accordingly.
      Ppl smell doubt & fear, just like they can smell excitement & enthusiasm.

      Choose which world you want to be & it will find you.

      • My world understands that its just a movie. If batman sucks recast him. If Lex is bust Superman has more than one villain they can use like Vandal Savage.

        My world is not crushed if Wonder Woman doesn’t have big boobs. I want to see it badly but I know its just a movie.

        The first Hulk sucked they recast added Abomination and it was 10 times better. If Superman vs Batman sucks they can do the same.

        The average movie goer doesn’t care about the casting details. They want a good story and to be entertained.

  11. That’s-a-nice article. Imma tell my friends to read it.

  12. Preach!!! Let the record show that “fanboys” are not an actual demographic. A good (or good-looking) movie is what sells to the general public…a group that outspends fanboys like eleventy million to 1.

  13. Is it just me, or does it seem to anyone else like the small portion of text at the very end (after the Quicksilver image) is the only real bit of substance and should have been the main focus of this article/editorial, while the rest just reads like an ill-conceived and painfully transparent “stop hating on Michael B. Jordan” screed?

    I’m not necessarily opposed to the idea of such an article/editorial, but regardless, if that’s what the real motivation was then it seems absurd to pretend otherwise.

  14. Superb Article Kofi!!!
    I myself was in Rage when Daniel Craig was Cast as Bond. Now, He is One of my Favorite top 3…

  15. I might be the lone voice but on this site, but I loved the hell out of this article.

    Main point to be made: these movies are made for a wide, huge, world spanning audience, which Hollywood feels they’ll need to appeal to, in order to make something close to a return on their product. On million dollar projects.

    Because at the end of the day (and hell I love these characters, and comics in general), these characters/ books/ storylines are just intellectual properties that are going to be used to make a buck for their respective companies. Whether as comics, movies, toys, video games, towels, etc.

    And I’m not saying don’t just accept what they’re putting out. Be critical. But from a lot of the responses I’ve seen within the past few months to a lot of casting choices, folks are being hella critical to the point of being obnoxious.

    Sad to say, the people making these movies mainly care about the bottom line. Money.

    • Actually nix the last sentence. It’s not “sad to say”. It is what it is: businesses trying to make a buck.

      • Its not purely business though, there are lots of artists trying to make their mark here too.

  16. Funny, the comic industry has been limping along for decades. Comic fans look at all the reboots, retcons, and character flips about the same as an interesting train wreck. One comment is that when the kids who grew up reading comics (i.e. the fanboys) took over the industry it devolved into a giant fan-boy “What-if” race to the bottom. They don’t tend to invent new characters, just repackage old characters. The only consistent thing you can count on is there will be no consistency.

    Marvel studios (so far) has attempted to be consistent with the characters. The other studios have been all over the map. So far, Marvel is building momentum, while the other guys are struggling. Once more, constant change appeals to modern audiences, but there is a point where people lose interest. Over saturation of comic movies is also becoming a factor.

  17. No matter what moviegoers say, or how many articles are writtten to favour a certain studio or movie, I will not change my mind and there are many out there that think that respecting the source material and how characters are portrayed, are key to the success of a film. Comic readers made it possible for so many of you to see the films you have seen so far. If studios think they can do whatever they want, they’ve got another thing coming!!

  18. Andre Braugher needs to reprise his role as Darkseid, but in the new DC movie universe.

  19. I have to disagree with the whole premise of this article. x > y. X is the fan base. It has been proven repeatedly in this genre. If you want a good super hero movie you capture the heart of the comic and provide a good story. This is going to be long….

    Your example of Iron Man 3 is the PERFECT example of Fan > General Public. You see the general public have become Iron Man fans because of Iron Man 1, Iron Man 2, and THE AVENGERS. The AVENGERS did over $600M domestically. IRON MAN 3 did 2/3rds of that right? While fans were upset about The Mandarin, it didn’t matter. The previous 4 movies (5 if counting Incredible Hulk) had made Iron Man a sure thing for summer fun. The movie was entertaining (if a rip off of The Incredibles) and while it made some scratch their heads (Iron Man suits were hilariously weak) it had the comedy/action combination that the public wanted. They now love Iron Man. Why? John Favrau created a VERY GOOD PRODUCT THAT WAS EXTREMELY LOYAL TO THE ORIGINAL SOURCE MATERIAL. Yes, he updated it to Afghanistan vs Korea/Vietnam (I can’t remember which war Iron Man was originally tied to), but other than that he was extremely faithful. THE AVENGERS was the ultimate culmination of faithful product.

    Why is being faithful the true formula for success for comic books? Look at the original Fantastic Four film. It pulled in $154M despite the fact that it was BAD and did a HORRIBLE job of being faithful to DR DOOM. DR DOOM was your casting by a Studio. It was entirely the wrong casting. The plot was awful, it was the perfect example that Studios don’t get it. The reason being faithful works is that it isn’t about what is selling today (and most comic fans will tell you that comics of today basically suck compared to the glory days) it’s about something that has worked for 50 YEARS.

    50 years has proven that these characters sell. All you have to do is capture their “heart” or “soul” and you have success. SPIDER-MAN and SPIDER-MAN 2 were extremely successful. Green Goblin wasn’t entirely faithful but they captured his essence. Spider-Man wasn’t entirely faithful either but they captured the essence of Peter Parker and while the humor of Spider-Man making fun of the people he fights never really made it on the screen with Raimi, it was the best adaptation we’ve had so far. Spider-Man 2 was the peak. Spider-Man 3 had the studio saying “VENOM! THE FANS WANT VENOM!” but Raimi who grew up with the 60s and 70s Spider-Man didn’t get Venom. He said it on multiple occasions. He wanted SandMan and possibly The Vulture. He didn’t get to make his movie. So we got Spider-Man 3 which was just awful. Despite that it still did better than THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Why? Because of Spider-Man 1 and Spider-Man 2. They had built the property up to be able to withstand Spider-Man 3′s awfulness and studio interferance.

    Look at the X-Men movies. The X-Men were the most popular comic of the 80s/90s and had unbelievable success. They only did $157M their first go around too. Why didn’t they come close to the $300M of Spider-Man? It wasn’t very faithful. It was based on one mutant being incredibly important to the plot: Rogue. Except this wasn’t the Rogue of the comics. Wolverine went from being a 5’3 guy into 6’2 Hugh Jackman. He retained much of his “essence” but because it’s Hugh Jackman, he gained charm. Wolverine isn’t charming. Cyclops isn’t lacking in leadership. Storm isn’t the type to drop a one liner. It was just a giant bit of rubbish. Yet, the fans turned up. $157M later it was guaranteed a sequel with a realistic budget. Except they kept the same creative team including a guy who claimed to have NEVER READ THE COMICS: Bryan Singer.

    When you look at the FAILS it’s obvious why. We have heard that costumes won’t translate to the big screen and will look silly/stupid. Tell that to Batman (1989 complete with the Yellow Bat Chest Symbol), Superman, and Spider-Man. I didn’t once look at the suits and think “this is silly,” and have my suspension of disbelief broken. Heck, the only thing “cool” about GHOST RIDER was Ghost Rider himself at least visually. That image in trailers lead to a $100M+ hit. If the movie had actually been good? They might have had a real series in their hands. It was also the only part of the original Fantastic Four movie that was ok, their outfits worked (although the Thing suit was crap).

    The X-Men needs a reboot drastically. What if someone actually made a faithful adaptation? The problem is, the first team of X-Men didn’t survive long as a comic. They were a Stan Lee creation and lasted longer than their readership demanded. It wasn’t until the New Uncanny X-Men that the series took off. So do you start with the original 5 or do you just start off with the new team, and say the original team existed before? I’d go with the new team, and just take off with it. Let Professor X have a history with a previous team. That means previous villains. Right from the start you say “this is a world with mutants, and super powered beings, there are good and bad, and the world is used to it” vs another origin story where it seems like you’re inventing not just a superhero but the FIRST superhero and thus the first Super Villain.

    Fantastic Four could work if they placed them in the X-Men universe, which FOX would be fully capable of doing. The idea that this super team was made of human heros who gained their powers through the cosmic storm and are LOVED by the public vs the mutants who are hated would be interesting. It would also immediately place them in a world where there doesn’t need to be an explanation for the villains.

    You remain faithful because it’s a proven formula that works. It is that simple. You want a blockbuster, someone already gave you the blue prints for one. Fantastic Four could do that, but they won’t. I would have accepted Michael B Jordan as Richards or Grimm, but adopted brother of Sue? No thanks. Race to me doesn’t matter. However, black Torch should mean black Invisible Girl/Woman.

    The fact is remain faithful and you have more of a chance of success. It has been proven. However, faithfully recreating the characters isn’t enough. You need a good story. Get it all right and you got a $600M domestic film. Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor all created very good faithful versions of our heroes. So by the time of The AVENGERS it was guaranteed to be a success unlike anything before it. Plus they finally dropped a fully faithful Hulk into a movie. Hulk who had yet to really sell was a success in the film. THOR which was a tough, tough, tough sell was able to get $180M in his first movie, and $200M in his second (despite a Nov. release vs a May release). Captain America did $176M and I expect despite an april release date will hit $200M also. Proving that being faithful works and in the long run builds up a fan base of its own. They don’t have the charisma of RDJ and that is really all that holds them back from his numbers. Which is why I put my money on Gunn and GOTG. If they can hit $180M box office, by the 2nd movie they will have a huge hit on their hands because the public through video and tv will have fallen for the charisma of Pratt and Rocket.

    • Very well said and probably one of the best comments ever seen on this site. Fully agree with your opinion and comments. All the studios that deviate from source almost always make a very bad movie. I think the motive is pure lack of imagination and ego, thinking that they can do it better. The rest is covering up theyre mess by saying they stand behind it and pretend its superior. How does a comic book movie get made by a man who doesnt read the comics. Xmen definatly needs a reboot and under a Marvel Flag ship, though sadly that may never happen, Disney should buy it back and let Marvel Hammer out Greatness. A good start would be the First Team and the second team of Uncanny X somewhat split in two and at odds with each other eventually having to come together. Screen Rant seems to be jumping on the Money wagon and abandoning theyre core readership, when there influence could help to sway the non knowing public opinion. Im sure even the Heads at Screen Rant would love to see a movie more true to the source material no matter what they say in this article. Kudos on the “eccense” Thats what these movies need and Raimi, Faverau, and Whedon are the only ones so far to really nail that.

    • X-Men had huge success, and looking at it any other way is rewriting history. You say X-Men “only” made $157 million at the domestic box office…but that was 14 years ago. Adjusted for inflation, the first X-Men movie would have made $243 million today, more than Thor, Cap, and every Marvel Studios movie not featuring RDJ as Tony Stark. Yes, X-Men was a huge comic book franchise and 90′s cartoon, but they were NOT household names like Spider-Man. My parents and grandparents had NO idea who the X-Men were prior to their movie, and even some of my female friends didn’t know (I and they were in our early 20′s at the time) But EVERYONE in America knows who Spider-Man is, making it far more anticipated than X-Men. The comparison is invalid.

      And fanboys really need to get over two things concerning the X-Men franchise; 1: the whole “Bryan Singer never read the comics” shctick. No, prior to getting the job, he never read the comics. From what I understand, Francis Coppolla never read the book of the Godfather till he got that job either. The point is, AFTER they got they gig, they read up and did their research, which is what’s important.

      Secondly, they need to get off the costume thing. Certain comic book characters have that one iconic look they’ve worn their whole careers, or most of their careers. Spider-Man, Superman, they fall into this category. You know who doesn’t? The X-Men. The X-Men have had SO many costumes over their history, saying “they should wear the comic book costumes” is meaningless. Cyclops alone has had 14 costumes, all different. Some even black! The one unifying factor to his “look” is that he’s a brown haired dude with a visor. The rest changes constantly. Same goes for all the team.

      • from the way ive read it Singer still doesnt read the comics and if youve seen the movies – Xmen 1st class – its sure looks that way. I know what you are sayinjg about super hero costumes and some being staples, Spiderman simply doesnt work without a costume but thats not to say xmen cant either. Given the fact that alot of the team have had several iterations wouldnt you think that would warrant them to have atleast one on screen? If spiderman or atleast batmans costume can work on screen than certainely the xmens can. If you dont belive me that just take a look at super power beat down ” wolverine vs predator”, a low budget but great version of wolverine in his black and yellow. If a low budget can make it look that good imagine what Hollywood budget can do. Reason being they dont have costumes , simply pure shallow lazyness and lack of imagination. Nuff Said…

    • @LotusJ. Have to agree with 009. that your piece is easily the best post I’ve read here or anywhere else. A beautifully reasoned argument, that’s hard to fault.

      The Spiderman 3 comments in particular, spoke to me, because even at the time when I found out Avi Arad was pushing for Venom’s inclusion, I had my doubts the movie would live up to the first two. We got exactly what many of us feared…..a train wreck. Yes, we did want to see Venom on film, but SM3 should just have been the prelude to his coming. Have the whole movie revolve around Pete bonding with the symbiote, defeating the villain, and coming to the realisation that he neede to rid himself of it’s influences. Then in the final scene, we see Eddie Brock bonding with the symbiote, and having the fourth film explore their shared hatred of both Pete and Spidey.

      If they’d done it like that, we’d have probably gotten a decent 3rd film, leading to the excitement and buzz of the 4th film, because of the cliff hanger ending. Venom deserved a better exploration than wee got, and it wouldn’t have been difficult to achieve.

  20. Couldn’t agree more with you LotusJ.

  21. i relate it to the music i like…whenever something becomes popular, it gets watered down for the masses…rap music started off with a message, now it has become a message of advertising and dumbed down lyrics with no substance….

  22. Slow Clap for Mr. Outlaw…
    Another great article and I look forward to the day when I can say I remember that guy from Screen Rant and the podcast. I predict a great future for you sir.

    I have a request though. Can your next article be about why technically every movie is a “cash grab”?
    I only ask because over the years it’s the comment that annoys me the most. ;)

  23. “People won’t pay to see a crappy movie”
    That is correct. Which is why I’m not gonna pay to see that F4 reboot.
    My money. My choice.

  24. Wow, we’re at 139 comments as I write this, it’ll be higher when I post, and there’s no way I’m reading through them.

    I’m happy I will never create for this massive mainstream that owes something to everybody and demands something from everybody. I’m never particularly upset (more often surprised) at a big movie’s casting, but any time I see a discussion of the mainstream, I’m reminded that it’s a business. Yes, well, I know it’s a business. And frankly, the fact that entertainment industries obtain such huge budgets and profits tells me that people really, really want to be distracted.

    It doesn’t tell me that that’s the way to do things.

    • “And frankly, the fact that entertainment industries obtain such huge budgets and profits tells me that people really, really want to be distracted.

      It doesn’t tell me that that’s the way to do things.”

      If you are correct and it is simply a business, than why have Awards Shows? Why talk about art? Why bother with the little details? Why push boundaries in interesting ways?

      Football, Basketball and Soccer fans go nuts over things all the time. How are movies any different? Same with music, have you ever talked to a pretentious music fan of any genre? It can become insufferable.

      • While I don’t care for any awards shows, the professionals who strive for them do so for many reasons. It’s a professional and hopefully an artistic accomplishment.

        Why are actors condemned by their superiors for being honest that their movie sucked? Spielberg laid it on the line with LaBeouf that “there’s a time to sell cars.” Why? Because there’s money on the line, and lots of it. This is the conflict between business and art, when one is also the other.

        I don’t care anymore than you do for hipsters who talk about bands and artists and weirdos I’ve never heard about, and I don’t seek those things out more than anyone else. I like lots of things in the mainstream, but if I were to publish some work, I’d do it as a short story or a comic. I’d self-publish and go from there. That’s what I would do, but that comes from examining this whole ordeal over how such a large part of the world works, and rolling my eyes at it.

  25. I love this article, great job…

    And I really think the core fanbase in actuality is a minority compared to average movie goers (which is why I’m using the name haha). I took my family to watch Iron Man 3, and they all loved it and enjoyed the fake-Mandarin twist (which is a funny thing, if anyone recall, when Sir Kingsley was cast to play a CHINESE villain, fanbase reacted negatively, and then when it turned out to just be a ruse, they reacted the same way too just because they felt cheated… talk about being consistent there!) and to be frank NONE of them read the comics.

    I agree, in the end “It’s all about the money”, whether the movie appeals broader audience or not. That’s why I prefer to see myself as general audience, instead of proclaiming myself to be a ‘comic book fan’ (or those who sided with a particular Comic Book Publisher). Let’s just let them do the casting and all, and if you don’t like it… then no need to whine cause you have the freedom to NOT watch it, cause let’s face it… our dream casting for a particular character usually ends up as a mere dream.

    Oh, and one other thing to add: critics/reviews (whether officialy published or spread mouth to mouth) also affected some (if not a bigger part of) general audiences. Sometimes reading them can change people’s decision to watch (or not) a movie, so I think they play a good role in this as well.

    • “which is a funny thing, if anyone recall, when Sir Kingsley was cast to play a CHINESE villain, fanbase reacted negatively, and then when it turned out to just be a ruse, they reacted the same way too just because they felt cheated… talk about being consistent there!”

      Just because some fans protested does not mean all fans protested. Don’t assume so much.

  26. I think the dig at quality with Quicksilver and the smack at FANBOYS with The Mandarin was spot on! Well done!

    I will say I’m one who is hesitant over the Fantastic Four reboot. But honestly Jordan isn’t my concern. Are you kidding? I loved him in Chronicle! He’s fantastic! Really worried about Jamie Bell as The Thing.

    Yeah I’m one of the guys who’ve been chanting for Marvel to get the rights back, not because I think a F4 movie is the best idea, maybe one. But rather the characters would improve the rest of the MCU. Think of a Marvel Universe with The Hulk AND The Thing. With DR DOOM versus EVERYONE, sorry geeking out over Reed, Bruce and Tony arguing science and Tony/Iron Man matching up against Dr. Doom. BOOM. Thats exciting!

    • Speaking as a “fanboy”, I though Ben Kingsley and the twist were awesome. The effects were great especially the helicopter sequence. The ending was terrible and overall it felt like RDJ is bored with IM.

      • Marvel made a mistake not doing the Tony is an alcoholic storyline.

        • @what if?
          It was Disney’s who insisted that their main Protagonist can’t be an alcoholic. That why the scriptwriters go with “anxiety attack” mode.
          I thought the inclusion of a kid sidekick and Dora’s watch was proof enough how influential Disney is over Marvel.

          • Good points. Marvel is Disney now.

          • Really? I felt like Harley was the writers poking fun at the whole concept of “kid sidekick” more than anything. I mean, come on guys, Tony spends most of their time ragging on the kid, giving him high powered weapons (it ends up knocking an Extermis solider out cold but originally Tony had given it to him so he could use it on a school yard bully – that’s responsibility right there!), and finally abandoning the kid “just like his dad”. Does that seem like a Disney approved moment?

            I remember the first time I saw IM3 when the kid first came on screen my brother and I exchanged this worried look, then Tony told him to stop acting like a p***y and I knew everything would be okay. Really, only Tony Stark could get away with a kid sidekick exactly because he is the last hero that should ever have one. It lasted for, what, ten minutes maybe? It was so little of the movie and so clearly more of a parody of the idea than anything else that I honestly didn’t think anyone would be annoyed by it. Guess I should have known better.

            • Ding ding ding! We have a winner! Someone who finally gets Harley!

  27. Wonderful article! Absolutely agree with it.

    The main problem with most of these vehement fans is of their spoiled thinking that their idea of a CBM is always the best one there is. That they should be the ones only catered to because they know a lot about that particular superhero than the mainstream audience, and therefore the CBM world should revolve around them.

    The hard truth though is that Hollywood doesn’t owe them anything nor are they entitled to anything, especially since fanboys are not only a small part of the demographic but that also because quite a lot of them are hypercritical, nitpicky, extremely immature, loud, and forever ungrateful. They will always be discontented and I can’t blame the studios if they’d rather not cater to that.

    That’s not to say Hollywood doesn’t have its faults though. There’ve been wrong turns too. The only thing I can advice at the moment for those taking on CBMs is “Make it memorable. Make it great.”

    Just get the basics in order. Make it a film first (excellent script, acting, production, and direction), then a CBM second (feats of greatness and underlying message). Remember the elements of a story (plot, character, theme, conflict, and setting). If it’s awesome, then it’s awesome and people will pay good money to see it. Business-wise, marketing and diversity can haul in interest to the theaters. The meat of the movie, however, will keep viewers there, and that will be the more difficult challenge.

    • While I agree with some of what you said. If too much is changed it ceases to be the original.

      “Make it memorable. Make it great.” Did you see the version of the National Anthem that was played at this years Daytona 500? If not you should check it out, just awful. Memorable, but awful. Compare that to what Jimi Hendrix did with the Star Spangled banner. I think the upcoming FF movie could put your notion to the test. I’d say make it great and it will be memorable for the right reasons.

  28. indie/greek cred (Eisenberg)

    Eisenberg is German…..you mean geek?

  29. @What if?

    You misunderstood me. I meant, “Make it memorable AND make it great.” I don’t mean it as “By making it memorable, it will be great.” Sorry for the confusion

    • No worries. In that case I can agree.

      As I said you make some good points. I guess my point is that if you change too much then you might as well just make something original.

      The FF movie is being made so that Fox can keep the rights. It isn’t being developed into something that become a beloved franchise. I think the smart play would have been for Fox to have cut a deal with Sony for a shared universe. My bias is that I’d prefer to see the FF back with Marvel.