Super hero movies were pretty thin on the ground in the 1960s. So when the Batman based on the popular 1960s TV show hit theaters in 1966, fans were excited. In the 1960s, fans who wanted to watch a movie had no choice but to pay for a ticket and go and sit in a dark movie theater. Images flew by on screen and spotting the odd mistake was almost impossible.
In recent years, IMDb created a page that was dedicated to catching movie mistakes that, most likely, went unnoticed at the time. However, these previously “unnoticed” mistakes would soon change.
By the late 1970s,VHS meant that fans could buy their own personal copy of a movie, take it home, and rewind and pause to spot various mistakes. This only got better with the advent of DVD’s in the late 1990s. “Aha,” fans were saying. “We see that stunt wire, Superman” and “how did Wolverine come out of a nuclear blast with his clothing intact?”
Sometimes fans spotted the crew or equipment reflected in a window, while other times a coffee cup that was flipped onto its side was suddenly standing straight again. Whatever the mistake, let it be known that there are countless of them, especially in superhero films.
Here are the 15 Most WTF Mistakes In Superhero Movies You Never Noticed.
15. The Dark Knight – Joker’s Hands All Over Batman
In one memorable scene from The Dark Knight , Batman and Joker are fighting and Joker is pinned against a wall by the Caped Crusader. In the first shot, Joker’s hands are gripping Batman’s forearms from underneath. Then there is a cut to a different angle and his hands are on top of Batman’s forearms, with another cut which shows his roaming hands underneath again. Instead of one shot, there were three.
To make matters worse, just before that botched hand scene, Batman picks up Joker and slams him against the wall. The only problem is that the camera man is briefly, but clearly, visible in the reflection of a mirror hanging on the wall behind the battling duo.
Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight broke with traditional Batman stereotypes and opened a new dark chapter in the Batman cinematic universe. Nonetheless, some criticized it for being riddled with errors.
14. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Bucky Barnes Birthday Blooper
Early on in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, World War II veteran Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) is sauntering through an exhibit dedicated to “Fallen Comrades” and encounters a memorial to his pal Bucky Barnes. The elegant memorial begins by stating that Bucky was born in 1916 and ends with a line saying he was born in 1917. So, it was a clear and obvious mistake.
Nonetheless, the scene is an important moment in the film since, at the start of the movie, everyone believes Bucky had been killed in action during World War II. Instead he re-emerges in the film as a super-assassin called the Winter Soldiet– the very bad guy who Captain America, Black Widow, and Falcon fight against.
Bucky had been captured during the war and turned into a guinea pig, where he was used for experiments that transformed him into a manipulated monster. At the end of the movie, with the forces of S.H.I.E.L.D. in disarray, the Winter Soldier rescues Steve and then disappears.
13. Batman Returns – The Disappearing Makeup
In one scene of Batman Returns, the Masked Crusader is seen in close up with dark makeup around his eyes. It’s a standard Batman makeup trick that helps to blend in the eye area with the black cowl. So, it’s standard operating procedure for the Batman movies. The only problem is that, in this particular scene, after showing off the black make-up, there is a cut and then another shot showing a very white-eyed Batman.
The movie is full of mistakes and bloopers. When Penguin is doing the bat shadow puppet on the ceiling, there is no light behind his hands. This is a truly embarrassing error, as it would be common sense to include a source for the light.
The film offers its fair share of funny goofs. After Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) utters the classic line “life’s a b—h. Now so am I,” Batman (Michael Keaton) unceremoniously throws her onto a diagonal roof. The issue is that the roof wobbled violently in the shot, in a way that no real roof ever would. In a big budget blockbuster, it was a true “oops” moment.
12. Iron Man 3 – Disappearing Sunglasses
At the end of Iron Man 3, a traumatized and unwilling Tony Stark has once again fought against the forces of evil and is now surrounded by a crowd of curious citizens and nosy reporters who want to know what has been going on.
At the beginning of the scene, Stark is wearing a pair of blue-rimmed aviators that are clearly visible when his face is pointed at the camera. The scene cuts to a rear shot and a problem emerges: the sunglasses have disappeared.
It was a pretty major continuity blooper that fans picked up on fast. It also paved the way for a nice little inside joke. Iron Man fans know that Tony tends to throw away anything he has lost interest in. It’s a personal quirk that shows his low boredom threshold and restlessness. So the blooper played into the Tony universe headcanon, with fans speculating that he decided he was just bored with the blue sunglasses.
11. The Avengers – Steve’s Disappearing Wound
During the Battle of New York in the final epic fight of The Avengers movie, the Avengers are defending New York City against the Chitauri invasion, while rescuing civilians from the rubble left behind by the fight.
Captain America, shield in hand, is battling against the evil invaders and ends up wounded. There is a clear patch of blood down the side of his uniform and he is covered in dirt and debris. Meanwhile, Tony Stark nearly gets killed while flying due to his power suit runing out of power, which sends him into free fall.
The Hulk saves him from crashing, and an unconscious Tony Stark can be seen in a heap on the ground. Cap runs towards him, but, while the dirt and debris are still clearly visible on his Captain America uniform, his blood has miraculously disappeared.
10. Iron Man – The Car Plate That Wasn’t There, Then Was
When rich inventor Tony Stark arrives at a benefit that his company is holding, his Audi clearly does not have a front license plate. However, when the scene cuts to him pulling up to the building in the car, there is his personalized vanity plate “Stark” at the front of the car.
There were a lot of mistakes in Iron Man. For example, one scene depicts SUV being upended, but the hair of the passengers inside seem to have hair that defies gravity. Fans speculate that movie makers merely rotated a horizontal shot of the SUV, which led to the obvious goof.
Another scene with issues was when Tony’s banged kept changing length and shape when he was paralyzed. Ear pieces also continuously appear in and out of Tony’s Pepper Pott’s ear. Despite all of this, the movie became a fan favorite, making $318 million domestically at the box office.
9. The Wolverine – Pants Survive Nuclear Blast
The scene in The Wolverine where a chained Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) shields Yashida from a nuclear blast, leaving his face and body looking like a pizza gone wrong, had one major mistake. Fans were amazed to see that Wolverine’s pants were completely unscathed from the blast.
Perhaps the idea of a naked Wolverine was out of bounds, but the filmmakers could have at least shredded, cut, or burned the pants to make the scene look less like a mistake. There are two other problems with the scene.
It is supposed to depict the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan at the end of World War II. In order to protect the bombers and their pilots, the bombing altitude was 30,000 feet up, but in the scene from The Wolverine the planes coming are a lot lower than 30,000 feet. Also, the film had the bombs detonating at ground level, whereas the World War II bombs detonated at 1,500, spreading a deadly mushroom cloud over a wide area.
8. Iron Man – Pepper Potts’s Ear Piece
Pepper Potts seems to be having a problem with her earpiece in a scene in Iron Man. It’s there and then it’s not– in one shot it’s clearly visible, but after a cut and a continuation of the scene, it’s gone. Continuity crews aside, it is hard to believe that actress Gwyneth Paltrow would have missed this error too.
The movie had a number of embarrassing continuity and spot-the-crew mistakes. In one scene, the crew was temporarily reflected in some glass. A few paintings were hanging in frames in the background of one shot, and accidentally caught the reflections of several members of the crew. So Pepper’s problem was not a one-off, but was actually among a few big Iron Man mistakes.
7. Superman Returns – The Problem With The Note
Superman Returns has a scene in it when Lois Lane is writing a note with coordinates that is to be faxed to The Daily Planet. The only problem with this scene is that the note fans see Lois writing is in a completely different handwriting than the one seen through the camera by Jimmy Olsen after it is faxed to the newspaper. It is a very big and noticeable error.
The movie is full of mistakes. There is also the scene where Superman is flying through the air and, as he goes faster and faster, the headlights of the cars on the ground speed up too. In another scene when Lex Luthor and Lois Lane are talking, the knot on Luthor’s tie keeps changing as the scene progresses.
The 2006 film was a kind of “meaning of life” take on Superman that just doesn’t seem to work. It has never been a fan favorite. After all, who wants to see Lois married with a child when every fan knows that she belongs with the hero?
6. X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Gambit’s Disappearing Hair
In one scene of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Gambit (Remy LeBeau) can be seen close up. As the camera cuts back and forth his facial hair appears to get longer, then shorter, then longer again. It’s truly all over the place. The movie seems to be full of careless errors.
It was supposed to take place in British Columbia, Canada, where cars drive on the right. However, it was actually filmed in New Zealand, where they drive on the left. Fans were quick to point out that in one scene where a car is driving over a bridge, it is indeed in the right lane, but the arrow forward is in the left lane.
Fans also noted that none of the license plates on cars were from the Canadian province. Also, X Men Origins is, obviously, an origins film, with its action taking place before that of X-Men. At the end of Origins, Wolverine is shot in the head. However, fans knew it was a foul, since the x-ray of his skull in X-Men showed no sign of a hole.
5. Thor – Coffee Cup Picks Itself Up
In one scene of Thor, the Destroyer arrives in the midst of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and a shot of one of the vehicles shows a paper coffee cup spilling over. The next scene once again decpits the cup lying on its side. However, the reverse angle shot shows the cup standing upright again.
It is the kind of mistake that continuity workers on film sets should catch, but mistakes can happen. There are several other mistakes in the movie, such as Thor rolling around in the mud and getting very dirty but then looking completely clean in the next shot when he’s led away by agents.
At the end of the film, the Destroyer’s height seems to vary from about 8 feet to around 12 feet. With that said, it should be noted that, as far as superhero movie go, Thor doesn’t have as many mistakes as others, and is considered one of the jewels in the Marvel Cinematic Universe crown.
4. Superman III – Visible Stunt Wires
In one scene of Superman III, Superman (Christopher Reeve) is seen flying through the air, with his stunt wires clearly visible. VHS had come along a few years previously, so fans took their tapes home and spent endless hours pausing and examining every scene for these bloopers and mistakes.
If Christopher Reeve as Superman– or any later hero– was going to fly, then they would either have to develop super powers or, more realistically, get hooked up to less obvious stunt wires. Before the days of VFX/CGI, the flying scenes were often crudely done, with blurry background images moving to simulate flight.
Fans soon spotted the tell-tale silver wires that held Reeve afloat. Fortunately, the game has changed in recent years, with fans still pausing, but now looking for awkward moments or fails in VFX/CGI. It’s tougher than spotting stunt wires, as the complicated special effects have so many parts and are becoming more and more realistic. However, some fans still love the challenge.
3. Iron Man 2 – Spot The Film Lights
The scene in Iron Man 2 in which Natalie (Scarlett Johansson) and Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) arrive at the Expo is memorable for all the wrong reasons. As they get out of their chauffeur-driven limo, a very large lighting screen is visible in the car window.
The lighting equipment, obviously necessary for a night time shoot, was supposed to be hidden in the background, not clearly visible in a reflected car for all the world to see. The movie was plagued by a number of mistakes and bloopers, together with a persistent rumor that claimed Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow despised one another and barely spoke.
On a happier note, Marvel creator and icon Stan Lee makes his usual cameo appearance and with a nod to inside jokes, and is introduced to Tony Stark at the Expo as TV pundit Larry King.
2. X-Men – Toad’s Stunt Wires Are Showing
In Toad’s (Ray Park) last scene in X-Men, he decides to fight Storm (Halle Berry). When he leaps into the air and onto a balcony railing, his stunt wire is clearly visible at the back of his belt, and is very, very obvious.
X-Men could be called the stunt wire blooper champion, as stunt wires can be spotted on both Toad and Storm throughout the film. Also, when Sabretooth hits a man standing behind Storm at a train station just before he nabs her, the stunt wire used to pull the man off-frame is clearly visible.
The 2000 movie is also notable because it brought Hugh Jackman’s Logan/Wolverine to the screen for the first time. Seventeen years and nine films later, the talk is now turning to who will replace Jackman now that he has decided to hang up his claws. Tough-guy British actor Tom Hardy is often mentioned as a strong contender, both because he is a master of transforming himself for roles and because he has the right build and sinister look.
1. The Dark Knight Rises – Stupid Spelling Mistake
The scene that depicts the front page of The Gotham Times on a computer screen must have had The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan seeing red. Why? Purely because of the headline, which reads “Police Suspect ‘Cat’ Burglar in Jewel Hiest.”
The word “Heist” is obviously and embarrassingly misspelled. This newspaper image would have gone through a number of staffers and crew before it went live, though, which means that many people missed the simple mistake.
In many ways, it is worse than a mere continuity blooper, because, with so much going on from shot to shot, things can get confusing. An error on a big and bold headline on a single page is far easier to spot. Spelling mistakes aren’t very uncommon in movies, however. In The Avengers, the name of a gaming company was mangled in the credits, probably leading to angry emails and perhaps a law suit.
However, “Heist” to “Hiest” probably wins some kind of spelling movie blooper prize.
Can you think of any other embarrassing mistakes in superhero movies? Let us hear about them in the comments!
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