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Movie Superheroes: What are Marvel doing right that DC aren't?


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Old 27-04-2012, 13:40
JAS84
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Which raises the question of why DC/WB don't get some
of the people working on the animation to do the live-action
ones as well.

Also, Marvel can farm their characters out to several
studios: Spiderman (Columbia), X-Men (Fox),
Paramont (the various Avengers heroes). DC are
stuck with WB.
Not true, Marvel is owned by Disney, and the only reason Spider-Man and X-Men are still with those other companies is that they have to honour the existing contracts. Paramount's deal has been reneged and Avengers Assemble is actually being distributed by Disney, under Paramount's name, as compensation for Paramount's deal being prematurely ended.
As part of the deal transferring the distribution rights of future releases of Marvel Studios films to Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures's logo appears on marketing materials instead of Disney's
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Avengers_(2012_film)
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Old 27-04-2012, 16:24
not_the_doctor
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With Superman movies, one major blunder has/is being made. They are constantly trying to make a "dark" Superman movie. It doesn't work. It won't work.
Yep, and judging by the comments coming from the production of Man of Steel, it sounds like they're going to try even harder to turn him into Batman.

I thought Wolverine, X3, Spiderman 2&3 both FF movies and 2003 Hulk were all really poor.
Heh, I completely forgot about those god-awful FF movies. And if you include the Punisher and Ghost Rider movies, it just underlines the point I made earlier about Marvel's track record. It's far from stellar, but they just get a lot of stuff out there and have created at least the perception of a strong Marvel movie brand.
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Old 27-04-2012, 17:28
jrio
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JLU was great. Haven't seen Young Justice, but I'm acquiring the new GL cartoon from parts unknown and really like it.

There are a BUNCH of Marvel cartoons on the go right now or recently if you include those Japanese ones. You could probably have an entire Superhero cartoon channel on Sky if you wanted.

My favourite Superhero cartoon is probably the 90s X-Men one, or maybe Batman TAS from around the same time.
Just legendary. I never imagined it could get to that level. Blatantly making superhero cartoons for adults and getting the kids along for the ride.

The Legion of Doom/Cadmus saga was epic. Making "For the Man Who Has Everything" perfect... priceless.
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Old 27-04-2012, 17:57
jrio
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In my opinion, there's something about the majority of the Marvel-based films that just capture the whole superhero 'theme' so well. I even really enjoyed Spiderman 3, which is often panned, as I really felt it still retained that quality, imo even more so than the second installment. Never really connected with the Hulk or X-Men films though as they were too based in some form of science-fiction thriller format for me to really enjoy them as superhero films. X-Men in particular I just felt tried too hard to create a sort of 'epic' futuristic war storyline.

I love Nolan's Batman films, however for me I don't see them as 'superhero movies' either. In that context I think Burton's films pull that off far better, however as dark, character-based thrillers in their own right Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are brilliant. What needs to be remembered with the next Superman film though is that he is not Batman - in fact he is probably one of the easiest characters to base a good, traditional hero movie around.
Too much to agree with there, but Spidey 3...really?

Now that you will find it harder to believe a man can't fly on screen, Superman is incredibly easy to do. The foundation of all super-heroes. Just don't keep harping on about the origin and camping up Lex Luthor.

Marvel just seem to have a lot more options in bringing their characters to screen, if in a minor way: Dr Strange, Iron Fist... very easy to work up treatments. DC heroes are very fantastical and can't be transferred on a small scale. Grant Morrison emphasised it with his "Big 7" JLA.

Iron Man always seemed very obvious to me in the 21st century - weapons manufacturer, government contracts, leading technology, wealth, SHIELD. What made it unassailable was getting an actor with the charisma and talent of RD jnr to play the role. Otherwise, Green Lantern.

The Avengers and its ensemble has brought 1960s Marvel comics to life - characters and story lines inter-connected to show a shared universe, the equivalent of JLU. Very ambitious and at any stage it could have fallen apart with great costs. The fruit has been what might be a mega-franchise with roots and off-shoots generating strong profits and awareness.
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Old 01-05-2012, 19:49
hilduffluva
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To me Marvel have always done something that DC havent, and that is not making films about stand alone Graphic Novels/Stories for instance Jonah Hex, Constantine, V For Vendetta etc, they are all stand alone I dont think you will see Batman in V for Vendetta some how, do you?

Where as Marvel have made films about characters that can intertwine and essentially made the films they have to lead up to Avengers which is a smart move. As well as that Marvel pick characters with ALOT to draw from where as if DC only has say V for Vendetta then all they have to draw from is that one piece of resource which is the Graphic Novel.

If DC keep doing stand alone features then that is it for them, If they are now looking to do a JL film they need to stop making films like Joah Hex and concentrate solely on different characters that are able who actually have connections with other characters so they can make a little guest appearance in other characters films (like Wonder Woman could appear in Superman, if only for a few minutes then that could wet the appetite for fans wanting a Wonder Woman film)

Also ATM I dont think it would work if they wanted to do a JL film (which i am thinking they will because of the success of The Avengers). They need nay MUST get all the people who have stared as them in the solo films I.E Christian Bale etc. as then you have some continuity which the whole franchise. I'm sorry I am not going to see a JL film where they recast the entier cast. That is one of the reasons why The Avengers did so well same actors and we felt like we knew the characters.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:58
jediknight2k1
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Most Marvel based movies are pap to be honest.

Captain America was up threre with Transformers as the worst summer movies of all time . If I want to see Chicago with singing and dancing then I'll rent the DvD.

Iron Man 1,2 were ok but basically the story was rehashed in the second movie and for there is just something missing in both movies.

Marvel movies also seem to change some of origin stories such Hulk and Spiderman where DC movies remain close to the source.

I would rather have 3 well produced Batman movies than the 9 or 10 average Marvel movies which have released in the decade.

Avengers was fun but Nolan's Batman trilogy is the best superhero franchise of the last decade.
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Old 02-05-2012, 13:14
wakey
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Also, Marvel can farm their characters out to several
studios: Spiderman (Columbia), X-Men (Fox),
Paramont (the various Avengers heroes). DC are
stuck with WB.
Personally that's a streangth for DC as all under one stable should give them more continuity and control. For some reason though DC have never tried to use this streangth and instead seem to refuse to use the bigger picture with their movies. We just end up with a collection of movies (and TV shows) from DC which are stand alone and where the charachters have no connection to each other rather than all existing in a single universe.

While Smallville is obviously not the best example you just have to look at the way they mismanaged the use of Bruce Wayne and Jimmy Olsen while also preventing the use of other charachters forcing Smallville to create almost identical ones. Highlights the general mismanagement of the properties which WB seem to be trying to move away from
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Old 02-05-2012, 14:01
Bluemotel
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That's rather good and I also enjoy Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

That said I wouldn't mind seeing a Flash film but only if he was up against The Rogues. However that might have one of the same problem as the Green Lantern in that The Flash (whichever version) doesn't remotely as much name recognition in the wider world as Bats and Supes do.
I'm with you on The Rogues, I think there's some interesting mileage in them.

Some heroes have a head start in that there is something about them that's instantly a draw, even if you've never seen them before. Everyone's wanted to right a wrong or something like aerial combat is big, showy and attractive. I felt with Green Lantern, there is more to explain about the story, so it's a few minutes in before the audience start rooting for him. Where as Spidey, Batman, Hulk have people identifying from the word go.

Can we share a moment for all the really bad superhero movies... we know who you are
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:23
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Personally that's a streangth for DC as all under one stable should give them more continuity and control. For some reason though DC have never tried to use this streangth and instead seem to refuse to use the bigger picture with their movies. We just end up with a collection of movies (and TV shows) from DC which are stand alone and where the charachters have no connection to each other rather than all existing in a single universe.

While Smallville is obviously not the best example you just have to look at the way they mismanaged the use of Bruce Wayne and Jimmy Olsen while also preventing the use of other charachters forcing Smallville to create almost identical ones. Highlights the general mismanagement of the properties which WB seem to be trying to move away from
WB and DC have since relaxed on those rules of characters crossing over, it was a problem in animation as certain Batman characters couldn't appear in Justice League due to them being on The Batman and Teen Titans.

I think like the Marvel films, DC need a character or two to link the films like Nick Fury and Coulson did. My suggestion would be Amanda Waller and/or John Jones who is the human disguise of The Martian Manhunter.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:25
frightlever
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Captain America was up threre with Transformers as the worst summer movies of all time . If I want to see Chicago with singing and dancing then I'll rent the DvD.
The day I don't want to watch a film set in a women's prison with Catherine Zeta Jones singing and dancing in her skimpies, just shoot me.

Re licensing - I kinda recall that the Fantastic Four were in a cartoon without the Human Torch because of he was in a separate show on a different network, so they replaced him with a sort of R2D2 character. Never saw that one though.

One of my favourite superhero movies is "The Specials" if only to hear Sabrina the Teenage Witch curse like a docker.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181836/

I'm quite prepared to accept that my taste could be questionable.
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Old 03-05-2012, 20:52
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Personally that's a streangth for DC as all under one stable should give them more continuity and control. For some reason though DC have never tried to use this streangth and instead seem to refuse to use the bigger picture with their movies. We just end up with a collection of movies (and TV shows) from DC which are stand alone and where the charachters have no connection to each other rather than all existing in a single universe.
Maybe DC should create a "DC Studios" (similar to
"Marvel Studios") with WB to control the film adaptions
of their properties.
Also, creating a hugely over-budgeted "Green Lantern"
flick was a mistake. Instead, DC/WB should have created
two lower-budget films based on, say, the Flash
and Green Arrow. There would have been a greater chance
of this model being successful at the box-office and thus
setting in motion a franchise of DC films that don't feature
one of the Big Three (Supes, Bats, and Wondy).
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Old 06-05-2012, 15:34
jackbell
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Maybe DC should create a "DC Studios" (similar to
"Marvel Studios") with WB to control the film adaptions
of their properties.
Also, creating a hugely over-budgeted "Green Lantern"
flick was a mistake. Instead, DC/WB should have created
two lower-budget films based on, say, the Flash
and Green Arrow. There would have been a greater chance
of this model being successful at the box-office and thus
setting in motion a franchise of DC films that don't feature
one of the Big Three (Supes, Bats, and Wondy).
There is an Green Arrow project in the pipeline.
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Old 07-05-2012, 14:43
UKMikey
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Someone pointed out on another forum I'm on that when Ang Lee's Hulk failed Marvel Studios went straight back into the studio and made a better one.

When Superman Returns failed it took Warners six years to get around to shaking their corporate paralysis and making a new one which may or may not be better. There's your difference right there in terms of flexibility of operation.

Marvel have a perfectly good JL-like cartoon in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Too bad the powers that be are canning it for another underage demographic show like Ultimate Spider-Man and Super Hero Squad.
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Old 07-05-2012, 18:19
Matt D
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There was a five year gap between Hulk (2003) and The Incredible Hulk (2008), plus Hulk wasn't a full Marvel Studios film like The Incredible Hulk and other MCU films - it was made by Universal. Marvel didn't regain the rights to Hulk until 2006.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Inc...ulk_%28film%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Studios
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Old 07-05-2012, 20:36
UKMikey
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If that's the case then the difference must be that Marvel planned ahead so that their movies would work together.
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Old 07-05-2012, 23:03
Biffo the Bear
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Nolan's Batman aside (as I don't consider those to be superhero films in a 'supernormal' sense) the difference between the Marvel and DC films, to me, is that the Marvel films keep it much tighter with less lengthy exposition scenes, instead opting to have character development spread out over a number of scenes. They also keep it more 'fun' with less emo-driven 'soul searching' moments.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:45
starsailor
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Nolan's Batman aside (as I don't consider those to be superhero films in a 'supernormal' sense) the difference between the Marvel and DC films, to me, is that the Marvel films keep it much tighter with less lengthy exposition scenes, instead opting to have character development spread out over a number of scenes. They also keep it more 'fun' with less emo-driven 'soul searching' moments.
DC have the two strongest characters, in Batman and Superman. Without a doubt, if you ask the general public to name superheros those would be the top two. Then it's Spideman, then after that based on what ever movies people have seen.

The key is that Marvel have overseen their product a lot closer than DC have. They've seen whats worked in other movies and what hasn't and directed and created each movie in a way which works for that character.

Whereas DC just seem to have sold the rights, and then walked away from any ownership of the movies, leaving their fate up the to the whim of the film makers.

In addition DC characters have now almost become too Iconic, especially Superman, who's almost weighed down and constrainted by the history and 'baggage' of the character.
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Old 11-05-2012, 19:50
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According to the Hollywood Reporter, producer Kevin Feige is the key to
Marvel Studios' success :

Feige has been Marvel's lead producer since Iron Man, and the self-professed comics nerd supervises a dedicated crew with consistency. Along with executive producer Louis D'Esposito, Feige hires actors, writers and directors, keeps talent costs relatively low and executes a Marvel vision across all its films in a way traditional studio executives -- most of whom juggle diverse slates including romantic comedies and dramas -- cannot.

Warner Bros., for instance, has for years wanted to create a universe of films around its DC Comics heroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. But a Justice League movie has stalled, in part because there isn't a Feige type to keep the elements together. Warners' recent success with Christopher Nolan's Batman series led the studio to assign him producing duties on its Superman reboot and a planned relaunch of Batman after his The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters in July. Given Marvel's success with Avengers, don't be surprised if Warners -- and Nolan -- take on a Justice League movie soon.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hea...-whedon-321760

Given the huge success of "The Avengers", it's quite likely other superhero team
movies will be made.
If a studio can't get rights to DC or Marvel heroes, will they try and adapt
superteam stories from (say) Dark Horse, Image or Valiant ?
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Old 11-05-2012, 23:48
Matt D
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DC is owned by Warner, and I believe Warner has kept all its licences in-house, rather than farm them out like Marvel used to do.

Marvel is owned by Disney. It has its own studio, Marvel Studios, that is responsible for all the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" films (Iron Man through to The Avengers). Aside from those, there are some Marvel characters that Marvel does not currently hold the rights to (X-Men = Fox, Spider-Man = Columbia/Sony).

So I don't see how any other studios could jump in with other DC/Marvel characters.
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Old 14-05-2012, 00:10
JAS84
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^The Incredible Hulk came out before Iron Man and is thus the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
Re licensing - I kinda recall that the Fantastic Four were in a cartoon without the Human Torch because of he was in a separate show on a different network, so they replaced him with a sort of R2D2 character. Never saw that one though.
Yes, he was replaced with a robot called HERBIE. Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, made a few years later, also used a new character, Firestar (who was later added to the comic books) instead of the Human Torch. He was supposed to have his own series (Universal were planning a pilot) which was never made.
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Old 14-05-2012, 00:47
Matt D
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^The Incredible Hulk came out before Iron Man and is thus the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
Iron Man, 2nd May 2008: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=ironman.htm

The Incredible Hulk, 13th June 2008: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/...ediblehulk.htm


Having RDJ appear as Stark in the final scene of The Incredible Hulk wouldn't make much sense if it was released before Iron Man, especially as the scene is set just after Iron Man 2.

[The Incredible Hulk actually takes place around the same time as Iron Man 2 (May 2010) and Thor (May 2011). See "Anachronic Order" in http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...ematicUniverse, plus also the tie in comic "Fury's Big Week" ]
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Old 14-05-2012, 00:49
Jonwo
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DC is owned by Warner, and I believe Warner has kept all its licences in-house, rather than farm them out like Marvel used to do.

Marvel is owned by Disney. It has its own studio, Marvel Studios, that is responsible for all the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" films (Iron Man through to The Avengers). Aside from those, there are some Marvel characters that Marvel does not currently hold the rights to (X-Men = Fox, Spider-Man = Columbia/Sony).

So I don't see how any other studios could jump in with other DC/Marvel characters.
Red was a DC property that was released by Summit Entertainment but that was due to WB passing the project and allowing the producer to take it elsewhere.

Marvel Studios was set up before Disney bought Marvel, Marvel still makes some money from films like X-Men and Spider-Man but ultimately have no control over them, Sony's contract with Spider-Man is that as long as they keep making Spider-Man films, they keep the film rights.

DC films tend to be produced with other producers like Legendary Pictures who did the Batman films and Superman Returns, I agree they need someone to guide a DC Film Universe but I'm not sure if Christopher Nolan is the right person.
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Old 14-05-2012, 01:07
Matt D
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I know Marvel Studios was set up before Disney bought Marvel. I was trying to answer simply, just stating the current owner, without getting into detail, or talking about distribution deals, etc. I didn't mean for "It has its own studio" to imply I meant "Disney" by "it". Ditto for X-Men and Spidey: just giving a brief answer (X-Men = Fox, Spidey = Sony/Columbia).
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Old 15-05-2012, 08:00
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I think all of the DC heroes or many of them are quite hard to square with the reality of the world nowadays. I know in comic terms they get round that by them being set in different worlds, but really..?

Superman is an alien. Wonder Woman is like, some kind of heir to being a goddess. They don't really have the best backstory. (I know there's many more but I've never been a particular DC fan). DC comes across as quite campy, quite old fashioned, whereas Marvel seems to be able to move with the times.

I believe Marvel's main success is due to X-Men, X2 and Spiderman establishing it in the industry. These are the films people remember. They were cast and acted quite well and the themes in them overreached the typical action summer blockbuster, delving into romance, social inequality, and in X-Men, lots and lots of symbolism. Then later films like Iron Man could build on this core.

Obviously they didnt all work out. With something like Fantastic Four, the idea of the 'super-family' just seems too neat and unrealistic, there's not much you can build on there with 'cosmic rays' and 'radiation' etc.

But with DC heroes, its even hard to create a realistic story. With Spiderman, you could see why Peter Parker was bullied and outcast. Why would that happen to Clark Kent? Because he sometimes wore glasses and had to always run to the bathroom when a distaster happened?

If DC could retcon its entire universe into a united kind of 'film universe' the way Marvel has done it would work wonders for them.

At the same time though there'd be difficulties because of the scope of all the characters involved. Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Batman...these are all really powerful characters in their own right. In something like X-Men all the characters have their own little 'niche' and situations in which they can lose are easily found because they arent all that great alone.

Having said all of that, to take this path now would perhaps seem as if they were attempting to capitalise on the success of Marvel by copying them and this might also be received poorly by critics and moviegoers.
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Old 15-05-2012, 11:34
not_the_doctor
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... Superman is an alien. Wonder Woman is like, some kind of heir to being a goddess. They don't really have the best backstory.
Completely irrelevant. Captain America is a super-steroid-freak, and Thor isn't just an heir to a goddess, he's a full-on god.

There's nothing wrong with DC's characters. The only problem they have is that they've made a few mediocre or crappy movies in Superman and Green Lantern, and have been too timid about bringing other projects to fruition.
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