The Culture Beat

February 21, 2010

Reboots in Multiple Franchises

Filed under: Comics,General Pop Culture,Movies — Alex @ 11:15 pm

The ongoing saga of Hollywood’s recycling of once-profitable movie properties continues. Earlier this month, Niki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood reported that the brilliant Christopher Nolan would oversee the script for a new Superman film while also beginning work on the next Batman screenplay. The director whose vision revived the Caped Crusader’s movie career in Batman Begins and trumped that with The Dark Knight seems just the guy to rescue Superman from the dead end he faced after the unsatisfying Superman Returns. I trust he understands that Bats and Supes are characters with completely different tones and sensibilities and won’t be tempted to darken the Man of Steel but find a way to make the first superhero soar again. And yes, though I’ve expressed doubt whether there was any way to top The Dark Knight, especially without the return of Heath Ledger’s Joker, I’m certain Nolan’s earned the right to try, after a couple of years to ponder a sequel.

The other big news in reboots comes from Television Without Pity which reports that plans are in the works to bring back Daredevil, Mission Impossible, and Riddick. Let’s take each in turn:

Daredevil: After Mark Steven Johnson’s overly ambitious letdown of Marvel’s sightless superhero in 2003, a new take would have to rethink the bad idea of telling all of old Hornhead’s greatest tales in once compressed feature. Think franchise instead of one-shot and the next film should pace itself to tell just one great story at a time. This, by the way, is a character that could benefit from Nolan’s approach to noirish style–for decades Daredevil has been the champ of Marvel’s mean streets, an almost self-made hero like Batman, except instead of cool toys, he’s got supersenses.

Mission Impossible: I’m agnostic on this property since I’ve never watched one of the films, so distasteful was the original concept of replacing the covert team caper approach of the television inspiration with a star vehicle for Tom Cruise. I utterly disavow any interest in anything but a fresh approach to the original concept.

Riddick: I saw the first of the two films, Pitch Black, which was a pretty good sci-fi B-film that helped launch Vin Diesel’s career, but skipped the hyper pretentious Chronicles of Riddick. I imagine this is part of Diesel’s comeback course, so good luck to him.

I believe one of these linked articles makes the point that those holding the franchises on superhero character are reviving them mostly because their permission to use the characters is based on either exploiting them in films or losing those rights–thus, besides the potential for profitability, studios don’t want to lose the millions possible for a job well done.


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