Thursday, June 14, 2007

Avengers Assemble!

We all knew this was imminent. IMDb Pro (sorry if only members can follow the link) says that Marvel Studios is starting work on a live-action film of The Avengers, using go-to comic movie scripter Zak Penn (why can't they branch out and try new people just once?).

I can only wonder at the inherent legal dilemma: Marvel farmed the film rights of all their major characters out to competing studios, so how on Earth-616 are they going to pull together a team that is supposed to include (at least at its core) Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Wasp, Giant Man/ Ant-Man, Quicksilver, The Scarlet Witch, and possibly The Hulk? Half of these characters haven't even been introduced to contemporary audiences, so you know whatever they write will be bogged down in endless exposition and backstory, and may or may not have any connection to the other Marvel films that already exist (e.g. will Robert Downy, Jr. play Iron Man?).

Such questions may be beside the point. The only important thing is that they make a good movie. But I've been so disappointed by the sometimes good/ usually awful history of recent Marvel movies (peaks of X-Men and Spideys 1&2 interrupted by vast valleys of nearly everything else), that frankly, I doubt they'll pull their s%#* together. I suspect that Warner Brothers' Justice League of America stands a much better chance of being a good movie based on nothing more than the central ownership and administration of the intellectual property. That may sound nitpicky, but in the few years this blogger has worked lowly jobs in film production, I've seen enough to know that when expectations are too high, with too many cooks in the kitchen and too many people to please or let down, the result is usually bad. DC kept all their eggs in one basket, are owned by WB, and to completely generalize, have presented their characters with what is -- to my tastes -- a far better track record than Marvel. Bad exceptions are when we get into sequel territory, where too much money becomes involved (I'm looking at you, high-numbered Superman and Batman movies). Whatever... this is a pointless ramble until the trailers come out and we can complain all over again.

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