Will 2003 Be The Year Of The Comic Book Movie?
The coming year has a host of fascinating projects coming out, between a new Terminator movie to, bizarrely, a movie based on a Disney ride (Pirates Of The Caribbean - yeah, that's pretty much gonna crash and burn). There's cheesy Brit-romance (Love, Actually which appears to star every actor ever and looks like everything I hate), horror showdowns (Freddy Vs. Jason), and the conclusion of an epic trilogy (Return of the King).
Yet what intrigues me most is the slate of fantastic-looking movies based on comic books. For once, we're not just getting Superman or Batman or Spider-Man. Hollywood is finally listening, and giving fans the comic book movies that we've been waiting for. Smart, well-made products are being adapted and finally given their due (we hope, anyway), with solid actors and a devotion to the genre. Here's a look at why us comic book geeks have something to be excited about:
February 14th: Daredevil. Starring Ben Affleck, a self-proclaimed avid Daredevil fan, we'll get to see the harsh, gritty adventures of the Man Without Fear. Includes Jennifer Garner, the asskicking heroine of "Alias," as Elektra, Michael Clarke Duncan as The Kingpin, and the x-factor, Colin Farrell as Bullseye (despite looking nothing like the character in the book -- I fear that may be the film's greatest misstep). The trailer pretty much nails the tone of the comic. I have high hopes.
April 16th: Bulletproof Monk. Starring Chow Yun-Fat and Sean William-Scott. Based on a relatively obscure Japanese comic, this one looks pretty interesting. Mixing a combination of patented John Woo-esque gunplay with a supernatural flair, it hopes to capitalize on the growing popularity of Yun-Fat, which William-Scott is still riding the wave of the two American Pie films.
May 2nd: X2: X-Men United. Director Bryan Singer brings back the same cast that made the original so fantastic, as well as some new heavies. The trailers hint at new revelations about Wolverine's background, and while I'm bummed at the departure of Tyler Mane as Sabretooth, I'm pretty intrigued by Alan Cummings' against-type casting as Nightcrawler. This one's got potential.
June 20th: Hulk. This is the one I'm most excited about, as I've been dying to see the Hulk on the big screen. The cast is killer -- Eric Bana, Jennifer Connolly, Sam Elliott and Nick Nolte, and the early Hulk effects (done entirely via CGI) look tremendous. Throw in the unlikely choice of Ang Lee as a director and you have what could potentially be one of the greatest superhero movies to date, something character-based that still brings the noise when it comes to action.
July 11th: The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: I lied. This is the one I'm most excited about. Alan Moore's classic graphic novels getting the big screen treatment? I literally never thought I'd see the day. This looks absolutely tremendous, and it appears to capture some of the darker themes of the comics. The cast is a beast -- Sean Connery as Alan Quatermain, Peta Wilson as Mina Harker (who is weirdly a vampire now?), Stuart Townsend as Dorian Gray, and Jason Flemyng as Jekyll/Hyde? Sign me the fuck up. I'm a little puzzled by some of the decisions -- apparently Tom Sawyer somehow is in this, which seems an annoying add-on. But with Connery as the lead, it feels like there's a chance for true greatness here. I'm basically dizzy with anticipation.
So there you have it, kids. This is the dawn of a new day, when comic book movies get their due and Hollywood finally starts to show the comic book fan some respect. Drink it up, people. Drink that shit up.