Yesterday, I wrote at length about the problem with the modern state of comic-book movies, one of which the need to destroy the world in the third act, which is part of the insistence of comic-book movies to stick to formula: Origin —> Journey —> Blow shit up. The real shame here is that comic book movies have such terrific characters with which to work, but the scripts rarely do them justice. This is why comic-book films (with the exception of The Dark Knight) can’t get any respect from the Academy Awards.
That’s not always the case with genre films, however, as more and more sci-fi films are competing with prestige, Oscar-bait movies come awards season. Interstellar, Gravity, District 9, Ex Machina, and The Martian have not only done well during awards season, but they also put up big numbers at the box office (save for Ex Machina), and they do it on relatively smaller budgets (and critics and awards also help defray marketing costs).
This is where comic book movies need to go. They’ve got Oscar caliber talent (Margot Robbie, Robert Downey, Jr., Will Smith, Amy Adams, Ben Affleck), they just need original scripts from Oscar-caliber screenwriters and directors, like Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy, and Sicario), who will bring the sci-fi film Arrival into theaters this November.
Starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, it’s about an expert linguist (Adams) who is brought in to determine whether the members of an alien aircraft come in peace or if they are a threat. Here’s the first teaser trailer: