Who Handles a Superhero Best – Visionary or Hack?

Kenneth Branagh, the filmmaker behind this summer's adaption of "Thor"

Summer is here and that means it’s time for popcorn fare.  This summer brings more than a few attempts to launch, re-launch (or continue) adaptions of some of our favorite superheroes.

This is big business, but can any of this summer’s interpretations hold a candle to modern day superhero classics, like Richard Donner’s “Superman” or more recently, Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight?”

Until more recently, studios’ choice of filmmakers for superhero adaptions – Aronofsky, Hood, Gondry – might suggest an appreciation for an artistic approach.  But in looking at the filmmakers behind this summer’s fare, it appears the studios’ “gamble” for a more visionary presentation might be over.

– Kenneth Branagh’s “Thor”
– Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class”
– Martin Campbell’s “Green Lantern”
– Joe Johnston’s “Captain America: The First Avenger”
– Marcus Nispel’s “Conan The Barbarian”

What say you?



  1. Late Night · May 6, 2011

    I say Marvel is rolling the dice with Branaugh at the helm, at least commercially. The last time KB took a shot at an icon was 1994’s “Frankenstein”, and it finished in 59th place in the year’s box office take. Now it was probably a Halloween release, so it didn’t have as many weeks open as the top films that year, but still…

    Otherwise, yeah, they’re playing it safe, and why not? The so-called “fanboys” will see these films no matter what, dragging a few friends with them.

    By the way, there were a ton of groundbreaking, memorable films released in ’94: Pulp Fiction, Natural Born Killers, Time Cop, The Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump, Fresh, Clerks and many more. What a year!

  2. HakSnider · May 6, 2011

    Branaugh’s pitch for Thor has become legendary amongst comic fans. According to comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, whose Powers will be coming to FX this year, Branaugh put on a near Shakespearean one-man show to sell his concept to Marvel Studios.

    As long as the director of the INCREDIBLE HULK, Louis LeTerrier (Release the Kraken!) doesn’t get another shot, I’ll be happy.

    Forest Gump? Ugh.

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