If I was still 12, my head would’ve exploded by now. A lot has happened in the world of pop culture and I, well, have some thoughts.
Okay, what is a midseason or winter finale? I mean, when did that become a thing? I don’t remember so much hype last year around, and I’m not sure what to make of it. On the one hand, working towards something big halfway through the season might force creators to plan better, avoiding the midseason lull that has been the kiss of death for many a show. The writers of Once Upon a Time seem to agree. On the other hand, a compulsory midseason whammy could also derail a show and stifle creative impulsives.
I will say that all „winter finales“ I have seen so far — The Blacklist, Sleepy Hollow and Once Upon a Time — worked quite nicely. I guess I’m fine with the idea as long as the flow of the show doesn’t take a backseat to a network mandate. We’d better not get „quarter season finales“ next year though. Gotta draw the line somewhere.
Heroes, heroes, heroes everywhere
For years, naysayers have been predicting the decline of superheroes in cinema. I guess Hollywood didn’t get the memo, because based on last week’s news, superheroes seem to be bigger than ever. With X-Men: Days of Future Past still awaiting release, Fox and director Bryan Singer have already announced a sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse, for 2016. Sony, never one to be outdone, casually announced no less than 4 Spider-Man-related movies — 2 more additions to the Amazing Spider-Man series and 2 spin-off movies, Venom and Sinister Six. Will all those movies make an impact? I’m more optimistic about Venom and the X-Men than I am about Sinister Six, but in the end it all comes down to execution. A Sinister Six movie that takes its cues from Nick Spencer’s Superior Foes of Spider-Man and gives the iconic villains relatable motivations might resonante more than an X movie that relies primarily on stunts and explosions.
Speaking of X-Men, can we please stop hating on Singer and Fox? I really don’t get it.Yes, it would be cool to see the mutants in Marvel’s own movie universe, but that doesn’t make Fox the Anti-Christ. They have given us 6 X movies since 2000. In my opinion, only one of those — X-Men Origins: Wolverine — was a dud, but even if we consider the controversial X3 a failure as well, that still leaves 4 perfectly good movies. Not a bad track record if you ask me. I have to hand it to Fox for resisting the temptation to simply reboot the 14-year-old franchise. That shows a tremendous amount of respect for the existing fanbase. Yes, it also means we remain „locked into“ a continuity that was less than kind to some fan-favorite characters, but I don’t think we’re locked in as tightly as it seems. With the old cast returning for Days of Future Past and all the time travel that lies ahead, I’d be surprised if earlier missteps weren’t „untaken“ by the end of the movie. It definitely looks like we might be in store for a sort of „in-continuity reboot“, which would allow Fox to develop the series however they see fit without ignoring what’s come before. You can’t tell me that doesn’t sound enticing.
Batman vs. Superman vs. the World
So Gal Gidot of Fast & Furious fame was cast to play Wonder Woman in Superman vs. Batman. Bah… Look, I have nothing against Wonder Woman. I like Wonder Woman. I would pay good money to see her on the silver screen, in a movie that does her justice. I do not want to see her randomly pop up in a Superman sequel that’s already tasked with introducing mainstream audiences to a new Batman. That’s just insane.
Everybody and their little brother is angling for a shared „cinematic universe“ right now, but if Marvel’s success proved anything, it’s that these things take patience and planning. The Avengers were namedropped in the first Iron Man, but Marvel wisely took another four years to prepare for the team’s on-screen debut. Warner seems to be taking the opposite approach, introducing major characters in cameos or supporting roles and then (maybe) spinning them off into solo projects later. While that may allow them to fast-track that long-rumored Justice League movie, I’m not sure it’s the right way to go. The Avengers gave us familar faces coming together to take on a threat that had been years in the making at that point. The wait was half the fun here, turning what might’ve been a solid, if somewhat predictable sci-fi adventure into an event. I doubt Warner will be able to replicate that success by screaming, „me too!“.
And now there’s rumors that The Flash might be in Superman vs. Batman as well. I guess I’m supposed to be excited. I’m not.
So that’s my two cents. What are your thoughts on all this?