Friday, November 14, 2014

Growing Up Nerdy

by Adam Thas and Mike Pomaro
The Nerdy Boys map out the next six years of superhero movies.

Dear Growing Up Nerdy,

It is absolutely amazing that according to ancient Mayan prophecy, the coming of both of you was foretold nearly 4,000 years ago! More to the point, however, I am simply overwhelmed by the number of comic movies being announced. I was wondering which one of these you two think are going to be good and what are your (very) early predictions?

-Clark in Kansas

Mike: Adam and I will stick with DC and Marvel Studios exclusively. We’d add more, but I think you know how we feel about an Aunt May movie. (WE CAN’T WAIT!!)

Marvel:
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Mike: I’m on record (no one is keeping record) that I like the Marvel Studios movies and look forward to each and every one. The casting has been spot-on and I like spending time with the characters. The Avengers, while I don’t think is a great movie, was a lot of fun, mostly because we got to see these characters finally interact with each other. Age of Ultron, however, should be more than “Hey, look! They’re all together in the same movie!” I think it will be.

Adam: I have a lot of confidence in Joss Whedon -- probably a bit more as a writer than a director --  but all the pieces are there for a really great movie. We’ve said plenty of times before that Marvel usually sticks the landing on the second movie and I was a fan of the first Avengers movie, so if this one is better than I’m really looking forward to it. This may be my most anticipated movie of 2015.

Ant-Man (2015)
Adam: Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man may be the most heartbreaking news for nerd-dom, because not only does it mean that we won’t get an Edgar Wright Ant-Man movie, we probably won’t ever get a Wright-Marvel collaboration ever. Patrick talked me off the ledge with this movie by pointing out that Peyton Reed and Adam McKay probably are going to put together a solid movie -- not to mention I love the choice of Paul Rudd. It sounds like they are taking the more “modern” view of Ant-Man, with Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man) the mentor and going with the Scott Lang storyline where he is a thief, which should be fun! Either way, Pym and Lang are some of the more interesting characters in the Marvel Universe.

Mike: Boy, this one is complicated. A Peyton Reed-directed, Adam McKay-scripted super-hero movie sounds awesome, and I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun. The problem, for me at least, is that Ant-Man was originally going to be directed by the great Edgar Wright and co-written with Joe Cornish of Attack the Block fame. Having those two on board was the reason I was looking forward to Ant-Man more than any other super-hero movie on this list. I know very little about Ant-Man, and I’m looking forward to learning a thing or two about him through this movie, but I can’t shake the feeling that this was supposed to be an Edgar Wright film. I’ll see it, of course, and I bet I’ll dig what Reed and McKay have to offer, but I have a feeling I’ll always think, “What if…” Also, when are we going to get a What If… movie?

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Adam: "Civil War" may have been one of the most disappointing comics stories ever. If you are unaware of the comic plot, essentially the New Warriors are the stars of a reality TV show and botch apprehending some super villains, resulting in almost 600 deaths. The public outcry starts the Superhuman Registration Act (SRA) that requires superhumans to disclose their identities. This causes two factions: The pro-SRA, led by Tony Stark, and the Anti-SRA, led by Captain America. It is essentially hero vs. hero, and for 95% of it's great but unfortunately doesn’t stick the landing.

The Captain America movies have been great so far, and I hope that Marvel can stick the landing with this one. However, I’m not sure how they plan to end this one. If you’ve read the comics, you know what I mean...Spoilers.

Mike: After the kick-ass Captain America: The Winter Soldier, how could I not be excited for the follow-up?

Doctor Strange (2016)

Mike: I’ve read very little Doctor Strange over the years, although I’ve tried. He’s…fine, just not my cup of tea. With that said, for some strange reason (I’m sorry), I’m really looking forward to this movie. I’m bummed out Joaquin Phoenix wasn’t cast as Doctor Strange, but I look forward to it nonetheless.

Adam: I’m fairly confident this movie is going to suck. A lot of the success of the recent superhero movies relies on a sense of logic and the creation of a world where things make sense to appeal to a larger audience. Doctor Strange is straight up magical, and I worry about how this will fit into the Marvel Universe. I hope they find a way to explain it away to something logical (like the way they explained Thor), because if all of the sudden Marvel exists in a world where “magic” is real, that changes the entire game. Why would Thanos or Nebula ever be a threat if you now have magic?

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
Adam: The first Guardians of the Galaxy movie was one of the most fun movies I have ever seen and a big part of that was James Gunn. James Gunn is signed on to direct this movie, so I’m fairly confident as long as Marvel doesn’t fuck it up the way they did with Wright, this movie should be pretty awesome.

Mike: I love Guardians of the Galaxy. James Gunn is awesome. 'Nuff said.

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Adam: I think we were all pretty surprise with the first Thor and that the second movie was pretty much what we were expecting out of the first movie. Thor is interesting because in the “universe” in which Marvel exists, Asgard is one of the most powerful and feared planets. I don’t think this movie is going to be very good, but I’d be interested to see what they are going to do to set up Infinity War the following year.

Mike: The Thor movies are my least favorite of the Marvel Studios movies, but I like Chris Hemsworth enough that it’s never a chore to get through. I am pretty sure, however, that my wife plans to leave me for Chris Hemsworth, so maybe I’m not that excited to see this.

Black Panther (2017)
Adam: I’m really up in the air with this one. Black Panther is a fairly interesting character -- being an African Prince/King -- but I seriously wonder how much Marvel is going to mess with the character. He has all the formula for a good character in a movie but it is very possible that this one falls completely flat.

Mike: Sure, why not?

Avengers: Infinity War Part I (2018)

Mike: I’ve never read "Infinity War," but as I said before I’m onboard for any Avengers movie, so this one is no different.

Adam: If they follow in any form the plot of the Infinity Gauntlet series, this is going to be a winner. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the success of this movie also rests on what happens with Age of Ultron and Civil War. I’ve spoken in the past about how I think that Infinity Gauntlet is the best cross over Marvel ever did, and if they can make this work we are in for a treat. I’m on board and think it will be great.

Captain Marvel (2018)

Adam: I’m so excited for this movie until I start to look at the writers whose past credits are Blade: Trinity and Conan the Destroyer. Captain Marvel is one of my all-time favorite comic characters and I am still excited even though they are following the female Captain Marvel instead of the Peter David version, who is a certifiable crazy person. As excited as I am for this movie, I think this movie tanks and ends up being closer to Elektra than we’d like.

Mike: Growing Up Nerdy has exposed me for the comic book fraud that I am. The fact of matter is, like Black Panther and Doctor Strange and Shazam, I don’t know much, if anything, about Captain Marvel. I also didn’t know a lot about Guardians of the Galaxy before that came out, so my hope is I’ll have a similar, “Shit, why have I wasted my time reading Spawn all of these years (I don’t read Spawn) when I could’ve been reading this!?” reaction.

Inhumans (2018)
Mike: If Marvel can somehow get Jae Lee to illustrate this entire movie the way he drew his run of Inhumans, it’ll be the best looking movie of the year.

Adam: This is the movie I’m most confused about -- namely, why the hell do we need an Inhumans movie? Now to be fair, I said the exact same thing about Guardians of the Galaxy and I loved that movie. I am just really curious how this will work and how you end up having a main character (Black Bolt) who can’t talk (okay, he can talk, but bad things happen). Do they end up playing this seriously or do they go goofy? More than any of the Marvel movies, this is the one I’m the most curious about.

Avengers: Infinity War Part II (2019)

Adam: Let’s be honest, how good this movie is really depends on how good part I is. As long as they don’t pull a Matrix with this bad boy, we should all be happy about this one.

Mike: (see Avengers: Infinity War Part I answer)

DC:
Adam: DC is a unique animal, because I feel like instead of being their own animal they are playing catch-up when it comes to movies. DC does comics very well, and I haven’t tried to hide that I prefer them better, but there are a lot of other avenues where superheroes are found. While Marvel was investing in movies, DC was investing in television and animation, where I think they have a clear edge. Out of the five comic-themed TV shows out right now, I can say for sure that DC is kicking Marvel’s ass. While I do enjoy Marvel: Agents of Shield, DC’s Arrow is phenomenal, and while it’s still early on Gotham, The Flash, and Constantine, I already enjoy those shows more than anything Marvel has put out.

Alas, this is a movie website, so we should probably concentrate on just the movies. To this point, I don’t have much confidence in DC’s film department. Out of the movies that DC has released, Superman and Superman II are good, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight are good, and the rest go from average (Burton Batman) to downright shitty (Green Lantern).

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Adam: I’m sure we’ve all seen the video of Ewan McGregor laughing when he heard the title Attack of the Clones. The same video exists of me. I get it. You’re building toward a Justice League movie, but it doesn’t make the “v” in the middle any less douchy. DC has put a lot of its eggs in one basket with this one and need to hit a home run. I like the casting of Affleck and Gal Gadot in the movie, but some of the other casting decisions make me raise an eyebrow. While I’m on record being a fan of Sucker Punch and I don’t hate Man of Steel as much as the rest of the world, I still don’t have much confidence in Snyder. We’ve seen Snyder do great comic adaptations (Watchmen), but he needs to appeal to a mass audience with this one if DC is going to make their venture into movies a success.

Mike: Man of Steel was a disappointment to me. I like Zack Snyder, I like Superman...hell, I like Kevin Costner, so I thought it couldn’t miss. Unfortunately, it left me cold. With that said, I don’t think it’s the worst and it hasn’t dampened my excitement for Batman v Superman. While the rest of the world rolled their eyes when this movie was announced, I got excited. I understand the argument that it looks like DC is trying to speed up the process and get these characters onscreen together sooner than later, and maybe it will feel rushed, but the fact of the matter is we’re going to get a movie with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in it. Maybe it’ll suck. Maybe I’ll be disappointed in it the way I was for Man of Steel. But what if it lives up to those characters?

Suicide Squad (2016)
Adam: Here is the thing about Suicide Squad: I don’t know what incarnation they’re going to use. Suicide Squad first appeared in the '50s as a group of non-powered guys that fought superpowered threats. The new Suicide Squad from The New 52 and the Arrow TV series are a bunch of former villains hired by the government. I don’t know what they plan on, especially since there is almost nothing about the project on the internet. This one has the potential to be the best out of all DC attempts.

Mike: Rumor has it Margot Robbie may be cast as Harley Quinn. This is now my most anticipated superhero movie.

Wonder Woman (2017)

Mike: I’ll know how excited to be about this movie after I see Batman v Superman, but my guess is I’ll be intrigued at the very least. If it’s going to be a period piece like it’s rumored to be, I’ll be all the more interested.

Adam: Ever wonder why some of those nerd guys can’t get a girl? Because apparently many of them don’t think Gal Gadot is hot enough. I love the casting of her as Wonder Woman and think that she looks awesome in the costume. That being said, I don’t know if the plot of a Wonder Woman movie can appeal to a larger audience without some changes. When Wonder Woman first came out, it was a very progressive-thinking comic (fun fact: she was created by the guy who help invent the polygraph test). However, being almost 75 years since her inception, I don’t know how the story of Wonder Woman will translate without a Thor-like overhaul. My gut though is telling me this movie is going to be pretty good.

Justice League Part I (2017)
Adam: I’ve got to believe they are going to get this right. Some of the most famous and storied comic book characters of all time, in one place…this has to work. As I said previously, DC has not instilled very much confidence in me, but I would hope at this point DC has learned enough from Marvel and their own mistakes that this movie ends up being good.

Mike: Like The Avengers, I’m excited to see all of these guys together.

The Flash (2018)

Mike: The Flash is one of my favorite comic characters, so I’m excited to see him on the big screen. Also, he has an underrated rouges gallery, so it’ll be great to introduce them into the DC movie-verse.

Adam: My early feelings on this movie is that it shouldn’t happen. Even though it’s only five episodes in, I’m a fan of The Flash show and I think it’s lighthearted enough to make it really fun. I’m so nervous with this Nolan-level realism in these movies that they are going to miss the “fun” aspects of The Flash. Mark Waid’s run should go down as some of the best written stuff in comic history. It was fun, and interesting, and the characters were great -- all things that I think DC is going to throw out the window.

Aquaman (2018)
Mike: I’ve been Team Aquaman for some time now. He’s a cool character and deserves his own movie. Don’t believe me? Check out Peter David’s Aquaman run. YOU’RE WELCOME. Also, Jason Momoa, my sun and stars*, was cast as Aquaman. One ticket, please!

*Translated from Dothraki

Adam: While the dark realism of Batman and Man of Steel won’t work for a Flash movie, I’m fairly certain that it will work with Aquaman. If you aren’t reading Geoff John’s run on Aquaman, start doing so now. It’s gritty, and dark and one of my favorite comics out right now. My issue with the movie is Jason Momoa, who they have cast as Aquaman. Momoa was great in Stargate: Atlantis and was fine at being really big and angry in Game of Thrones, but we found out in Conan the Barbarian that he might not be able to carry a movie. I’m really looking forward to this one but I wouldn’t be surprised if this bombs.

Shazam (2019)

Adam: Here it is, the DC movie I’m looking the most forward to. Sure, it has to do with magic and has a little kid in it, but it stars Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam! Holy shit! I’m so excited to see him play one of the greatest and more complex villains in comics.

Mike: Two things come to mind when I think of this movie. 1) I went to Dan Burke’s birthday party around second grade and in the goodie bag was a Shazam Super Powers action figure. Greatest. Goodie. Bags. Ever. 2) Dwayne Johnson is in it, therefore it’s my most anticipated superhero movie not starring Margot Robbie.

Justice League Part II (2019)
Adam: Much like The Avengers movies, Part II is going to be very reliant on how good Part I is. I think this movie ends up being a winner.

Mike: (see Justice League Part I answer)

Cyborg (2020)

Mike: I’m afraid to tell Patrick that this is not starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Adam: This movie is going to be fucking terrible I promise. Cyborg is an incredibly boring character that writer after writer has tried to make interesting. Cyborg can’t even maintain a regular comic title, let alone his very own movie. This is a very bad decision by DC and I think that this movie alone will kill DC’s superhero dreams.

Green Lantern (2020)
Adam: Lucky for me this movie will already be filmed and ready for release before Cyborg destroys the comic movie genre. Green Lantern is by far may favorite hero, it is by far my favorite comic, and unfortunately, Hollywood took a shit on my childhood with the turd of a movie they produced. If you want to be entertained while listening to a man’s dreams shatter, listen to the Green Lantern podcast, I turn on the movie in real time. I’m curious to see who they choose to make Green Lantern. My guess would be snore-fest and “Captain Boring” nominee John Stewart. Whatever they decide, this is your warning Hollywood: If you fuck this up, I will cut you.

Mike: As bad as the first Green Lantern movie was -- and it was bad -- I thought that somewhere in there was a good movie waiting to come out. Also, I look forward to doing a podcast on this film and having Adam go from liking it to crying into his Doiby Dickles t-shirt when Patrick and I shatter his good feelings about the movie.

Adam: What this really comes down to -- what the success of the DC movies will ultimately be -- is if they can find their own voice and, more importantly, if that is a voice other people want to hear. DC and Marvel are in a race and Marvel has got a hell of a head start.

5 comments:

  1. Really enjoyed the column this week. Nice work! I hope Green Lantern is the best one.

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    1. I just want anything better than what I got last time. BTW, can I compliment my partner on a stellar Doiby Dickles reference!

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  2. I love this it gives me an in where I felt lost before as to the grand plan! Have either of you seen Wonder Woman the 2009 animation film? I love it so much. (Side note - Mr Thas would you please check your twitter notifications, I have asked you a question about last week's article :) )

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    1. I haven't seen it! I will give it a go though if I can find it.

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  3. We live in a crazy world where the future is so meticulously planned out. I cant decide if it is a good or bad thing? There are certainly some films coming I did not know about there. Great article. And Edgar and Antman is a bit heartbreaking I agree. Truth is im gonna get excited and watch them all. Maybe they are not so stupid with all the preplanning. They already have an audience.

    Justice league, Hell yeah. Bring it on

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