Remember the hype around the “Watchmen” movie that came out years ago? That was a total train wreck that could have really been something spectacular. How about the long overdue big screen adaptation of “The Green Hornet”? What the hell was that? And I’d be remissed if I left “Daredevil” out. That wasn’t exactly a strong resume for the lead actor to fill the shoes of The Dark Knight (and I still have my reservations about it).
Honestly, I could run a list all day long (“Spawn”, “The Shadow”, …) that would make even the most die hard and tolerant comic/superhero fan cringe, but it is what it is. On brand recognition alone, even when we’ve been burned so many times, we repeatedly dole out our hard-earned money on another trip to the theaters only to be left disappointed and angry. Why is it that Hollywood botches almost every attempt at reconstructing a well-known character or series for movie-goers (exceptions go to “X-Men: First Class”, “X-men: Days Of Future Past”, and “The Wolverine” in my book)? I actually have a theory on this.
When Hollywood studios get the filming rights to a particular licensed character or franchise, they try to take too much artistic license and create something more in their own vision. The script writers are even more oblivious, as many have not read more than one issue of a comic or followed a superhero throughout any significant portion of their lives (with many too young to have been alive when the comics or superheroes were in their prime) . Combine that with CGI effects to cover up for lack of creativeness, and you get a certified dud. It’s not only a waste of time, it’s a waste of money and tarnishes the brand it is associated with.
I propose a solution. Hollywood: go to Comic-Con, find yourself an individual in Cosplay or something indicating their undying love for a particular series you are considering, and hire them as a lead technical consultant with the ability to override the director’s (and script writers’) interpretation. These are people who know the respective universe of your film option inside and out and work tirelessly to preserve their legacy. These senseless submissions will never resonate with the community, and we will never accept what you force feed us as the authority on the subject. Stop insulting our intelligence.