Over the past several years, it seems that movies based on comic book properties have completely overtaken Hollywood. With the success of films such as X-Men, Spiderman, Superman Returns, and Batman Begins, it is no wonder that Hollywood is snatching up the rights to just about everything comic book related. The past year alone has seen adaptations of the frightening graphic novel 30 Days of Night and Frank Miller’s incredible 300. This trend shows no signs of slowing.
There are a whole slew of new comic related films coming out in the near future, including some sequels, some prequels, and even a few newly acquired properties. Let’s look at some of the most anticipated comic book movies on the horizon.
- The Incredible Hulk: Set to smash its way into movie theaters around the globe this June, The Incredible Hulk looks to be quite a departure from the 2003 comic adaptation starring Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly. The new Hulk will feature Edward Norton as the tortured scientist/monster and Liv Tyler as his love interest Betty Ross. Fans can also expect to see a monstrous onscreen version of popular Hulk villain the Abomination.
- Iron Man: This comic book favorite is finally a live action film with none other than Oscar nominated actor Robert Downey Jr. in the role of Tony Stark, the billionaire industrialist who creates the Iron Man armor. It is unknown whether Tony Stark’s alcoholism, one of the more intriguing subplots of the series, will make it into the film. With an actor as talented as Downey, one can only hope.
- Hellboy 2: The Golden Army: Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) returns to the director’s chair with this sequel to the 2004 hit starring everyone’s favorite big red kitten loving, cigar chomping, paranormal investigator. In this film, Hellboy must stop the Mythical World from returning to destroy and enslave the mortal realm. Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, and Doug Jones return as Hellboy, Liz Sherman, and Abe Sapien, top tier members in the BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense).
- Batman: The Dark Knight: In the sequel to Batman Begins, Batman tangles with Joker, his arch nemesis, for the first time. Christian Bale, Michael Caine, and Gary Oldman reappear in a movie that promises to be full of some very dark action. One of the more notable and tragic aspects of this film is that it was one of Heath Ledger’s last projects before his untimely death. Ledger plays the twisted and iconic Joker.
Plenty of other comic book films are in the works, too, including Wolverine, Captain America, and Watchmen. If Hollywood wants to make films appreciated by hardcore and casual fans alike, they must stay true to the source material. The coming months and years will show if they heed this warning.