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24-08-2020, 10:24   #1
Doctor DooM
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What are the most influential superhero movies?

The MCU thread got me thinking: What do people think are the most influential superhero films of all time?

Every few years a super hero film comes out that redefines the entire genre. Usually, there's a take home lesson for execs so all the comanpies begin to follow that new trend they fixate on. I got to thinking, and obviously this'll be super subjective, but here's my list (and why):

Superman '78: "You'll believe a man can fly". Special effects are good enough to do superheroes now, and people will enjoy a very earnest hero.

Batman '89: There has probably not been another superhero film to lead to a character being so thoroughly embedded in a zeitgeist of its time. EVERYTHING was Batman. He's never been far away since. Also, the role of Joker ascending to something actors aspire too (although that was a thing in the 60's tv show too).

Blade '98: First superhero film of the gritty era (Plenty of camp in Batman '89 although people forget that). Not good influential, but the beginning of the Goyer style of rewriting characters. BLOOD DANCE SCENE. "Adult" superhero films everywhere that aren't actually very mature at all.

Interesting thing is to this point it's 1 a decade. These films didn't result in volume. But the Marvel sell off happens...

X-Men '00: First film to prove an ensemble can make bank. Teams are allowed now, in the mind of execs. Superhero films are now more "mature" again in that everything must be leather or black, and actually mature in the sense we're allowed to discuss real world issues.

Spider-Man '02: At this time Marvel comics pushed this film so hard because it still stood to make them a lot of money when they were not doing so good. ALL the studios start pouring over what Marvel properties they own, in order to replicate the success.

Batman Begins '05: Hyper realistic, zero camp, barely any humour, the paragon of grim dark storytelling, the ramifications of Nolan's success here are felt in DC movies and games to this day.

Dark Knight '08: Again, Batman hits a zeitgeist, and an epic Joker. Grim dark may have been retired for a while with Marvel's ascendancy at this point if Nolan hadn't made such an amazing film. It's in such contrast to...

Iron Man '08: The polar opposite of Batman Begins/TDK, Marvel risk it all to show yes, you can just port the best bits of the comic over, even if they are a bit silly. We now have 2 concurrent trends in comic book movies, which exists to this day.

Kick Ass '10: You can drop f bombs and make bank with your superhero film. No, seriously, you can. The first parody superhero film to really succeed.

Avengers '12: After 4 years of films as trailer Marvel are a powerhouse and make BANK with the first proper superhero team film (as in, characters who have their own franchises first). Every producer wants a cinematic universe now, or at least finally realises more than one hero does not mean less profit. DC are to this day still figuring their universes out.

Guardians of The Galaxy '14: Every film must now have funny musical references, missing the point that it's the diagetic nature of the music in GOTG that makes it work.

Deadpool '16: The hybrid son of the sillier Marvel and "adult" DC movies, it's ok to curse, be 18's, and make money now. This had already been proved by all the Millar movies ofc, but for some reason it has to happen with a big 2 character before it's accepted by the execs.

Logan '17: I assume this only exists as it does due to the success of Deadpool, but it's not its adult nature that is its lasting impact I think: This is the first successful movie to deconstruct superhero films. It's literally a tired old man of a film finding a new purpose. I think the impact of this is lost on us because the world of superhero cinema has been halted for quite some time now.

Honorable mentions here go to Endgame and Joker, because I think both of them will have a huge impact, but it's too early to tell yet.
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24-08-2020, 10:26   #2
 
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Not much potential for a thread when you give all the best examples

First Blade for sure.

The 89 Batman was the first film I saw in the cinema.
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24-08-2020, 10:35   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unhappys10 View Post
Not much potential for a thread when you give all the best examples

First Blade for sure.

The 89 Batman was the first film I saw in the cinema.
89 Batman wasn't the first film I saw in the cinema, but it was the first one to have a massive impact on me.

Well, that and the original Transformers, but that's out of scope here
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24-08-2020, 11:17   #4
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Donner's Superman

Batman 89

Blade

X-Men

Each one laid the foundations in there own right to what we have now.
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25-08-2020, 17:56   #5
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From a purely commercial perspective, it has to be Batman 1989: if only because it was the first time a Superhero movie showed it had Star Wars level of potential with marketing & merchandise. Batman '89 merchandise was everywhere - and super successful too IIRC, including a hit song & soundtrack thanks to Prince.

For all the artistic merit any of the suggestions from above posters may or may not have, from a purely financial point of view Tim Burton's film proved to studios that superheroes had brand appeal beyond the Box Office. For better or worse, the reason we have such market saturation can be attributed to Batman '89.
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29-08-2020, 00:46   #6
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It obviously was Howard the Duck / end thread
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02-09-2020, 00:23   #7
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Since you mentioned everything I can think of in the OP, maybe can expand on this with the films and tv shows that were influenced by them and not just Marvel or DC?

You mention Every Producer wanting universes. I assume you mean not just DC?
Apart from DC we had the likes of Universal's failed attempt with Dark Universe and Shyamalan's universe.
On tv we got the Arrowverse.
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02-09-2020, 00:27   #8
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Superman, Batman & blade

IMO the Guardians of the galaxy moved them forward in the last decade, certainly the humour of the marvel films, the difference between the first Thor films and rognorok is massive.
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02-09-2020, 11:08   #9
Doctor DooM
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Originally Posted by Elmo View Post
Superman, Batman & blade

IMO the Guardians of the galaxy moved them forward in the last decade, certainly the humour of the marvel films, the difference between the first Thor films and rognorok is massive.
Yeah Guardians basically decided what every lighthearted comic book movie must be like for about 5 years
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03-09-2020, 08:53   #10
Doctor DooM
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Originally Posted by CastorTroy View Post
Since you mentioned everything I can think of in the OP, maybe can expand on this with the films and tv shows that were influenced by them and not just Marvel or DC?

You mention Every Producer wanting universes. I assume you mean not just DC?
Apart from DC we had the likes of Universal's failed attempt with Dark Universe and Shyamalan's universe.
On tv we got the Arrowverse.
That could take a while

On the topic of universes, I suspect we'll never see just how many never really worked. Through leaks, we know that Spider-Man has had at least 2 failed attempts before Venom worked. Hasbro wanted to expand the Transformers series to include MASK, Space Knights and GI Joe (Unicron appearing at the end of the last Bay film was supposed to be the beginning of that). Sony was wrangling with some crazy (and frankly doomed to fail) Mattel based universe with Masters of the Universe and Barbie among others. Perhaps most interestingly, Netflix is apparently trying to start a "bootleg" video game universe, starting with Castlevania (there is a dream sequence which hints at the other upcoming series, which are interestingly from different producers). Also, let's be honest... DC only panicked and greenlit BvS because they wanted that sweet shared universe cash when MoS underperformed (in their eyes, as far as I recall it made money, and to me is still the best Snyder DCEU film by a margin).

EDIT: How could I forget, Sony is also still trying to make Ghostbusters a shared universe franchise. As good as the original films were, is there any real indication people want that at all?

Last edited by Doctor DooM; 03-09-2020 at 09:05.
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