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‘Batman vs. Superman’ Delayed

| Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Recently, Warner Brothers announced that their “Batman vs. Superman” film would be delayed from summer 2015 to 2016, much to the chagrin of comic book fans everywhere. Overall, this is probably the best course of action for the film, because it not only allows the developers more time to fully realize their vision, but also because it removes the worries of having to compete with Marvel’s Avengers sequel, which was also set for a summer 2015 date.

In recent years, Hollywood has released a plethora of superhero movies, and for the most part has been incredibly successful. This trend arguably began in 2000 with 20th Century Fox’s first foray into the “X-Men” films. It was not until 2008 however that films of this genre became wildly profitable, when Warner Brothers released “The Dark Knight” and broke $1 billion in worldwide revenue — the first time that any film in the genre had done so. Since then, the only superhero movies to surpass this were 2012’s “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises” and 2013’s “Iron Man 3”.

It looks like this trend is not going to slow down any time soon, though. This year alone, we’ll see a new Captain America movie, an “Amazing Spider-Man” sequel, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, and the latest X-Men movie. Marvel Studios alone has plans for the previously mentioned Avengers sequel, an Ant-Man movie and three other unannounced films before the end of 2017. Columbia has two more “Amazing Spider-Man” sequels, Fox has another “X-Men” and an “X-Force” movie slated, and even Walt Disney Animation Studios, the team behind “Frozen,” is releasing a superhero themed film next year. The sheer number of films coming out right now is absolutely incredible, and it is honestly surprising that people are not sick of this genre yet and that the market is not totally saturated.

Some of the studios seem to be avoiding that fate by investing in lesser known franchises in the hopes that they will spark new life into a genre that is slowly growing stale. The fact that Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Ant-Man” are actually becoming realities is testament to this, although these are more risky financially than well-known superheroes.

Also notable is the very recent shift of focus from storytelling toward visual presentation. Although last year’s “Iron Man 3” did have a coherent plot, it was lost in the wake of the final epic battle and numerous explosions. And “Man of Steel” almost spent more time focusing on the destruction of Metropolis than on any relevant character development. If this trend continues, people may soon get tired of seeing the same characters deal with potentially world-ending evil over and over again.

Although this has happened, there is the strong possibility that this new Batman vs. Superman film has the potential to be a paradigm shift in the way that “The Dark Knight” was back in 2008. The film is supposedly going to be based off of Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns”, a tale about Batman’s return from retirement to stop crime. “The Dark Knight Returns” is regarded as one of the greatest Batman comics of all time, so Warner Brothers has a very good source material to work with. Additionally, if based off this comic the film would be much darker than the lighthearted action-based romps set to be released by other studios over the next few years, setting it apart by a fair amount.

Rumors have also circulated that Warner Brothers is planning to use this film to set up a future Justice League movie, in a move similar to Marvel’s Avengers initiative. Whatever may happen, this film has great potential and could possibly redefine the way we look at superhero films.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Jimmy Kemper

Scene writer, Economics major, and Seinfeld enthusiast

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