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What's Next For Superhero Movies?

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the reboot-the-reboots-of-reboots dept.

Movies 396

New submitter Faizdog writes "The Atlantic has a very interesting article on what's next for superhero movies after The Dark Knight Rises leaves theaters. DC in particular doesn't seem to have a good pipeline of readily available heroes to create movies around. The article discusses the challenges surrounding the upcoming Man of Steel movie, as well as how the circumstances around the successful Spiderman reboot may not necessarily translate to a Batman reboot. The author also mentions the necessity and viability of the comic book print medium continuing on in light of the film successes, especially in terms of revenue (the Avengers movie alone made more profit for Marvel than all comic book sales for the last two years). The article concludes with an interesting suggestion that television may be the ideal medium for comic book adaptations, as it may permit a richer and more complex story telling experience than a two-hour movie."

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396 comments

Sandman! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753061)

C'mon... it's about damn time.

Re:Sandman! (1)

o_ferguson (836655) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753401)

And "Transmetropolitan," for fuck's sake. With Larry David as Spider Jerusalem. Then "The Invisibles" with Patrick Stewart as King Mob.

They will wreck it. (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753469)

Neil Gaiman talked about it at one of his readings.
Hollywood so far as not been able to wrap its head around the concept of a single character who delivers good dreams AND nightmares.

So the scripts he sees keep having a "bad" Sandman character in addition to Morpheus. The "bad" Sandman only delivers nightmares.

Fuck Hollywood is stupid.

write a new story? (5, Insightful)

notgm (1069012) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753079)

or has that been done before?

Re:write a new story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753787)

Not so long as you have the assholes out there who stick to the "everything is derived from something else lol" dogma.

Live Action Dilbert (5, Funny)

Spiflicator (64611) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753081)

I think Drew Carey would be excellent.

Re:Live Action Dilbert (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753279)

Considering what a piece of crap the animated show was, I think I'd just pass.
It works as a comic strip -- but that's about as far as it goes.

Oh noes!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753089)

Is Hollyweird out of old movies t hey can rehash and turn a profit on?

Will they have to get their creative juices flowing even though that's been long gone in the past two decades?

Re:Oh noes!!! (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753773)

Is Hollyweird out of old movies t hey can rehash and turn a profit on?

Will they have to get their creative juices flowing even though that's been long gone in the past two decades?

Don't temp them to mine the 1960s and 1970s TV shows for more "inspiration".

The Super Hero genre has got very, very old for me. I'm not interested in seeing any more, reboot or otherwise. I once spent about half my disposable (after rent, food, and expenses) income on movies, but find Hollywoods desire to hedge on known quantities (sequels, copy-what's-popular, rehash/remake) is killing the creative content. Scads of great books would make for some awesome movies, I certainly have at least one in mind, but Hollywood is practically run by bean-counters and Wall Street now.

It takes someone with finances or clout (like Spielberg) to do something they want to (and alas, Spielberg's War of the Worlds fell far short of what it could have been) so I don't hold out much hope. Now if I want to see a good flick I spend more of my movie & popcorn money on indie and foreign cinema, some people are still creating and I should reward them with my dollar votes rather than the garbage recyclers Hollywood have become.

Yes television (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753093)

In a way I hope they make the shift to television. Superhero movies are great and all, but there are far too many of them. Clear the screens for some new material.

Re:Yes television (1)

dualboot (125004) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753281)

Heroes was fun during the first season..

I like to think of Walter White as TV's version of a super hero/conflicted protagonist.

Re:Yes television (1)

residieu (577863) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753391)

Yes! New material! This Casablanca movie was popular, no one's made a remake of that. That will be new!

My money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753101)

...is on another reboot.
God forbid they come up with new material.

Re:My money... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753195)

...is on another reboot.

God forbid they come up with new material.

Or super(hotchick)heroes : batgirl, supergirl, irongirl, thorgirl, ...

Hulkgirl might not be in the works.

Re:My money... (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753315)

Or super(hotchick)heroes : batgirl, supergirl, irongirl, thorgirl, ...

Hulkgirl might not be in the works.

That'd be because Shehulk is already an established character.

Re:My money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753363)

Shehulk: Crushing puny dicks in her vicelike grip!

Maybe they should consider diving into the annals of porn.

Re:My money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753763)

This exists it's called Barbarian Queen (or Princess) and it stars the lady that was shot and killed by Phil Spector. She wasn't green tho...

Re:My money... (2)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753405)

There are enough toon heroines to choose from.

Modesty Blaise, for example. Or Betty Boop. Or Powerpuff girls.

But I'd rather want an antihero movie.
With Cheech & Chong going animated, how about turning it around and make Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers with fleshies?

Call me a novel addict... (-1, Troll)

nani popoki (594111) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753121)

...but I don't think that the demographics work for a TV adaptation. If you are into comic books, I doubt you want a "richer and more complex story telling experience".

Re:Call me a novel addict... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753549)

If you are into comic books, I doubt you want a "richer and more complex story telling experience".

Well, "comic books" have come a long way, and in cases like the original Dark Knight, it's termed more of a graphic novel.

Quite frankly, if Hollywood had a better story telling experience, they wouldn't be turning to heavily to these sources.

Some of these have story lines that go back decades, and which cover a lot more interesting things than what most screen writers seem to be able to do on their own.

Let's face it, starting with the first X-Men movie, these have been making huge amounts of money for the studios.

I would agree that a TV adaptation isn't as likely to garner the audience it would need. But to say that the original comics don't have rich and complex story telling is a little unfair.

Re:Call me a novel addict... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753589)

You really have no clue what people who read comic books are like do you?

Re:Call me a novel addict... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753631)

And marketing to people that can't read well so they buy cartoon books instead of real books just doesn't sound like it could be very profitable. That's why movies make so much more money. They're aimed at a broad segment of society rather than just the kids that have trouble reading.

Re:Call me a novel addict... (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753643)

>>> If you are into comic books, I doubt you want a "richer and more complex story telling experience".

Apparently you've never read the comic Walking Dead. Or Buffy Season 8. Or Firefly which picked-up where the TV show abruptly ended.

No mention of TV? (4, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753149)

Interesting that the article suggests movies possibly superseding the original comics, but doesn't even mention TV series based around these characters, despite the popular and critical success of many such series. Batman: The Animated Series almost single-handedly pulled animation out of its 1980s kiddie ghetto.

Re:No mention of TV? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753261)

Agreed, and I agree with the conclusion of the summery that "television may be the ideal medium for comic book adaptations", as B:TAS is probably the best adaptation of Batman in any medium outside of the comics. Further, I'd say that it was better than many periods of the Batman comics.

I guess it all comes down to who is in charge and how faithful they want to stay to the source material and create stories from there.

Re:No mention of TV? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753597)

It was the definitive Batman; it took the best of everything Batman had been and set the tone for what Batman should be.

Tragedy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753153)

The article concludes with an interesting suggestion that television may be the ideal medium for comic book adaptations, as it may permit a richer and more complex story telling experience than a two-hour movie."

Wolverine.

reboots (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753167)

I'm sick of reboots and remakes. Make something new ffs. If they want to make reboot please take shitty movies and stop using babies in diapers that think they are good in spiderman movies... this is getting ridiculous.

Re:reboots (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753721)

Babies in diapers???
It does seem odd that these superhero movies all have their origination in the 1920s, 30s, or 40s. Was that generation the only one with the ability to create something new?

They're played out IMO (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753169)

The patterns are well established and well adhered to. Plus, I'm so tired of listening to "journalists" hyping the latest $200M snoozer. Many of them are great cable entertainment, but not much coming out is worthy of a theater ticket.

Re:They're played out IMO (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753323)

Agreed. At home the floors aren't sticky, you don't have to rub shoulders with a stranger, and you can have beer.

Re:They're played out IMO (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753635)

Agreed. At home the floors aren't sticky, you don't have to rub shoulders with a stranger, and you can have beer.

speak for yourself.

giggity.

Re:They're played out IMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753653)

The Landmark theater down the street from me has a bar in it, you can have beer/drinks in the theaters. And best of all, the theaters themselves are below ground where no cellphone signals reach.

Re:They're played out IMO (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753837)

You still can't pause the movie to go to the bathroom. And the drinks are damned expensive.

Re:They're played out IMO (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753715)

And, if you drink too much beer (or coke, coffee, or whatever), you can hit the pause button while you pee. At the theaters, it seems I always have to pee during the best part of the movie.

have to get back to you on that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753191)

Seems like Mr Holmes is going to be tied up for a little while. So any sequel will have to be delayed a couple of years.

DC/Warner Bros Should Go Dark (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753199)

And I don't mean stop making movies, I mean they should turn to their dirtier and darker titles like Preacher [wikipedia.org], Fables [wikipedia.org] or Scalped [wikipedia.org]. I guess those center around a more anti-hero or "regular" hero but if done right they could be a great movie franchise. Personally I'm sick of superhero movies and though they have been lucrative I hope that we get a little break here before it gets ridiculously diluted. In the movie industry too much of a good thing can go bad real fast.

Re:DC/Warner Bros Should Go Dark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753477)

Adaptations of those non-super titles would be okay, but if we're going to continue with superhero movies, I want to see them come back around to, you know, HEROES. Characters we can root for and wish were real. Enough with the dark and gritty crap. It seemed like a good idea when they put the X-Men in gray, but it's SOOO tired now. The Marvel movies are getting it right.

"richer and more complex?" (0)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753205)

All I want is an NC-17 rated version of X Men. Can you imagine the size of her ...

mmmmmmmmm...

I ain't all that worried about plot...

Bleach live action 2014 (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753217)

Please don't suck, please don't suck, please don't suck...

Re:Bleach live action 2014 (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753443)

I saw a trailer for live action Rurouni Kenshin. Not sure if it was a series or a movie. It looked really good.

Every crap character gets optioned. (1)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753225)

After all, that bat dude made money, so can "Starfox" from the Avengers.

The Incredibles 2! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753243)

Pixar's The Incredibles was everything I could have possibly wanted from a super hero movie. How about a sequel to that?

Re:The Incredibles 2! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753559)

A sequel will have to wait until Frozone can find where his wife put his super suit.

Re:The Incredibles 2! (1)

Life2Death (801594) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753609)

Um, in case you were living under a rock, its due out next year (2013 in case you needed that too)

Re:The Incredibles 2! (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753613)

You're not alone in wanting to see a new Incredibles. I'd love to see Pixar use it's new corporate ties to Marvel to have a few cameos by some 60's Marvel favorites. The Incredibles meet an early Fantastic Four, or a Ditko style Spidey, or Namor the Submariner, or a Grey Hulk...

Yeah, I'd see that movie.

Screw comics.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753245)

Bionic man movie FTW!!!

Re:Screw comics.... (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753351)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. With the Bionic Woman! Will they hurt each other in the sack? Tune in next week to find out. Or will Oscar walk in on them and join in?

It could happen... On HBO.

2 cent$ superheros (1)

sublime_stephy (2692053) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753259)

Im just going to rattle off a few names, see if any of them get picked up by Disney or DC Comics...WarnerBros? Anyone? JugHead Jones, Lois Lane, Duck Tales, Ninja Turtles!! (would really like to see a new movie with them!) DangerMouse, Team America, Richie Rich, Cyclops, Archie + Veronica Lodge +Betty Cooper ... Thats all I got for now.... However, I honestly think main stream Cinema is due for a not-so-stereotypical/ just kickass minority Hero (BlackDynamite does not count..)

Re:2 cent$ superheros (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753759)

Ninja Turtles coming in 2014.

Akira reboot? (2)

madhatter256 (443326) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753269)

Wasn't Leonardo Dicaprio spear heading production of a live action Akira?

That would be so cool if it was made the right way.

Re:Akira reboot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753519)

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... No!!!

Its bad enough the DVD version of Akira has different voices compared to the VHS version..

A "real" Akira movie would fail as nobody except manga people know what Akira is.

Wonderwoman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753277)

How about a Wonder Woman movie

WB told Joss Weadon "no." (2)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753775)

He had a script and a star (Cobie Smulders) and tried to get a WW film made.

WB wouldn't greenlight his project so Joss went and made $1.5B for Marvel and Disney.

I wonder what kind of career wreckage the WB people ran into for that decision.

Animation (3, Insightful)

residieu (577863) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753287)

Young Justice and The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes have both been excellent examples of comics on television and show how you can have longer-running plot arcs without the difficulty of extending series past 3 movies. You can also have the comic book trope of a villain being beaten and coming back next season that you never get a chance to do with movies.

I predict... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753301)

...that all new superhero movies for the next few years will be tame and mushy, non-provocative, non-political. It's a liability issue [tmz.com]. (See point 3 in the lawsuit.)

Re:I predict... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753517)

As they should be. They're superheroes. "Non-political"? Fucking A.

Re:I predict... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753593)

And dead at the box office. Fucking A.

Re:I predict... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753737)

You mean box office bombs like Avengers and Iron Man?

Disney's Answer (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753307)

Disney's already working on the John Carter sequel - CowboyNeal of Uranus

The change of pace (2)

Applekid (993327) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753389)

The next new thing I think is going to be MMO inspired movies. Blizzard, for example, is in a great position with World of Warcraft, they have tons of content already written, and I'm sure fans would pay gobs of cash to see an epic character's take on a world they already know, and with appropriate special effects and drama only approximated by the capabilities of the game. The difference between that and a comic book movie, where the source material has also been previously written in a world people are already familiar with, is minimal. They just might be video game movies that don't immediately suck, so long as they stay reasonably true to the source material, which is why many comic book movies do well. They differ just enough to allow the production crew to imprint their take on it, and they're familiar enough to ring home with audiences.

If you think it's ridiculous, consider going back in time and telling yourself 20 years ago that the movies would be absolutely dominated by remakes and reboots and comic book movies, and imagine your double's response.

Re:The change of pace (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753697)

It's impossible to make a good movie from a video game.

Re:The change of pace (5, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753805)

It's impossible to make a good movie from a video game.

The studios aren't interested in good; they're interested in how many people will pay to see it.

the TICK! (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753421)

It is about damn time we had the Tick on the big screen. and they can still get the actor that did an amazing job with it.

We want the Tick!

SPOOOOOOOOOOOOON!

The circle of life (2)

imbusy (1002705) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753473)

The next step is robots, then zombies, then vampires and we're back to superheroes again.

Re:The circle of life (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753601)

Hey, you forgot aliens. Humanoid aliens, acid-blood aliens, hunter aliens, cute aliens, blue aliens. You can't simply leave out aliens. And cowboys...they'll throw some cowboy movies in there two. If you're lucky you'll get cowboys in space (Serenity), if not, you'll get aliens in a western (Cowboys vs...well, you get the picture).

Female Superheroes (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753511)

I think they should do a movie featuring a female superhero like Wonder Woman, where the female is main star, not like CatWoman or one of the female X-Men. There's probably some choices better than Wonder Woman, but I don't follow comics that much. Guys would go watch it to see a woman in a skimpy costume, and lots of women would go see it as well. I think it could work.

Re:Female Superheroes (1)

ericdano (113424) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753547)

Well, there was a Wonder Woman TV show in the works, with a more "up to date" version of the character. They filmed the pilot, but no one picked it up.......so.....

Really, really? (2)

Life2Death (801594) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753515)

Can they stop re-making movies already. Everything in theaters this year other than two or three movies are all remakes. Why not take some other short story and mold it into the next Bladerunner or something?!?!

TV Series! (Get good writers) (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753537)

I'm in favor of the idea of an ongoing TV series. Heavy super-powers may drain budgets, but I think something like Batman could be done in a way that would make an excellent TV series, especially if it could get a budget approaching what Game of Thrones has. Ultimately, these characters and storylines were developed for an episodic medium, and I think you could get even better results putting them into another episodic medium rather than making a couple of big movies.

Of course, budget is only have the problem. You also need talented writers who can deal with the cultural relevance of some of these characters. I think getting good writers might be the most difficult part. I would be fine with some more high-quality animated work if they could get good writers.

Gotham Central (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753623)

I would kill for a Gotham Central TV series. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotham_Central

Not quite superhero but... (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753541)

I'd love to see a Witchblade or The Darkness in live action + CGI form. The tech is obviously mature enough for it now. Get the people that worked on the design for the Alien/s/Predator movies props to make it look semi-realistic. Probably not iconic/popular enough for the mass audiences though. (possibly too dark for some as well.)

How about Dr. Strange for Marvel and Lobo for DC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40753553)

There are still some "universes" that are still untapped as of yet. There is a whole "mystical and occult" faction that takes place in the Dr. Strange comics. Lobo is D.C.'s answer to Wolverine and Punisher and is that classic "anti-hero" character and he operates on an entirely different scale on par with super-galactic entities of power that dwarfs regular superheroes like Batman and Wonder-Woman etc.. Plus that bastich is fraggin hilarious.

TV doesn't have the budget to do superheroes well. (2)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753569)

The problem with making comic book stories on television is that you don't have the budget. Special effects cost money, and any truly 'super' hero is going to need special effects to wow the audience.

Without the multi-million dollar budget you get in movies, there are few superhero stories you can make well. Maybe something with minor SFX like Arrow (the Green Arrow TV show coming out in the fall), but nothing with real powers and real sensawunder. At best you'll just make lame soap operas like Smallville that occasionally hint at super powers being used in the background.

Wasn't there a time when... (4, Insightful)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753575)

I have this vague distant memory of when comics were celebrated for bursting with imagination and exploring all sorts of important social issues (racism, sexism, various other isms). With complex twisting plots

While movies, by their nature, can't get that intricate, studios seem to think that people want nothing more than brainless Bay-esque explosion festivals. Then once in a while they accidentally spit out something like Avengers (Can't comment on batman since I haven't seen it yet) where they have something resembling a plot and depth of characters. Yet can't bring themselves to accept that people are tired of the same old Hollywood cliches and want something genuinely new and interesting. Something that tugs on your emotions and somehow pulls you in so deeply that you actually care about the characters as if they were actual living beings.

Here's a hint hollywood... I saw Avengers SOLELY because it was written and directed by Joss Whedon. It is the first movie I have seen in theatre in years, and it's the first movie I have EVER seen where I can honestly say that I would happily fork over money to watch it in theatre again. Why? Because despite Avengers being another comic regurgitation, he still managed to do the above.

Can we have that back again? Please?

Proto Justice League (2)

ericdano (113424) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753665)

I think they really missed a chance to turn Smallville TV show into a movie enterprise. They had most of the characters assembled, and could have done a proto justice league type movie.......

I'm not really expecting the Superman movie coming out to do anything. In fact, it could be a huge flop......and I don't see anyone doing a Justice League movie anytime soon either. You really need to do like what they did BEFORE the Avengers. You need to have a movie or two to give the origins of some of the main characters. So, say a superman movie......a flash movie......a green arrow movie.......

Or just spin off Smallville's version of them and put them on the big screen.....it's not like the cast of that show is really doing a lot right now.......

Why would they try something new? (2)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753667)

>> what's next for superhero movies?

Reboot the same lame Batman/Superman/Spiderman/Xmen/Hulk/whatever story again, this time after only two years, not five, and this time, it will be "darker than last time."

Why not? People seem to fall for this every time.

long-term story development: comic books rule (2)

lkcl (517947) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753675)

the original comics - the successful ones - have a rich history behind them, and in many cases the nature of what they convey happens to translate well into a good action film, aided already as they are by a visual medium.

with such a rich history behind the development of the stories and the characters, it is incredibly hard for any film to screw that up: they would actually need to make quite an effort to destroy the film, by cutting out too much, deviating from the original too much, or trying to introduce their own "creative" storyline elements that are out of tune with the characters.

no - the problem that the original article is referring to is, i believe, this: that it took a *hell of a long time* for the comic books to come up with the successful and compelling material that was portrayed in them, and thus it was a relatively easy (if somewhat expensive) task to convert that material into a film. for that success to be *repeated* it would therefore make sense for the comic books to continue further story development, which may take at least one maybe two decades to complete... but film enthusiasts don't want to wait that long. herein lies the dilemma...

Grendel (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | about a year and a half ago | (#40753769)

Hollywood seems to love re-boots, so why doesn't someone adapt Grendel?

Every movie would be a re-boot. If it was on TV, every season could be a re-boot.

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"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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