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Marvel Studios to Produce Its Own Movies

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-would-make-a-great-tony-stark dept.

Movies 151

Dekortage writes "According to the New York Times, Marvel Studios will be producing its own superhero movies instead of licensing the superheros to other Hollywood studios. It's all about the money: despite the enormous popularity of Sony Pictures' Spiderman 1 and 2, the licensing deal only netted Marvel $62 million. The article includes some tips about upcoming works: Edward Norton as Bruce Banner in a new Incredible Hulk, and Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man."

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!$#@%asdfasdf@#%^$#!@%@#$^ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19552191)

!@#%@#%^#asdfasdf$#!$%$!@#$%

MOD THE TROLL DOWN!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19552489)

MOD THE TROLL DOWN!!!

Re:MOD THE TROLL DOWN!!! (0)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19555097)

TROD THE MOLE DOWN!!!

Snakes in the garden (4, Insightful)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552193)

How about Marvel do what's right for a change and pay the creators their fair dues [redherring.com] .

Stan Lee Media sued Marvel Entertainment for $5 billion Thursday, claiming it co-owns Marvel's superhero characters, including Spider-Man, X-Men, and the Incredible Hulk.

The company is no longer owned by Stan Lee, the comic book legend who more recently hosted the TV series Who Wants to Be a Superhero? on the Sci-Fi Channel, which was produced by his latest company, Pow Entertainment.

In the suit, filed in the Southern District of New York, Stan Lee Media seeks to assert rights to the revenue generated by its superheroes that Marvel Entertainment is profiting from.


For Marvel to come out swinging at Hollywood on money rights is the pot calling the kettle black

Re:Snakes in the garden (5, Informative)

doubleofive (982704) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552399)

The article you link to doesn't exactly prove your point. Stan Lee Media isn't owned by Stan Lee, they're using a loophole in an already existing contract to try to make money off of The Man's work.

A Marvel spokesperson declined to comment but later issued a statement from Mr. Lee: "I do not support this action and believe the suit to be baseless." Mr. Lee currently serves as publisher emeritus of Marvel Comics. He and Pow Entertainment could not immediately be reached for comment. In January, he filed suit against Mr. Nesfield and two of his associates alleging they illegally took over his former company and infringed on his trademarks and copyrights.

Re:Snakes in the garden (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553769)

Mr. Lee currently serves as publisher emeritus of Marvel Comics.

Huh? Emeritus means retired. You can be a publisher emeritus, but "serving" as a publisher emeritus is like a serving ex-president.

Re:Snakes in the garden (5, Insightful)

rsanta74 (1003253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552513)

> How about Marvel do what's right for a change and pay the creators their fair dues.

How about NOT. Stan Lee was under the employ of Timely, now known as Marvel. Working for someone else is not like working for yourself. When you work for yourself, intellectual property rights and copyrights belong to you. That's the essence of creator owned properties. When you work for somebody else, work product becomes the property of your employer. It's the difference between writing homebrew game at home and designing one for EA. If you're on the clock it doesn't belong to you.

Present day Marvel doesn't have this trouble so much since they make a clear distinction between company owned and creator owned. In fact, there's even a label for Marvel published, creator owned works.

Just look back at your old Marvel comics. Go ahead. I'll still be here. ... ... ... ... Done? Good. Notice that there's a nice little copyright notice in the opening pages? Notice how it doesn't say anything about it being copyrighted to Stan Lee, but to Marvel instead? That's what I figured. Marvel has and continues to hold the rights to these properties, since day one.

This is an entirely different issue than the Superman or Captain America cases, since those cases refer to works originating decades earlier. I'm not going to check, but I wouldn't be surprised if the copyright laws saw some revisions between the 1940s and 1960s.

This is a case of Stan Lee's lawyers putting up the stink instead of him. Stan Lee was an EMPLOYEE. Show the man respect for the works he created, but aknowledge that he created them on company time.

Re:Snakes in the garden (2, Interesting)

Verszou (790017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19554513)

It's actually not the lawyers of Stan Lee, but the lawyers of his former business partners who are trying to make money out of it. Stan Lee's company is called POW!, while Stan Lee media is not owned by him. If you read his autobiography "Excelsior!" (and I'd recommend it to any fans of Marvel comics) he does not claim at any point to own any of the characters he created, which would also be unfair since part of the creation of many classic Marvel characters was done working with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko and others (another issue that Stan Lee also adresses in his biography).

However there is some valid point to the argument for paying the creators fairly, if not legally then morally. For instance the creator of X-Men Dave Cockrum died recently while having a lot of problems paying his medical bills. Legally he did not own any of his creations and he was unfortunate enough to work at Marvel before they changed their policy. As I understand it was after this that The Hero Initiative was set up (http://www.heroinitiative.org/). Both Stan Lee and current editor-in-chief Joe Quesada contributed their time to making a DVD to raise money for the cause.

I'm in no way an expert on US copyright laws, but I would suspect that if Marvel felt obliged to pay any one creator who'd fallen on hard times for his works they might open themselves up to a number of lawsuits, so it makes business sense for them to stick to the original agreements with the creators.

Marvel, DC... do they have a printer's RIAA? (2, Interesting)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#19554549)

Notice that there's a nice little copyright notice in the opening pages? Notice how it doesn't say anything about it being copyrighted to Stan Lee, but to Marvel instead? That's what I figured. Marvel has and continues to hold the rights to these properties, since day one.
Oh DO shut the fuck up. [popcultureaddict.com]

Okay. So how did they lose the rights to Superman in the first place?

Neal: Well they just signed a piece of paper.

Sam: That's all it took? Well why would DC Comics screw them out of that?

Neal: Well DC didn't screw them. There was no entity such as DC Comics at the time. There was an accountant who was one of three partners who ran a printing company who was printing comic books as a way to keep their presses moving and that was all they were really interested in doing. Of course it became a pain in the ass and they had to pay attention to it and they did pay attention to it and Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who had been working for them, brought into them this comic idea that they had been trying to sell to the syndicated strips for several years and they thought that they were never going to sell it, so why not sell it to the publisher that was publishing their detective stories and their cowboy stories? And so the publisher gave them a piece of paper to sign and said, "We'll buy it, but everything we publish, we own so you have to sign this piece of paper. I don't think it was even a fully typed out piece of paper. I think it was about three quarters of a page and they signed away their rights just like that.

Sam: Now were you able to help better their quality of life? Did they get enough money?

Neal: They got enough money to live like human beings. Well it doesn't sound like a lot these days but they got $25,000 a year. But it escalated and it was up from nothing. But it was more than that. They got their names back on the strip and they also got setted. What you call "setted" is when somebody goes, "Oh, the creators of Superman are here tonight during this benefit performance of the Superman movie. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Jerry and Joe will you take a bow?" And they were treated well, and treated well at conventions because they finally came out of their hole. They had their way paid. They earned what was at that time a living wage so they could fly places and do things. Joe got married for the first time in his life. Jerry got to live a reasonable life. He put his daughter through school. And their income went up. They had medical insurance and they had lots of benefits you have at a bigger corporation. For the first time in their lives they lived a reasonable life.

Sam: So they did okay.

Neal: They did okay at the end of their lives. At the end! At the end after they had been fucked. I don't like to use the word 'fuck' so much but when it comes to this story the word just comes to my mouth.

Re:Marvel, DC... do they have a printer's RIAA? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#19555313)

Wait.. doesn't DC stand for "Detective Comics"? Are you saying they named their company, Detective Comics Comics?

Re:Snakes in the garden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19554879)

Silly pokemon, everybody knows you find snakes on planes, not in the garden.

This has happened before (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19552197)

And we all know how well that worked with Capcom and the Street Fighter II movie.

Re:This has happened before (2, Informative)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552581)

I want War machine and Iron man with the proton canon versus 100000 sentinels. I'll pay good money to see it.

Actors? (2, Funny)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552207)

Edward Norton as Bruce Banner sounds kinda cool actually...but RDJ as Iron Man, I don't think Iron Man will be portrayed well hung over.

Re:Actors? (1)

joeldg (518249) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552273)

On RDJ
just think: "less than zero"
and then the long list of stints in rehab and on the covers of rags in grocery stores in cuffs..
yea, think he might do okay...

Re:Actors? (5, Informative)

msuzio (3104) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552295)

On the contrary, Tony Stark has been portrayed as a recovering alcoholic in the comics for decades now. If anything, RDJ wins extra points for knowing how to get in touch with the character ;-)

Re:Actors? (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552377)

touché, my friend, touché

Re:Actors? (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553245)

In interviews (I read this on AICN at one point), the director has said that RDJ was chosen specifically for this reason. There's some strong alcoholism-related character development in the movie, and Downy was chosen because he could give an authentic portrayal of the problems that Stark faces on the more realistic front, grounding the fantastic side of the movie.

Re:Actors? (3, Funny)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553663)

It was the never-ending alcoholism story that drove me to quit Iron man forever.
The idea of my "hero" crawling around puking and suffering DT's just didn't float my boat.

Re:Actors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19553543)

From Crack Head to Shell Head......

Re:Actors? (2, Insightful)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552343)

Isn't Iron Man (Tony Stark) hung over anyway?
RDJ seems fitting.

Re:Actors? (0)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553653)

Isn't Iron Man (Tony Stark) hung over anyway?

Until the reduction surgery, I was considered over hung.

Re:Actors? (1)

Zephyros (966835) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552357)

Are you kidding? Who better than a man with a substance-abuse problem to play Tony Stark?

Re:Actors? (2, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552363)

Edward Norton as Bruce Banner sounds kinda cool actually...but RDJ as Iron Man, I don't think Iron Man will be portrayed well hung over.
You don't know Iron Man very well, then.

Re:Actors? (4, Funny)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552407)

RDJ is a very good actor. I'm sure he can use those method acting skills to convincingly portray a man who has problems getting over a substance abuse problem.

---
And all I'm trying to say, is: Pearl Harbor sucked and I miss you. / I need you like Ben Affleck needs acting school, He was terrible in that film. / I need you like Cuba Gooding needed a bigger part, He's way better than Ben Affleck.

Re:Actors? (1)

achilles777033 (1090811) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552659)

Actually, there was a time when Tony Stark spent quite a bit of time looking sickly, considering the heart condition. Drunk might simulate that nicely.

Re:Actors? (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552759)

Actually, I think they did that on purpose. Tony Stark became an alcoholic in issue 100+something of the original series. And he's always supposed to have been a playboy.

Re:Actors? (0, Offtopic)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552835)

"Edward Norton [clown-ministry.com] as Bruce Banner"

.. and how about Ralph Cramden as "The Thing?"

Re:Actors? (2, Funny)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553023)

Edward Norton as Bruce Banner sounds kinda cool actually...but RDJ as Iron Man, I don't think Iron Man will be portrayed well hung over.

On the other hand, if they got Rocco Siffredi for Iron Man, at least he would be portrayed well hung ...

Re:Actors? (1)

monopole (44023) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553927)

Johnny Depp as Iron Man!! Set during the Stark Drunk as a skunk period!

Over-actors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19554795)

Edward Norton: cum laude graduate of the Tom Cruise matchbook cover school of tasteless overacting. It sounds like Marvel is already getting off to a great start.

oh great... (3, Insightful)

joeldg (518249) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552215)

having flashbacks of "wing commander" .. which is the result of what happens when a "game designer" decides to get into the business of making movies about his own stuff..

though, I guess that Marvel has enough money to make it 'look' exciting at any rate.

Still think they should leave the movie making to the pro's...

Re:oh great... (3, Interesting)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552543)

I think this could work quite well if, (and that may be a big IF), Marvel sticks to its strengths and brings in Hollywood talent to do the rest.

For example, if they have the artists and writers for the comic books create the storyboards for the movie, and have a good director actually use that as a base for the actual movie, they could create something pretty good.

The comic writers don't understand the difficulties of working with different camera angles or special effects, but the directors do. Of course, the directors probably don't understand the characters and would have a hard time getting the "comic book feel" right. Together, they could do both, which would make one hell of a movie. Maybe an iterative approach to the movie/story like they do at Pixar would work. Marvel puts together some storyboards, the directors go over them talking about what can be done, and what doesn't work technically and cinematically, and Marvel updates things. Repeat until both sides are happy. Schedule a blockbuster release date and collect your money.

Re:oh great... (4, Insightful)

Snowgen (586732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553659)

I think this could work quite well if, (and that may be a big IF), Marvel sticks to its strengths and brings in Hollywood talent to do the rest.

There's a mighty thin line between "Hollywood" and "Marvel". Marvel's current comic writers include J. Michael Straczynski [wikipedia.org] of Babylon 5 fame and Josh Whedon [wikipedia.org] of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly/Serenity fame. I think both of these "comic writers" know a thing or two about writing and producing for the screen.

Re:oh great... (1)

Tol Dantom (1114605) | more than 7 years ago | (#19555035)

Thank you for pointing out that Straczynski has been sidelining as a comic book writer. This gives me high hopes. Since Marvel will eventually turn every property it owns into a cash in movie, I think there is a big chance that Babylon 5 will be revitalized with big money in about 5-10 years when they eventually exploit the comic based on the show based on the movie. And since Hollywood doesnt really care about the creator's intentions and we don't have to worry about some of the original cast being dead. Just imagine! Brad Pitt as Garibaldy double fisting PPGs as he slides down a rail giving cover fire for Orlando Bloom as the time traveling Commander Sinclair who is in a fight to the death with Denzel Washington as Commander Sheraton for some reason. Brilliant!

Re:oh great... (1)

BForrester (946915) | more than 7 years ago | (#19555317)

That's "Joss Whedon".

Agreed though. The above named have more than proven themselves capable of some great writing. I just hope that Marvel's new releases allow their talents to show.

Re:oh great... (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552615)

Hey! I Liked Wing Commander!

-Rick

Re:oh great... (1)

joeldg (518249) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552913)

uhhh... really?
(am wondering if this is a joke) ..
you should check out the basically unanimous reviews
see: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/wing_commander/ [rottentomatoes.com]
people really strained to find good things to say...

Re:oh great... (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553013)

And when "everyone else" starts jumping off bridges, I'll be first in line. Until then, I'm going to have my own opinion.

-Rick

Re:oh great... (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553521)

I enjoyed it, too. It wasn't an awesome movie by any stretch, but it got the job done: it entertained me.

Re:oh great... (2, Funny)

Anspen (673098) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553649)

Hmm. I never got over the fact that the game had a better cast than the movie.

Re:oh great... (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553347)

I liked it too. I think everyone else didn't because they wanted it to have the same actors as the game.

Re:oh great... (1)

Digital Pizza (855175) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553819)

I also liked it; maybe because I never even played the game and saw it as just an entertaining Sci-Fi flick.

Why take on the risk? (4, Insightful)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552299)

Why not just make better licensing deals?

Re:Why take on the risk? (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552447)

It's becoming apparent that there's a lot of money to be made off selling super hero movies when they are done right. The problem is, is that it's not proven as to whether or not Marvel can do it right. What they did was license the characters to the movie studio and got a $62 Million cheque. That's a pretty good sum of money for signing a piece of paper for the license rights, and not actually having to do any work. Making a good movie is not all that easy. Comics don't always lend themselves to a easy movie script.

Re:Why take on the risk? (3, Insightful)

*weasel (174362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552605)

Because other quality producers won't work for the better licensing terms.

And when you get down to only unproven or shakey characters willing to sign on to your blockbuster, it's a far riskier proposition -- particularly when crap movies have the very real ability to damage your franchise.
So why not just pick up a fairly competent producer or two and make your own studio?

Marvel wanted a better deal and they did just about the only thing they could to get it.

Re:Why take on the risk? (1)

The_REAL_DZA (731082) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552635)

They obviously don't believe they have the required business acumen to negotiate better licensing deals (and the evidence is there to prove them right; several licensing deals on which they pretty much gave away the cow AND the milk...) On the other hand, they've never failed at running an entire movie production studio before, so what do they have to lose?

Re:Why take on the risk? (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552725)

What risk?
1. media conglomerate buys script/concept for pennies.
2. The typical studio gets others to foot the production bill. (financing)
3. The studio outsources the actual movie production. (producer)
4. Go/no-go decision is the media conglomerates alone.
5. Media conglomerate promotes/distributes movie and the charges are paid by the film owners.

And what happens if the studio doesn't like the final package? Financers are SOL.

No one really cares about the monopoly on media distribution though, so whatever.

Because of Hollywood Accounting (5, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552895)

Basically because of Hollywood Accounting [wikipedia.org] .

In a nutshell, they calculate a shitload of costs (and often actually give that money to their daughter companies and such) as percentages of the income. E.g., marketting for the movie might be calculated as, say, 25% of the income, so even if your film sells a billion copies, that expense just increases accordingly. Often to the point where the movie _will_ look like it made them a loss, even if it became the greatest success of all time and sold a billion copies.

And since there is no time when you can say "ok, it's over", you can't even really call the bluff. There is no date when you can say "ok, it's over, let's divide the loot." There's always the DVD version, the Blue Ray version, the remastered edition, the "han shot third" edition, etc, so they can just say they earmarked those funds for marketting those. So, see, it's still not a profit, it's money your movie cost them.

It's not a joke, such movies as Forrest Gump or the LOTR movies, according to Hollywood, actually made a loss. Mind-boggling as that sounds.

_Why_ they do it, is so they can shaft you on royalties. Any contract where they promise you x% of the profit, is almost guaranteed to be x% of zero, since they'll massage it into looking like it made a loss.

Frankly, Marvel already made a damn good deal if they made anything at all.

Which also tells you why they'd rather take the risks. Because it beats getting shafted. Someone probably woke up to the reality that they got shafted again, and trying to get a better contract is like tilting at the windmills. So they're trying to avoid Hollywood, if they can.

Wouldn't even be the only one. The author of Forrest Gump, IIRC, also refused to sell them the rights to the sequel, after being shafted on the first (and thus only) movie. Since they said the first one made them a loss, he said something like that he can't in good conscience let any more money be wasted on a failure.

Marvel, on the other hand, obviously doesn't want to just give up on movies completely, like that guy did. So they're trying to do it themselves.

Re:Because of Hollywood Accounting (2, Insightful)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 7 years ago | (#19554171)

Having read "Gump and Co.", I'd say we didn't miss much. I thought it was clearly an attempt to cash in on the success of the movie. And later, having read "Forrest Gump", I gained a full understanding of why "Gump and Co." was so bad. It was because the scriptwriters for "Forrest Gump" took a mediocre book about an interesting idea for a character, and turned it into an incredibly good movie, but nobody took "Gump and Co." and turned it into something tolerable.

"Forrest Gump" is on my short list of book-movie translations where movie>book. The other two on my list are Last of the Mohicans and Fight Club. The difference being that the other books on the list were actually good.

Re:Why take on the risk? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552905)

Agreed, seems more logical not negotiate for a few points of the gross rather than risk the substantial up front cost of making the movie themselves. If a couple of movies tank Marvel will be in serious diffs. Also they are going to have to hire some very creative accountants. The movie studios are notorious for their bookkeeping practices, which contributes substantially to their profits.

Well of course (3, Funny)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552311)

I mean certified accounting shows both spider man I & II barely broke even. /wag

Re:Well of course (3, Informative)

delt0r (999393) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552699)

Yea, first theres all the Sony Sound Stuido(TM) Fees, followed by the high cost of Sony Cameras and of course the editiong and mastering with the Sony Edtition Station Pro(TM). There was the hugh cost of Marketing from Sony Marketing and then there was all these licence fees for Blu-Ray mastering and DVD mastering (A Sony subsidary company). We havn't even talked about the cost of film (Sony Colour Tech) or film duplication (Sony Film Distrabution) and don't get me started on the Sony Legal deparment overheads or the realvent fees to MPAA/RIAA. And we don't even have a soundtrack yet.

People don't understand the high cost of movie production and distrabution.

Re:Well of course (1, Informative)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553479)

Yes, we all know that shady accounting is a Sony invention. These techniques were never practiced at MGM, Universal, Fox, Paramount, RKO or Warner Brothers.

Sony rants are popular with the Slashdot crowd, but zero-profit movies have been the practice in Hollywood for a long, long time.

Re:Well of course (1)

delt0r (999393) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553897)

I have nothing agaist sony and find some sony products good value for money compared to the competion. It was just the example at hand. Although I did forget the DVD/BluRay rootkit devlopment overheads. ;)

You startled me for a second there (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552317)

I thought there was some new news from Marvel.
Like me and my comix geek buddies we were saying a few weeks ago: that Ironman suit looks pretty good!

The general public ... (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552345)

have only heard of about half a dozen Marvel/DC heroes at most. Saturating the markey with a load of also rans aint going to do them much good. Batman Superman Spiderman Hulk X-Men Howard the Duck How many peole knew that Ghost Rider was a comic book adaption instead of a crap Nicholas Cage film?

Re:The general public ... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552555)

Please, please, please, let's not forget Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. [wikipedia.org] , starring David Hasselhoff as Nick Fury. Possibly the worst and most unintentionally funny movie ever made.

Re:The general public ... (1)

Nick Fury (624480) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553191)

That movie was God awful and a tarnish to my fine name.

Biker Mice from Mars (0, Offtopic)

todspace (1101519) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552347)

Im not sure if they were the characters under Marvel, but I`m waiting a movie based on a cartoon series Biker Mice from Mars .

Re:Biker Mice from Mars (2, Funny)

TheMadcapZ (868196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552957)

Fuck that shit, I want a jawsome Street Shark action movie. That would be fintastic!! Gimmie some dorsal!!

Re:Biker Mice from Mars (1)

todspace (1101519) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553067)

Street Shark in bullsht :D sharks don`t chill and rock around like that! They are nice and quiet, sometimes just hungry but thats just programmed by the nature.

Re:Biker Mice from Mars (1)

TheMadcapZ (868196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19554079)

Yeah but a bunch of rats on choppers eating cheese just don't sound like a good time :-D

Could it be possible to make superhero films WORSE (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552351)

Before everyone cheers this notion, may I remind every of Marvel's *TERRIBLE* track record of creative endeavors where they "went it alone," and the resulting mess of legal entanglements that seem to follow them like the plague. It's easy to think of the Marvel movie franchise as this great thing, but before the modern incarnations of the X-men and Spiderman (produced through studio partnerships)--Marvel had a LONG and notorious history of bad films (anyone remember the 70's and 90's "Captain America" movies? The bad TV-series? The Roger Corman version of Fantastic Four?).

Marvel should stick with comic books. Making movies is a completely different endeavor--best left to the pros and not done "on the cheap" (as Marvel will likely try to do).

You are SOOOO wrong! (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552691)

...anyone remember the 70's and 90's "Captain America" movies?...

Actually, no. But imagine how much better they'll be now with Wolverine and Captain America teamup!

The Roger Corman version of Fantastic Four?

Which will be 100x BETTER when Wolverine joins the team!

Marvel should stick with comic books.

Mostly featuring Wolverine!

http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=070407 [nuklearpower.com]

Re:Could it be possible to make superhero films WO (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552783)

Marvel had a LONG and notorious history of bad films (anyone remember the 70's and 90's "Captain America" movies? The bad TV-series? The Roger Corman version of Fantastic Four?

Let's not forget David Hasselhoff's turn as Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. [wikipedia.org] [1998]

Re:Could it be possible to make superhero films WO (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552807)

Marvel had a LONG and notorious history of bad films (anyone remember the 70's and 90's "Captain America" movies? The bad TV-series? The Roger Corman version of Fantastic Four?).

I'll give you that, but at the same time, I actually preferred the totaly plotless 1989 version of The Punisher to the 2004 version.

I'll have to agree with you there. (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553691)

Plus there wasn't a lot of unnecessary dialog coming from Dolph Lundgren. What about "vigilante crime fighter" needs a plot?

Re:Could it be possible to make superhero films WO (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553057)

Wow, this looks the AWESOXR too: Dr. Strange [wikipedia.org] . Wong - cause comic books needed more homo-erotic undertones.

Re:Could it be possible to make superhero films WO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19553611)

You're 100% right, though I'd give them some chances for having now available much better and cheap technology for effects. Of course acting and plot are much more important than sfx, but if you are forced to throw lots of money in sfx probably the budget for decent actors and writers will shrink.

Re:Could it be possible to make superhero films WO (3, Informative)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19555239)

The Roger Corman version of Fantastic Four?
Oh, there's apparently a very interesting story behind that film. To quote its Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] :-

The Fantastic Four is an unreleased low-budget feature film completed in 1994. Created to secure copyright to the property, the producers never intended it for release -- although the director and other creators were not informed of this fact.
There's another article about it here [teako170.com] , alongside the usual discussion at IMDB [imdb.com] (note that you need to register to view the forums).

I'm dubious. (4, Insightful)

DwarfGoanna (447841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552355)

1) My first reaction was that this was a good thing. One of the reasons Spider-Man is roundly regarded as the best of these movies is because it stays reasonably close to the source material. I just saw the new Fantastic Four movie and was left with the impression that they didn't grok the fundamentals of the series at all (Most notably in the abso-fuckin-lutely retarded "reimagining" of Dr Doom, one of Marvel's strongest characters ever...anyway).


2) But then I realized that it was Marvel's insistence on including Venom that ruined the last Spider-Man. The first two probably came out so well because Raimi himself was a fan, and probably understood the heart of the characters better than whatever goons are currently running Marvel.


3) Then I realized just how long it's been since I bought a new Marvel Comic (decades) versus how often I read old Marvel comics (weekly).


4) Crap.

Re:I'm dubious. (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553221)

One of the reasons Spider-Man is roundly regarded as the best of these movies is because it stays reasonably close to the source material. I just saw the new Fantastic Four movie and was left with the impression that they didn't grok the fundamentals of the series at all...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but did the original Invisible woman actually have ANY personality outside her role of useless housewife stereotype? All I could see about her in the original cartoons was something like "Oh, Reed, what's going to happen to us now?" while waiting for hubby to save the day. Compared to today (a Britney), I'd say the movie did a wonderful adaptation of the role :P

But yes, I completely agree with you about Dr. Doom. Another thing I didn't quite like about Fantastic 4, is that Mr. Fantastic [imdb.com] sometimes reminded me too much of Chandler [google.com] from 'friends' (specially in the movie posters). Perhaps it has to do with the new comedy scenes in the latest movie? :)

Re:I'm dubious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19553369)

5) Profit!

Re:I'm dubious. (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553373)

I'd say it was Raimi's insistence on making a movie about Sandman, one of the sorriest characters in comics who is a good guy most of the time anyway, that was a bigger problem than including Venom. If Raimi knew anything about Spiderman then the first thing he'd realize is that half of Spidey fans consider Venom to be by far the coolest member of his rogues gallery. Raimi doesn't like Venom and blew him off as a character completely, which is 20% of the reason Spiderman 3 is a travesty. The other 80% are for another day ^_^

Anyway back on topic, I don't think the success or failure of this setup will have anything to do with whether the director is associated with Marvel or who has more input or what. Being a "fan" of a character is not at all a qualification for making a film about him, because most fans, being normal people, are morons.

Re:I'm dubious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19554761)

Yet another opnion: It's Hobgoblin. Raimi changed the alter ego of Hobgoblin to Harry Osborne. That in itself was not so bad, but the role reversal from an enemy of Spider-Man to his ally was annoying. The tag team fight at the end didn't show the cool side of Spider-Man. One of the bad guys being Sandman didn't help at all, especially when its character development was lacking.

It feels like there were too many characters in SM3. Aside from the hero, you've got Venom, Sandman and Hobgoblin. There was just not enough screen time for developing their characters.

Re:I'm dubious. (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553651)

1) My first reaction was that this was a good thing. One of the reasons Spider-Man is roundly regarded as the best of these movies is because it stays reasonably close to the source material. I just saw the new Fantastic Four movie and was left with the impression that they didn't grok the fundamentals of the series at all (Most notably in the abso-fuckin-lutely retarded "reimagining" of Dr Doom, one of Marvel's strongest characters ever...anyway).
I'll admit, they did drop the ball on Dr Doom. I don't know what the main culprit was (writing, background, actor, etc) but it just didn't seem like the uber-Doom we're all used to.

However I'd say the first movie's "creation" of Dr Doom wasn't that far fetched if you compare it to Marvel's "Ultimate" Series. His beginnings in Ultimate are quite different to the classic books, and thinly similar to the movie's.

But yeh, I think they could have done a better job. I think the problem was more in the writing, the actor did a good enough job (this time around) with what little he had.

Re:I'm dubious. (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19555135)

1) My first reaction was that this was a good thing. One of the reasons Spider-Man is roundly regarded as the best of these movies is because it stays reasonably close to the source material.

Reasonably close? The fact that Spiderman's ingenious web shooters were totally absent, and he instead shot web ... out of his wrists! elude you? That, alone, for any self-acclaimed Spiderman fan should have been enough to trounce any thought that it was pure and true to the source. Even Stan Lee commented on this part with regret. The creation of the web-material & webshooters was, acccording to Lee, one of the central themes denoting Peter Parker's scientific leanings which was a large part of the Spiderman story. Mind you, they were still good movies, but your argument 'for' the Spiderman movies being close and fantastic 4 not is tripe. Fantastic 4 #1 was just a bad movie and strayed from the source material just as much the spiderman movies.

2) But then I realized that it was Marvel's insistence on including Venom that ruined the last Spider-Man. The first two probably came out so well because Raimi himself was a fan, and probably understood the heart of the characters better than whatever goons are currently running Marvel.

The last Spiderman was just a bad movie all around. They tried doing waaaaay too much in it. Three villains in one movie? Plus covering a full romance? Plus covering one of THE epochs of the Spiderman series -- the sentient suit. And so forth.... The result was none of it was covered well and what was was sorely lacking. It was the worst of the series. IMO, they should have focused on nothing but the suit and _maybe_ the hobgoblin. At least, this time, they didn't use the stupid mask as in SM1 ... something Lee himself lamented.

3) Then I realized just how long it's been since I bought a new Marvel Comic (decades) versus how often I read old Marvel comics (weekly).

I would brush up on my marvel knowledge just a bit before posting next time....

Scarlet Witch (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19552419)

I don't really care who owes who but would be nice if they were to have Wanda the Scarlet Witch as in 1960's. Her costume like a Playboy bunny outfit, big hair, heavy makeup, long gloves, go-go boots,...

Re:Scarlet Witch (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552875)

Sounds like someone needs to buy his girlfriend a Scarlet Witch outfit....

Re:Scarlet Witch (1)

Belacgod (1103921) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553227)

Obligatory: Girlfriend? This is slashdot!

Re:Scarlet Witch (5, Funny)

jcenters (570494) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553409)

They make Scarlet Witch hand puppets?

Re:Scarlet Witch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19553755)

(1) Take a quick break; walk outside; look around.
(2) Notice how real women do not look like those drawn in the comic from the '60s.
(3) Try very hard to think about how that would work in a live-action movie.

and, lest you have a clever idea....

(4) Think how bad the CGI looked in that Hulk movie. :-)

Huge penis failure (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19552441)

In your pants. [goatse.cz]

Oh, Slashdot... (1)

flicman (177070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552463)

this is a dupe of an article here [slashdot.org] that had much more information and was more timely. I mean, that deal closed (and was in the news) in 2005. Nothing has changed since then, except the slate has gotten less certain and we've all gotten two years older.

Yay for content producers being able to make their own movies. Does that mean we'll get only good superhero movies from now on? Hell no. It means that we'll only have the producers to blame when the movie comes out bad - no more "They missed the WHOLE POINT of the origins of blah blah blah!" The image deal may have fallen through, but Marvel was still pretty sweet.

Old news? (1)

rsanta74 (1003253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552591)

Wasn't this whole thing about Marvel producing and financing its own movies announced about a year ago? Maybe a bit longer?

Marvel has even commented in recent months about happily bringing their licenses home, which would now make an Avengers movie more plausible.

I think that this "news" is only news because its a big comic convention week and comics have been gaining more mainstream attention.

A supremely stupid idea (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552629)

Marvel Studios will be producing its own superhero movies instead of licensing the superheros to other Hollywood studios. It's all about the money

Desilu in it's prime had I Love Lucy and its successors, innovative series like The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible and Star Trek to its credit. But, in the end, it was too small and too fragile to survive as an independent studio.

Disney has a 75 year back list of marketable films, plus revenue streams from cable and broadcast TV, music sales, theme parks, stage productions, publishing, product licensing, etc., etc.

Yet how many times has a string of failures like Treasure Planet brought the studio to edge of bankruptcy?

Re:A supremely stupid idea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19553309)

Disney has a 75 year back list of marketable films, plus revenue streams from cable and broadcast TV, music sales, theme parks, stage productions, publishing, product licensing, etc., etc.

Yet how many times has a string of failures like Treasure Planet brought the studio to edge of bankruptcy?
Not ever?

Disney in the '80s was on the rocks, sure, and the Disney of the '90s was racking up the animated successes at the box office, but a relative flop like Treasure Planet is something a company like Disney can easily shrug off. The modern Disney is a highly diversified company, owning properties that you probably don't even realize are Disney companies. Disney is one of the Big Guys. As much as I'd rather not give Eisner credit for anything, he really put Disney on a more secure financial footing. If Disney wanted to turn out an endless series of animated flops, it could easily do so; it's just that Disney is a business, and if you can make more profit doing something else, why not?

Now, don't confuse the Disney company with the animation studio, which has fallen on hard times. Used to be an appropriately targeted Disney animated film was more or less a sure thing; what else were you going to take your kids to go see? With the advent of CGI, traditional animation (which I still love) has had a hard time competing (though Disney's deal with Studio Ghibli worked out quite well), and certainly hasn't been resourced at Disney to the same extent it used to be, even being killed off for a few years. John Lasseter has been pushing to bring it back since the Disney-Pixar merger, but who knows if there's still a mass audience for traditional animation anymore. Pixar and its CGI offerings pretty much own the family animated market these days; Disney's biggest competition is, ironically enough, the studio it now owns.

Personally, I don't think the Disney animation studio should be doing anything CGI at all; leave that to Pixar, which has the iron-clad track record in consumers' minds. Disney should be focusing the in-house animation studio on its traditional system. Unfortunately, Eisner scrapped it (one of his most atrocious decisions, in my view), and it's going to be hard to get that legacy back.

Re:A supremely stupid idea (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19555379)

but a relative flop like Treasure Planet is something a company like Disney can easily shrug off. The modern Disney is a highly diversified company

which makes my point. Disney has resources that Marvel does not.

Re:A supremely stupid idea (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19554095)

I disagree, this is a great idea.

With the extra profits they'll make, there's slightly less incentive for them to dilute one-half part content with three parts movie like they've done for the past 5 years or so.

hYuo Fail It? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19552631)

no matTer how one HeIre but now

Only $62 million... (1)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552765)

Somehow I don't feel too sorry for Marvel -- first they profited from the comics and all their iterations, then without too much of their own effort, they get another huge payday, enough to fund their own movie production using a healthy chunk of the movie profits -- from works that were already paid for by comic book purchaser's $ years and years ago.


How many publishing companies of other more serious works would LIKE to be so lucky?

Comic Books are dying. They had to do something. (1)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 7 years ago | (#19552863)

But this wasn't it. For the last year or so Marvel has been releasing some dumb-ass DVDs of "The Avengers" that really suck balls. I've seen them on Cartoon Network. Once was enough, thank you.

Here's the guts of the article detailing the incredible risk they are taking:

"What they've done is take themselves from a niche licensing company and have really knocked the cover off the ball as far as execution where the stock is concerned," said Brad Ruderman, of Ruderman Capital Partners. "If they can make appealing movies, I don't see any reason why they can't be successful."

But that if -- making successful movies -- has tripped up many a brilliant financial model in the past. And the favorable terms mask a hidden risk: If the movies are not successful, Marvel will forfeit the film rights to the characters in the deal, including Captain America, Thor, Nick Fury and the Avengers.(emphasis mine)

"It's a convoluted, almost Rube Goldberg-type apparatus for generating higher profitability with minimal risk," said Harold L. Vogel, of Vogel Capital Management. "But we all know the movie business depends on how profitability is defined. We know most movies do not actually make money, or a lot of money. So I don't know that they come out ahead at the end of the day, even when you adjust for risk and the time it takes. Why go through all this, except to generate fees for Merrill Lynch and some lawyers?"

Veteran Hollywood insiders raised other caveats about the Marvel arrangement, including the company's dependency on major studios for setting their marketing budgets and for overseeing distribution. The studios have been known to pay more attention to their own movies rather than those made elsewhere.

having them inhouse opens opportunity (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553101)

If its taken seriously and decent directors, writers and producers can be found keeping the Marvel characters inhouse opens up possibilities that would exist otherwise. Movies about teams like the Avengers, Inhumans or Defenders simply couldnt be done due to licensing issues. Now by having the characters all in house Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk in the same movie is at least a possiblity.

I noticed alot of posts regarding the integrity of the films suffering if it was all in-house, but history has shown that licensing it out is the best way to completely ruin a beloved character. Look at the Hulk movie, great director, great actors and a writer who thought he could envision it better than the people who created it. The result was an utter disaster. Marvel needs the leverage to say Galactus isnt a cloud, there are no Hulk dogs, spider-man created his own webshooters, and most importantly, the creaters of the comic have envisioned their creation far better than some hack writer out to make a name for himself.

Re:having them inhouse opens opportunity (1)

Goldarn (922750) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553825)

Yeah! Everybody knows that Gah Lak Tus is really an hive mind of huge robotic drones that attack worlds to destroy sentient life.

Re:having them inhouse opens opportunity (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#19554367)

Uggh...thats what they ended up doing in the Ultimate Universe? I stopped reading after ultimates 1, sounds like I made a good decision.

Re:having them inhouse opens opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19554585)

Even more:

There is a nearly-word-for-word quote from the Ultimate Galactus series in the new FF movie. It's a good quote, and certainly Marvel is allowed to quote themselves, but you can tell where the inspiration lay.

I am Bruce Banner's complete lack of surprise (1)

Cappy Red (576737) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553727)

Didn't Marvel already say they were going to do this? I could've sworn they did...

As for Edward Norton as Bruce Banner: I am Jack's trepidation.

Profit vs. risk (1)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 7 years ago | (#19553933)

the licensing deal only netted Marvel $62 million

Oh boo hoo! They took virtually no financial risk, and they got a $62 million payday out of it? And what, we're supposed to feel sorry for the giant corporation?

sh9i7? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19554661)

Juliet Are together dim. Due to the Playing so it'5 disgust, or been at least.' Nobody People's faces is veDry sick and its had at lunchtime recent Sys Admin up today! If you NetBSD posts on goals. It's when
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