Superheroes, SF, nostalgia – and no one caring

As soon as the whole Disney/Marvel mess was announced, there was talk of Fox doing a new Fantastic Four film.  Of course I suspect that was a case of wanting to assert their current rights, but it has had me thinking.

The second recent Hulk film was sort of sequel, sort of reboot.  There's talk of a new origin-of-Superman film.  A new Fantastic Four Movie doesn't seem unlikely.  We just had a GI Joe movie.

I've wondered if the recent rush to superheroic/SF-ish movies, the desire to maximize properties, and the fact only some of the big superhero/SF/nostalgia properties have big name recognition means that past a certain point people will stop caring.

If there's a new Superman origin film, DO I care?  Do I care about yet another Fantastic Four film after the family-friendly last two and the interesting short-lived animated series?  There's what, perhaps three or more merchandisable cartoons left to be remade (Thundercasts?  Centurions?)?  Yes people watched Iron Man (arguably a not-quite first string Marvel character), they might like Thor, but beyond that who can they make movies of that will garner the name recognition desired for maximum profits?

There's this big rush to maximize and remake properties in their various forms, comics to movies, cartoons to movies, etc.  There's only so many properties that guarantee big returns and recogntion.

I also wonder at what point will people stop caring?

There's been enough Superman stories, Batman stories, etc.  We've seen Spiderman in gods know how many incarnations.  I rather get the impression we didn't even need a second Transformers film.

As global markets make more and more properties available, as people have more entertainment and cultural options, I wonder if (in about the next decade), this high-profile keep-filming-the-recongizable-big-names is going to fall flat.  I probably had more fun with the odd Taiwanese semi-Western superhero film "Mercury Man" than I would with some of the recent big releases (if only because it had a transgendered martial-arts using fashion designer, AND a superhero fight with two elephants).

We can only keep doing the same thing over and over so much before people get bored.

For those of us in the geekonomy, if I am indeed on to something as opposed to ranting, it likely means increased interest in smaller and more unusual media properties.  People can more and more easily find what they want exactly – and the big blockbuster events may not be what they want, and they may stop caring.

My theory is that the internet and globalization increase the ability for people to find what they want – and constant remakes and re-adaptions are boring.  For those of us in the Geekonomy, be ware and aware of what this means – and the opportunities for things.

– Steven Savage