So, yes I’m a nerd. A big nerd at that. I’ve tried so hard to hide it.
I’m a comic book nerd who has never read a DC or Marvel comic book.
This leaves me with movies and TV shows. I was a big fan of the Xmen and Spiderman cartoons when I was much younger and seeing them appear in big movies had been cool to see, but seeing them poorly developed and butchered was disheartening.
Selective condensed pre 2005 history of main DC and Marvel superhero movie franchises:
Recently things are changing for the better. Since Christopher Nolan successfully rebooted Batman in 2005 a huge change has been taking place in the world of Superhero movies.
While Superhero movies are pretty much the staple of where you get to see prominent Superheroes, this is also beginning to change a shift a little more towards TV.
The typical formula to pre 2005 Superhero movies has been make the first movie of your franchise and it is successful and you release a sequel achieving varying degrees of success. E.g. X2 is viewed as one of the best Superhero movies ever made.
Then the difficult third movie happens and the quality falls off a cliff. In the Batman series this happened with the 4th movie [Batman and Robin]. For Xmen and Spiderman it was the third movie. [Xmen: The Last Stand and Spiderman 3]
In the case of Xmen and Spiderman they both made the same mistake. Taking multiple huge storylines from comic books[e.g. Sandman/Green Goblin/Venom in Spiderman and The Cure/Phoenix in Xmen] and trying to cram them into 2 hours of film. The result was an incredibly watered down product which led to both franchises being rebooted. This time around filmmakers look like they have learned their lesson from the past and are either looking at a 3 film story arc and leaving it at that [like Christopher Nolan did with his Batman trilogy] or have much broader long term plans.
Here is an overview of the main movies that have been released in this genre in the past 10 years and why it is a very exciting time to be a fan of Superhero movies.
Their well-known characters include:
Xmen[Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, Mystique, Storm, Rogue, Cyclops, Beast etc…]
Avengers[Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, Hawkeye etc…]
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Movie Studio Rights Owners: Disney
Iron Man 1, 2 and 3
Captain America 1 and 2 [Winter Soldier]
Thor 1 and 2 [Dark World]
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Avengers: Age of Ultron 
Captain America 3 
Doctor Strange 
Guardian of the Galaxy 2 
Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. [1 Season, returns September 2014]
[*]Daredevil [will be released in May 2015 on Netflix]> With more to come from
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is by far the best thing going on within this genre at the moment. That’s not to say that all of their releases have been superb, they haven’t, there have been a couple of stinkers in there[Most glaringly Iron Man 2].
But the way the series of movies has been constructed and the success it has garnered means we should expect 2/3 releases from this studio per year for the foreseeable future. By the time the money from Guardians of the Galaxy has been counted these movies will be close to grossing $7 billion!
Cost only $1.7 billion to make they have become a massive cash cow for Disney.
If you are curious as to where the overall path of the story is going:
The path that is being taken is one towards unification of infinity stones. 3 of which have already been revealed.
The Tesseract in Captain America, the Aether in Thor: The Dark World and the purple Infinity Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Expect these to be revealed in further movies and for them to converge when we get towards Avengers 3.
The three releases this year were all very well crafted. With Captain America: Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy genuinely excellent. Thor was not as strong as the others but still quite good.
Expect Avengers 2 to keep the high standards with Joss Whedon writing and directing.
If you want to catch up with this series, feel free to skip Hulk and Iron Man 2. With these movies: always remember to watch post-credit scenes. Even with the ones you have skipped.
They usually give clues to where the next movie is headed.So if you watch in the cinema, wait until the very, very end.
This year Captain America and Thor both had somewhat important post-credit scenes in the context of future releases. Guardians did have scenes, but they were more geared to humour.
Movie Studio Rights Owners: Sony
The Amazing Spiderman
The Amazing Spiderman 2
Sinister Six 
The Amazing Spiderman 3 
Spiderman rebooted itself but has sadly followed the same path as its previous trilogy. It started off with a decent premise and good young cast with plenty of potential and it proceeded to rush the storytelling of the most important stories in comic book history.
It decided to move away from the Peter/Mary-Jane couple to a Peter/Gwen Stacy love interest. Which is an important change in the context of comic book history.
Once they decided to go down the Gwen Stacy path it would be obvious to comic book nerds that Gwen Stacy would die. The death of Gwen Stacy is a huge event in comic book history.
The first Amazing Spiderman was bordering on good. The second was a bit of a rushed mess. And the they seem to in quite a hurry with all the movies they have planned but there is a concern that they will be as poorly crafted as Amazing Spiderman 2.
It wasn’t terrible it just could have been a bit better if they saved some of the stories and slowly built them but instead they decided to cram in as much as they could into 142 mins and will suffer long term for it. They made a staggering amount from the sequel [$700m] so they have plenty of money in the bank.
On the horizon they have 2 or 3 movies that have the potential to be anywhere from very good to disastrous. I’m concerned, especially given that one of their main writers just jumped ship to Star Wars, but I’ll give their next offering a chance.
Movie Studio Rights Owners: Fox
Xmen: First Class
Xmen: Days of Future Past
Xmen: Apocalypse 
Fantastic 4 Reboot 
The first 2 Xmens were great. The third one was a total clusterfuck. Xmen: First Class and Xmen: Days of Future Past have been a great way to take the mistakes in the previous movies and wiping them form the record while keeping the legacy of them intact. And they were both truly excellent. If you have never seen any watch them[but skip the third one and move straight on to First Class].
Xmen: Apocalypse will be based in the 1980s and will contain mostly the First Class cast with younger versions of Storm, Cyclops and Jean Grey. To quote Bart Scott, can’t wait! Fox also own Fantastic 4 so they are rebooting that next year. It has crossover potential with Xmen but it’s hard to see how that will happen given the current timelines. Also, Channing Tatum has been cast as my beloved Gambit. Hmmm…
Why is the Studio Rights Owner Important in the context of Marvel Characters?
It’s important in the context of crossovers. For example as things stand you’ll never see Xmen interacting with Spiderman or Fantastic 4 interacting with Iron Man which actually happens all the time in comic books.
There are some exceptions to this. For example if you have seen Xmen Days of Future Past and Captain America Winter Soldier you may have noticed the same character appear in both.
Quiksilver appeared in both. He is played by 2 different actors. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe he’ll be joined by his twin sister The Scarlett Witch as was shown in the Captain America Winter Soldier post-credit scene.
Anybody know who their father is?
The situation is so ridiculous that Disney movies aren’t even allowed use the word “mutant” to explain superpowers as that word is owned solely by Fox as it is attached to Xmen.
In some ways it’s a shame, in other ways, I imagine a true Marvel universe with all characters available could be a giant mess with too many characters falling over themselves to get screen time. Disney could have this very problem soon. This may happen in future and if it does then it will be Disney as they now own Marvel.
Their well-known characters include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises
Nothing, it’s over. Deal with it
Nolan made an excellent trilogy but there are no plans for future movies in the Nolan universe.
You will not see Christian Bale as Batman again. Batman is now played by… Ben Affleck….
DC Cinematic Universe
Man of Steel
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 
Justice League 
So after trying a semi reboot of Superman in 2006 with Superman Returns DC decided that it didn’t leave them in a position that they could use long term. So they went with a full reboot of Superman with the 2013 movie Man of Steel.
DC fans are hoping this is the DC version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So far so good. Man of Steel was a box office success making $660m and the follow up will be a Batman and Superman crossover movie with the movie moving towards a Justice League movie.
The early signs are good. And by early signs I mean this preview pic of what Wonder Woman will look like:
If they get this right, it could be spectacular. And with Christopher Nolan working as a producer, I’m very hopeful.
DC Characters in Other Media
Arrow [2 Seasons so far. 3rd Season starts October 2014]
[*]The Flash [Starting October 2014]
At the moment it doesn’t look like these 2 series will form any basis for the DC Cinematic Universe. Despite it making sense to try go and connect them.
Arrow is meant to be good in a poppy/braindead kind of way. Haven’t watched it yet. If they were connected to the DC universe I’d be more tempted. Oh well…
[SIZE=6]Good Sources of this type of Information:[/SIZE]
AMC Movie Theatre Movie Talk
Good for latest news of upcoming movies.
IGN Rewind Theatre
These guys slow down trailers and explain all the little hidden messages that you miss.
I’ll post some of these videos in there as trailers and big news appear.