We’ve come to widely accept the idea that superhero films are untouchable. They make hundreds of millions at the box office, often earn critical acclaim, and inspire entire collections of games, collectibles, toys, etc. Basically, Marvel (and to a lesser extent DC) has established an unstoppable entertainment empire. But in the shade of all this success, there are actually a number of popular superheroes that have flopped at the cinema by comparison to the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and Co.
One of the fun things about the whole rise of superhero cinema we’ve seen in the last 15 years is that there are all different kinds of fans. There are people who love the original comics; people who don’t read comics but have come to love the films; and younger fans who were simply brought up with the films. This varied fan base has a way of keeping popular even those characters who’ve been attached to less successful film projects. And because of this enduring popularity, a few such characters are getting new life on the big screen in the coming years.
Jennifer Garner played Elektra in a few different films: Daredevil (2003) and her own Elektra (2005). Unfortunately neither one of these projects was particularly well received, with the result that both Daredevil and Elektra faded away from superhero cinema for a decade. However, many had hopes of an Elektra revival when Netflix’s Daredevil series was released last year. The show was extraordinarily successful and basically established a new branch of Marvel cinema—a darker, grittier, series-based drama that will reportedly grow to include several characters belonging to the team known as “The Defenders.”
Jessica Jones (who now has her own terrific show), Luke Cage, and Iron Fist were announced as the additional Defenders, but it always felt like Elektra would be added to the mix. Perhaps most telling was the inclusion of her character in the Marvel: Contest of Champions gaming app, which has become a sort of announcement channel through which Marvel has offered character teases. The character’s introduction arrived amid rumours that a French actress named Elodie Yung had been cast in the second season of Daredevil, and sure enough those rumours have now been confirmed. Yung will indeed take on the role, providing a compelling new dynamic to the series and resurrecting one of the more popular female characters in Marvel.
Many casual fans still don’t really associate this swashbuckling Wesley Snipes vampire character with Marvel. But sure enough, his origin is in the comics, but the trilogy of films that started in 1998 was distributed by New Line Cinema rather than Marvel Studios. These films didn’t fit the traditional mold we’ve come to expect from Marvel cinema, but instead fit in more with the Underworld films and other dark, pseudo-gothic action/fantasy experiences of the late-’90s and early-’00s. However, some fans of the character have long desired a fresh reboot in the context of modern Marvel cinema.
There weren’t quite the same kind of telltale hints we got with Elektra that such a reboot is on the way, though it’s worth noting that Marvel has licensed out a Blade slot machine game for some time now, perhaps in line with its occasional habit of using gaming releases as teasers. This is fitting given that Snipes himself has often talked up the possibility of a reboot in the past year or two. In fact, just last September Snipes said conversations are going well regarding the idea and it’s certainly beginning to seem as if he may bring Blade 4 to life. Snipes himself is even open to his character joining up with the Avengers.
And then there’s Green Lantern, who’s probably one of the most popular comic superheroes who hasn’t had success in film. Unlike Elektra and Blade, Green Lantern belongs to the DC Universe, and he was also on the big screen not that long ago. 2011’s Green Lantern film featured Ryan Reynolds in the role of Hal Jordan (one of a few characters to assume the mantle of Green Lantern in the comics), and, unfortunately, it flopped by superhero standards. Reynolds wasn’t really the problem, as he may have even been a pretty interesting pick for the role. It was a weak script that inevitably resulted in an uninteresting project.
We already know, actually, that this character is getting another shot in a 2020 film titled Green Lantern Corps. What’s not known, however, is who will take up the role or even which of the characters from the comics who embody Green Lantern will be featured. The popular suggestion is that the new film will use John Stewart instead of Hal Jordan, in part because this would add some much-needed diversity to superhero cinema. Tyrese Gibson has been campaigning pretty aggressively to land the role of Stewart, though Cinemablend noted that he’ll have some competition. Chris Pine has also been rumoured, should the franchise ultimately stick with Jordan.
All three of these reboots will generate a lot of attention and excitement among fans when their respective times come. Let’s just hope they’re all done a little bit more effectively this time around!
Posted by Adi Mursec on February 3, 2016
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