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3 groundbreaking events that changed the genre of superhero movies in 2008

It is always evident that we are living in the golden age of superhero movies. Looking at this year’s roster of that particular genre, there will be eight movie releases, whether they’re from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise, or the DC Extended Universe. Although superhero movies have been around for decades, the genre really started to catch on at the turn of the century, but 10 years ago several groundbreaking events happened that were game-changing for this corner of the world. film making.

2008 was an interesting year for superhero movies. Marvel movies like Punisher: War Zone to original stories like Hancock, there were a variety of stories to choose from that involved characters who had powerful abilities and / or fought crime. However, we have selected three specific superhero films that not only were well received in 2008, but left a legacy for the genre that still resonates to this day and changed the way we think about these kinds of theatrical offerings. For starters, let’s turn our attention to Tony Stark’s first cinematic release.

Flying Iron Man in the 2008 film

Iron Man

Iron Man spent over a decade developing at three different studios, but in 2005 Marvel bought back the film rights to the character and the company decided it would be their first self-funded film. It’s definitely a big deal, but other than that, Iron Man At first glance, it didn’t seem to be too different from previous Marvel origin story films. And for the most part, that was true, as the film was firmly focused on how Tony Stark went from an apathetic arms dealer to an idealistic superhero. But in fact, Iron Man was planting the seeds of something much bigger.

Iron Man sprinkled a few subtle clues about the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe in its main story, like placing a replica of Captain America’s shield in Tony Stark’s workshop and Phil Coulson shortening his agency’s name to SHIELD But that’s not it. is that when Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury appeared in the post-credits scene that it was perfectly clear that Iron Man wasn’t just laying the groundwork for another sequel (which arrived in 2010). Marvel was setting up a shared world that had never been created before in a movie set. It might have taken people unfamiliar with comics a little longer to realize this, but for longtime Marvel fans, they might finally experience a Marvel Universe on the big screen that they are. had previously enjoyed in comics, animated shows, and video games.

It is important not to forget that a month later Iron Manthe output of, The Incredible Hulk came out, and although it was distributed by Universal rather than Paramount, it still served as the second MCU entry. This was demonstrated by showing off the SHIELD logo, with Emil Blonsky referring to the Super Soldier serum to foreshadow Captain America: The First Avenger and Tony Stark visiting General Ross on the credits scene. There was even a deleted opening where Bruce Banner was attempting to kill himself in the Arctic, and by the end of that scene, Captain America’s frozen body could be partially seen. However, Iron Man was the first film to kick off this trend and, combined with its critical praise (largely because of Robert Downey Jr’s performances), it remains one of Marvel’s most popular films. 10 years and 18 films later once Black Panther Releasing next month, the MCU is the highest grossing movie franchise ever, and it’s all thanks to the movie about a guy who built army armor in a cave … out of a box of trash! (Even though chronologically, Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain Marvel precede Iron Man.)

Batman standing solemnly in The Dark Knight

The black Knight

In 2005, seven years later Batman and robin killed the first iteration of the Batman film franchise, Christopher Nolan delivered Batman begins, which looked at the Caped Crusader through a grainy, more “realistic” lens, as well as arguably popularized the concept of modern reboots for films. Batman begins received a lot of praise and performed relatively well at the box office, but that was nothing compared to what his successor would do three years later. Certainly during The black Knight, there was some concern over Heath Ledger’s choice as the Joker, especially once it was revealed that this version of the Clown Prince of Crime would wear white makeup and sport a Glasgow smile rather than a have discolored skin and a permanent smile. The six months leading up to the film’s release were also marked by tragedy due to Ledger’s unexpected death.

When it was released in July 2008, The black Knight has garnered critical acclaim from longtime Batman fans and regular moviegoers, and grossed over $ 1 billion worldwide. Following Batman’s attempts to bring down organized crime in Gotham City and stop the Joker’s reign of terror, The black Knight Certainly had a lot of superhero movie elements, overall it felt like a detective movie, and it worked to its advantage. From a certain point of view, The black Knight proved to the masses that superhero movies shouldn’t just be seen as blockbuster entertainment. With the right creative vision, some could also be seen as works of art. And while Batman was always the center of the story, there’s no doubt that Heath Ledger stole the show as Joker. The manic energy of the actor and the anarchist ideology of this Joker mixed in a portrayal of Clown Prince of Crime that lived up to that of Jack Nicholson of the 1989s. Batman, otherwise it was much better. The black Knight It also remains one of the few comic book films to win an Oscar outside of the technical categories, as Ledger posthumously won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

10 years later, The black Knight is still considered both one of the best Batman movies and one of the best superhero movies. Some might even go so far as to call it a movie classic on every level. Christopher Nolan concluded the Black Knight trilogy in 2012 with The dark knight rises, and while it was not as well received, it does not mar what its predecessor has accomplished. Whether you look at it as the central chapter of the Black Knight trilogy or as a standalone film, The black Knight cemented its crowning place in the world of genre storytelling.

Hellboy, Liz and Abe Sapien in Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Right away, we’d be wrong if we said that Hellboy II: The Golden Army was just as beneficial to the superhero movie genre as Iron Man and The Dark Knight. That being said, Dark Horse Comics’ protagonist-centric sequel left its own unique impression. Like its 2004 predecessor, Hellboy II received positive reviews, and while the first Hellboy the film introduced the character and his supporting cast to people who had never taken any of his printed page numbers, Hellboy II is what cemented this property as a brand. This also helped to further strengthen the profile of director Guillermo del Toro with a wider audience, because at this point apart from the first Hellboy film, del Toro was best known to American audiences for directing Blade II and Pan’s Labyrinth.

But maybe more importantly, Hellboy II proved that a property other than Marvel or DC could succeed in the superhero movie genre after entry. Oh sure, there were franchises like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that had their own series of movies, but those franchises were arguably best known on TV or other types of adaptations, not as owned. cartoon. This is not the case with Hellboy. Granted, comic book movies based on independent comic book properties still have a harder time to succeed at the box office than Marvel and DC adaptations, but at least both Hellboy the movies have proven that a protagonist who doesn’t fit the normal characterization of superheroes can be successful in a theater set. After all, you can’t say that there are a lot of benevolent, red-skinned demons who are cat lovers and cigar smokers.

Alas, despite the fact that fans have been asking for it for years and Guillermo del Toro, Ron Perlman and some others are keen to do so, Hellboy III was officially discontinued last year, which means that this Hellboy film series will never be properly concluded. However, Hellboy will be back on the big screen soon in a reboot, where he will be played by Strange things star David Harbor. It remains to be seen to what extent the new Hellboy the film will be, but seen how Hellboy II Helped keep the character in public consciousness outside of the comics and created a demand for a third movie, it could be argued that without this sequel we wouldn’t have this new take on Hellboy.

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