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Topic: The Age of B-List Super-Hero Movies Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Ernest Voyard
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Posted: 13 January 2019 at 9:44pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Link

So many things wrong in this article.

Edited by Ernest Voyard on 13 January 2019 at 9:45pm
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Robert Bradley
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Posted: 13 January 2019 at 10:06pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Marvel has been using "B-List" characters for a while, mainly because they had sold off the movie rights to the ones they could get anything for (Spider-Man, X-Men, Punisher, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Hulk, etc.)

Fortunately for them the movies they made with characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and Doctor Strange have resonated with movie-goers.

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David Allen Perrin
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Posted: 14 January 2019 at 4:14am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Carol Danvers was a charter member of The Avengers?

I missed that somehow.....
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 January 2019 at 6:19am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

What the writer misses is that ANY characters that haven’t had previous media exposure were “B listers” to the civilian audience. I spent years working on the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, for instance, with most people I met having not a clue who they were.

For the bulk of those who didn’t read comics, superheroes began and ended with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 14 January 2019 at 6:40am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

David, she was standing RIGHT THERE next to the Sentry and Jessica Jones... How could you miss her? :-)

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Joe Zhang
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 5:53am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

For a while the only "A-list" characters Marvel had were the X-Men and Spider-Man. Marvel Studios had no idea if people would watch Iron Man, Thor or Captain America movies. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 8:08am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I’m reminded of an article about Faith Ford in TV GUIDE. She was one of the cast on MURPHY BROWN, and the story revealed that the other actors, because of her Bayou background, called her “Swamp Thing”.

At the time I noted that this was certainly a reference to the award winning comicbook series by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, and not the wretched movies and TV show.

Of course, I was being sarcastic. Probably most of those actors were not aware the other media “adaptations” had sprung from comic books.

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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 9:24am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Well played, Brian! 
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 11:50am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The true "Age of B-List Super Hero Movies" started with IRON MAN in 2008 with this insane pitch (and my imagined reactions of the pitchees):

We're going to form our own independent studio and start a multi-franchise franchise of superhero movies. And we're going to kick it off with...IRON MAN [crickets]. Our star? Robert Downey, Jr. [notably uncomfortable looks]. Next up? The Hulk (you mean that one from that really strange, boring movie that Ang Lee did?). Then... Captain America (???).  Then, Thor (?????????).  The thread that binds them will be Nick Fury of SHIELD (---------------------------------------).  We'll do solo movies first, then team them up as...The Avengers! [people actually leave the room].

And this is before Disney owned Marvel. Boggles the mind. 
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Robert Bradley
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 12:29pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Remember when most people associated 'The Avengers' with a British television series from the 1960s and a 1998 movie that flopped?

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Robert Bradley
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 12:34pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Marvel basically went from their B-List characters and an idea to the largest franchise in movie history in 10 years.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 12:58pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I would contend that pitching Iron Man in 2008 wasn't all that crazy... In fact, not only was it logical, it was the absolutely inevitable next step. Marvel licensed out its key properties, saw them make huge grosses at the box office, and got relatively peanuts in return. This was crying out for them to leverage box value directly out of their own remaining properties.

The main gamble was potentially that they were dipping into an area in which they had little or no experience. But, when you consider that they took a producer who had worked in some capacity on a bunch of those Fox Marvel films, including all the first three X-Men and Spider-Man films, and made him producer of Iron Man and in charge of their nascent studio, it doesn't seem like such a gamble.

What seems more crazy to me was that they signed away licenses on their biggest properties in perpetuity and including a pretty much endless list of supporting characters and villains. You want to license the X-Men? OK, fine. You get three films, these 12 heroes and which five villains you want? OK done. Not, hey, have every single mutant we ever created for all time!
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Trevor Thompson
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 5:20pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I don’t recall much people knowing who Daredevil, Dr Strange,Wasp, Quicksilver, Iron Man or any X-Men was quite a few years ago. Seems like quite a few people do, albeit the movie versions.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 7:20pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Shawn, thank you! 

While I enjoy the scenario that Brian paints of that initial pitch, Iron Man was going to get made eventually, one way or another. Not only had Stan Lee been beating the drum for an IM film for decades, but after the success of Robocop, there was a demand and a visible window into what such a film might look like. Marvel no doubt assembled the correct team to put that project together. And Downey might have raised a few eyebrows when it came to insuring the film, but the movies he had made overall did well and were critically acclaimed. There may have been some finger-crossing and I would imagine surprise that he took something so mainstream, but the gamble, if it was one, paid off. The project and the star hit one another at exactly the right time for both of them. Maybe a bit more of that Marvel Serendipity? 

Overall, a good example of what happens when you build right from the ground up, plan for success, and swing for the fences rather than hedging your bets. 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 8:31pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I've loved Iron Man since I was a kid, but, even then, I knew that he was never quite an A-list character. I was very pleased to see him propelled into the top tier with that first movie. And I well remember coming out of that movie feeling extremely satisfied by how the character had been treated.



...although I'm kind of annoyed that Iron Man seems, more and more, to be supplanting Spider-Man as Marvel's top character and corporate mascot. That doesn't feel right.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 9:19pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Right. Spider-Man was kinda the go-to guy to bring new heroes into the Marvel fold for years. 

In the MCU, that role has fallen to Iron Man...even bringing in...Spider-Man!


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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 15 January 2019 at 9:54pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I am very much not happy with Spider-Man being treated as essentially a B-list sidekick within the MCU.

In-universe, he’s a small-fry compared to the likes of the Avengers, yes, but to have him basically serving as Stark’s Junior Avenger mentee within his own films, well... 
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 16 January 2019 at 6:38am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Robert Bradley, it was called Avengers Assemble in the
UK, to try to avoid confusion with the 60`s tv series.
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William Costello
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Posted: 16 January 2019 at 7:15pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I sent the CNBC article over to a few friends of mine when it showed up on the CNBC web site.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 16 January 2019 at 10:43pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

That article is written by someone who has no clue who are A list & who are B list. Nor does it have a clue who civilians would recognise.

It uses Guardians as an example of an A list property. Really? I remember when people were asking where the photo of the Racoon with a gun had come from because no one knew who Rocket Racoon was.

The public could name less than 10 super heroes before Marvel kicked things off in 2008, they certainly wouldn’t have been able to name most of the ones Marvel has now made a success. Let’s face it, before the X-Men films, they wouldn’t have known who Wolverine was.

The article is badly written, badly researched & exactly what I would expect of such an article about comics written by a civilian.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 16 January 2019 at 11:25pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

 James Woodcock wrote:
It uses Guardians as an example of an A list property. Really? I remember when people were asking where the photo of the Racoon with a gun had come from because no one knew who Rocket Racoon was.

There’s plenty of things wrong with the article, but this was not one of them. The Guardians were an example of “also-ran” characters succeeding. 


Edited by Michael Roberts on 16 January 2019 at 11:26pm
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 17 January 2019 at 9:12am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

My mistake, sorry. I think I’d gone into speed read mode by then
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