So lately, I've been rather excited about the future of many things superhero related. First, off they just released the first image of Thor in the Marvel Comics movie scheduled to hit theaters next year. I love the character because of his relationship to my favorite superhero team the Avengers (featuring such characters as Iron Man, Captain and America later on starring my favorite line up in the New Avengers: Buck Barne's Cap, Luke Cage, Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Hawkeye), but I've also respected their choice on approach. Rumor were that the role of the Norse god of thunder would be done by a WWE star, but they chose to go a very different direction. The film large features a British cast with Thor cast as an Ausie actor. Further, Kenneth Branagh, known for his Shakespearean film directing and acting is overseeing the project. The film will also tie into the crossover universe they're creating between other Avengers character films like Iron Man, Hulk, and Captain America, all leading up an Avengers film. Now, they've cast comic book film familiar face Chris Evans as Cap in his solo film and my jury's still out on this choice. However, many of my concerns were appeased after he provided a hysterical performances in the Vertigo/DC Comics film The Losers that came out last weekend. Here's a link to my review on the film for my newspaper job. Let's hope he can buff up and be serious as the star spangled hero who's captured my heart (even though I never consider myself a patriotic person...I'm still fleshing that one out).
This all then leads me to some news about this universe I'm more excited about, Marvel's choice of Joss Whedon to direct The Avengers. Whedon may seem like an odd choice to many since his only feature film job was the 2005 film Serenity, based on his canceled TV show Firefly. This is the man behind such wonderful cult following endeavors as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel (to of my favourite TV shows), and the webisode experience Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. He also has history with Marvel Comics, writing for the series The Astonishing X-Men, along with writing continuing comics volumes for his TV shows. All that to say it's exciting to see someone direct this film with a personal investment in the characters and Marvel Universe.
This is all very exciting to discuss for two reason. First, May 7th will mark the third comics film this year with Iron Man 2 (The Losers and Kick-Ass came out over the past couple week). Second, I've been finishing up my thesis on fanboy culture. As you can probably tell, I approach the subject with great bias and it's been a challenge to address that bias in an academic way. I've spent so long trying to take first-person out of my paper writing and leave it to blogging and film reviews (even with film reviews, I waited over a year to use personal pronouns, allowing myself time to develop an audience that would be OK hearing my me personally in such a setting). My thesis has been both fun and exhausting, trying to determine what research to use and when to back off the scholarly works and tell the story myself. I'm proud of the direction it's taken and plan to try to publish it. Without providing too much spoilers for it, I'm taking up the challenge of determine what fanboys like. By collecting and categorizing user responses to superhero films I attempt to understand how fanboys (myself included) interpret popular superhero films. The project began with the questions of how do fan communities oppose popular film texts they find insulting. The project morphed into something very different as my sample group showed less signs of resistance to the media production system (somewhat to my dismay because I greatly hoped to find that fanboys (I do addressed the gendered use of the term as well) resisted the idiocy of Transformers 2 as much as I did). Instead, I learned more about what constitutes a good superhero film for the group. I'll leave it at that for now and simply close with, "It's a good time to be a fanboy though I do hope he does get a little smarter."