Filed under: Features | Tags: 300: Rise of the Empire, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Captain America2 : The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hercules, I' Frankenstein, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men: Days of Futures Past
As 2013 draws to a close we’re at that stage where we can start looking ahead to the comic book movies coming our way in 2014….
Some interesting titles to look out for as we have another year packed with comic book movie releases that will surely excite and disappoint some of us fanboys 🙂
I, Frankenstein – 24th January 2014
Based on a Graphic Novel by Kevin Grevioux (released through Darkstorm Studios) the writer behind Underworld and Produced by the same company behind Underworld……you’d be forgiven for thinking this looks a bit like Underworld. We’ve got Dark Knight’s Aaron Eckhart in place as our central character, Adam Frankenstein as he’s caught slap-bang in the middle of a war between immortal clans. Now Underworld itself was OK and I’ll admit I have only ever seen the first film of that trilogy but I reckon this will be one of those “switch-your-brain-off” adventure flicks with enough action and smart-ass one-liners to at least make an impact in early 2014. There’s Bill Nigh in place as the main villain so it’s at least got some potential but demons, gargoyles & slugfests can be a bit low-brow in a movie landscape populated by some big budget releases…..time’ll tell on this one
300: Rise of an Empire – 7th March 2014
Originally set for release last year it was pushed back until 2014 and it’s now 7 years since the first film…..a scary fact for sure because it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. So we have this set to hit cinemas just after my birthday…..so that’s a plan for me anyway 😀 Having enjoyed Frank Miller’s original comic and been impressed with Zack Snyder’s take on 300 (although I thought it could’ve been gorier…..is that weird??) it’ll be interesting to see how a change of director will tackle it. From that trailer it looks like new Director, Noam Murro will be taking a similar approach to this prequel/sequel mash-up with style and feel to the film….and I’m looking forward to seeing the results. Some new faces mixed in with recognized cast members from that first movie will surely make this something to look out for but then with the time that’s passed and the calibre of comic movies we’ve seen in recent years…..I wonder how this will compete. The first trailer didn’t blow me away but that second trailer has definitely got my interest piqued again.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – 28th March 2014
Phase 2 of Marvel’s long-term movie plans keep on tucking and I have to admit that after being disappointed by Iron Man 3 and Thor 2…….I’m worried how this one will fair. Will it mark strike 3 for Marvel, at least with this Marvel fan, or will it be a triumphant return to the heady heights reached by those Phase 1 movies (Thor & Avengers being my favourites). The early photos and trailers are building the desired buzz but I’m cautiously optimistic with this given how hyped I felt ahead of Thor 2 being released….only to have those hopes crushed under the weight of Mjolnir itself. Even more pressure given that Cap is one of my favourite characters but the difference here is that the first Cap film was ok so I’m hoping this one raises the bar on a number of fronts…..we’ll see.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – 18th April 2014
Back in 2012 it felt like this Spider-man reboot came along a bit too soon after Sam Raimi’s initial trilogy had finished with the car-crash that was Spider-Man 3 but even a retelling of Spidey’s origin with a slight variation was entertaining enough and I’m hoping this will build on that. Andrew Garfield returns as Peter with some familiar faces from the first outing and while it had originally looked like we’d have a Spidey vs one villain movie again…..time and teasers have revealed that we’ll have Shocker, Rhino AND Green Goblin making an appearance. One worry for this is the memory of Spider-Man 3 with its multiple villains but we’ve had some fairly strong trailers for this one so far (just look at that latest one below for some proof). This second movie will mark a series of Spidey films being released and rumblings of spin-offs of Venom and even the Sinister Six themselves getting a big screen outing but then that seems to be the new trend in superhero movies……release a film…..in fact, release a comic book universe. So there could be more riding on this second Spidey instalment than we know…..but I can’t wait to see it.
X-Men: Days of Future Past – 22nd May 2014
I can’t say that this has been one that I’ve kept on my radar…..or that was at least until I saw those images of Sentinels as part of the buzz around this project. I wasn’t really blown-away by the first movie (X-Men: First Class) so that explains my lack of interest but the cast has grown during its production, the teased images have impressed and the trailer itself has set this up to be at least try and become a significant contender in the big comic book movie hits for 2014. Again, this franchise has had its low points in its previous trilogy and in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine film that followed so there’s no reason why the hype & optimism has remained muted. Although, that first movie WAS received particularly well and the teasing images (sentinels and more) have helped mutate more buzz for it. A stellar cast with some of the old-guard returning from those earlier movies and we’ve got a who’s who of anyone that’s played a mutant…..all wrapped up in a time-travelling, universe-altering mash-up…..and that sounds good to me.
Hercules – 8th August 2014
Myths and legends have always been a movie “go-to” area when Hollywood needs to make an epic but in recent years we’ve seen these films crumble under the weight of excessive CGI and poor CGI at that. My hope for this one though is that they’ll take the Radical Studios comic book release (Hercules: The Thracian Wars) and turn this into a strong film to match that comic release. We’ve got Dwayne Johnson in the mix (who’s perfectly cast as Hercules I’d say) along with the likes of John Hurt, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan so the talent is there for this to be a hit. Radical released Oblivion last year and have a number of other titles set for release as movies (all from strong comic book material) so I’m keen to see this prove itself at the box office. Hopefully taking a lead from the likes of Game of Thrones and bringing us a gritty tale of world-weary gods battling the evils of this world…..be they man, demon or more. High hopes on this one.
Guardians of the Galaxy – 1st August 2014
This release will see the Marvel projects take to more than just the skies as it moves out into the wider galaxy and universe beyond the reaches of our regular earth-bound heroes. All part of phase 2 and no-doubt bringing in elements that have already started to appear in the films released in 2013. A change of direction and a grip on a much more sci-fi feel to it, broadening the scope and options that the heroes & villains can take but time will tell if this is a step too far. I’m inclined to think that it won’t be and instead it’ll open up the complete Marvel Universe of characters as options for movies……most we’ll know but other’s we’ll get to know as these releases to continue to merge into one massive movie world.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – 17th October 2014
Our four heroes in a half-shell return in a reboot by Michael Bay who’s already taken Transformers through a series of films that have divided many fans. After an outcry from fans on the rumour that the turtles would have alien origins I had a fear that this would again divide the existing fanbase and the memories of those who owned the toys, watched the cartoon and the film in the 80’s/90’s. We’ve not seen any further teaser images so far other than the CGI suits that are being used to capture the turtles themselves so it may be some time before we see a glimpse of Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo or Donatello in their true form…..although truth be told, I’m kinda sad to see that it won’t be animatronics in the mix to bring our heroes to life. With Megan Fox on-hand to play April – it’s sure to draw in the masses but will this be another forgettable, chewing-gum for the eyes, big screen outing???……I’m on the fence for this one I think.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – 29th August 2014
Another release that was due in 2013 is the sequel to the Frank Miller/Robert Rodriguez original film that brought the noir style and page for page recreation of the comic onto our big screen. We’ve had some significant time pass since that 2005 release though and with competition stiffer than ever for a genre that’s making billions at box offices on a regular basis – it’s hard to see if this will still have the appeal but visually – I can’t think of anything that has come close in the time since that initial movie…..so it’s still got a place to fill I’d say. While that first film was ultra-violent as it captured the comic scene for scene – its dark themes and it’s pitch-perfect casting will draw more folks into the cinema. The only telling element may be that final age rating as we’ve seen other violent movies suffer from a high rating recently (Dredd’s R-Rating being a prime example). There could be even more hanging in the balance with the success of this one with the announcement of a TV series following this movie.
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