Superhero movies have become such a staple of pop culture these days that many forget that it wasn’t too long ago that filmmakers had to struggle to convince a studio to bring their vision of a favorite comic book character to the big screen, especially if that vision didn’t include Batman or Superman. Once the new millennium hit, it brought with it a new trend and, really, the birth of the era of superhero blockbusters. One of the first of those films was Sony’s big budget offering, Spider-Man. Starring Tobey Maguire as the titular webslinger and directed by genre favorite Sam Raimi, the film managed to break new ground with its incredible (at the time) special effects and fun story. Comic book fans had been waiting their entire lives to see something like this and, as it turns out, perhaps they weren’t the only ones.
Spider-Man co-creator and Comic Book King Stan Lee recently took to Facebook for an “Ask Stan” Q&A session and a fan by the name of Blake happened to tap the 93 year old legend ‘s brain for Lee’s favorite comic book movie.
Hiya, Blake! I think my favorite comic book movie was the first one that was such a hit: the first Spider-Man. After that, everything else seemed easy.
Since Spider-Man, plenty of comic book movies could be considered “better”, including its sequel, Spider-Man 2, which, by many accounts, is one of the best comic book movies ever made. Still, if you are a Spider-Man fan who remembers attending the first film during its $821.7mil run, chances are you remember just how excited you were when Peter Parker first showed up on the screen. Sure, the memory may seem a bit murky now, considering there have been two new actors to take the role since Maguire’s final (and horrible) appearance in Spider-Man 3, but that first film, man, it really did wonders.
As for the comic book filmmaking that came after seeming easy, that is likely a very fair statement. After disasters like Batman & Robin and, well, actually…just Batman & Robin, really, the fact that another comic book movie ever got made is rather amazing. Sure, there were a few in between Clooney’s most regrettable role and Lee’s favorite comic book film but Blade was a vampire movie produced while vampire movies were big and wasn’t marketed as a comic book movie in any sense of the term and X-Men presented an ensemble cast of characters that many loved; audiences had plenty of choices for their “favorite” character. Spider-Man, on the other hand, was a bold risk on Sony’s part. Investing over $100mil in a genre that had not quite proven itself was a massive gamble, especially considering the focus on a single character, but, luckily, that gamble paid off, not only for Sony, but for comic book fans all over the globe. And, the best part? Comic book movies just keep getting better and better.
Do you agree with Lee? If not, which comic book movie do you feel is the best?