In a nerd conversation of epic proportions the other day with Dr. Kronner, I disclosed that it was my dream to see the three studios controlling the biggest Marvel superhero franchises to come to an agreement and make a trilogy of awesome movies on par with the Avengers, but involving everyone. This would mean Spiderman, the Avengers, the X-men and the Fantastic Four all sharing the same universe and then Marvel Studios, Fox, and Sony all split the revenue from the trilogy. Clearly this is a fevered dream that will never happen, but there has been news that Sony may be looking to offload the film rights to Spiderman in the future according to a report at Geek Rest:
A new report has surfaced that suggests Sony may be exploring their options as to how they can raise capital for their fledgling hardware divisions by selling off several of their numerous music and film properties. According to CEO Kazua Hirai, Sony is currently considering a proposal from investor Daniel Loeb and his hedge fund company Third Point that would see Sony selling off several of their movie properties including Resident Evil and – wait for it – Spider-Man.
“Third Point’s proposal involves the way we manage a core business of the Sony group and the direction of our management. So the Sony board will give it thorough consideration before replying to Mr Loeb,” explained Hirai.
So although it’s not as grand as my plan that the studios would never buy into, at least that’s one of the big heroes that could possibly be joining the fray of Marvel Studio’s/Disney’s shared movie universe.
I know it’s not a guarantee that Sony would sell to Marvel Studios/Disney, but really who else could make the highest bid for the rights? This is a company that not only has Marvel in it’s pocket, but it’s now showing off the recently bought Star Wars franchise by announcing a new trilogy and a crap load of new standalone movies to boot. In the coming decade, Disney will have made more movie money than all of the other studios combined, unless DC can get some steam behind their own sought after shared movie universe in which the Man of Steel may or may not kick start. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, what does everyone think of this news? After all of the recent reacquiring of characters such as Daredevil, Elektra, Punisher, Ghost Rider and Blade, would it be a big game changer if Marvel Studios had Spider-Man in its holster? Sound off below!
UPDATE via Comic Book Therapy:
[box_light]After the initial post from The Register hit, more details regarding what is in the proposal have hit. Unfortunately it doesn’t look good for those wanting Spidey in the MCU either. The proposal that Loeb has brought to Sony wouldn’t be to sell of the franchises, but rather spin their entertainment branch into a separate entity that people can buy into. So the long and short of it is, don’t expect Peter Parker to be helping Tony Stark or any of The Avengers anytime soon.[/box_light]
My buddy Aaron is a bartender for a certain movie theater here in Michigan, and on occasion, the theater will have advanced employee screenings for movies a couple nights prior to the film’s release. These are his thoughts on The Amazing Spider Man…
Aaron: Watching spiderman was like watching the drunkest guy at the bar hit on the hottest waitress at the bar at the end of the night. – 3:08 AM
Aaron: It’s actually pretty entertaining, there’s a lot of misguided effort, but some how, you find yourself rooting for the guy because he’s trying so – 3:10 AM
Aaron: hard. – 3:10 AM
Aaron: And more than likely, he’ll try again next week. So, yeah, Im definitely lookin forward to the sequal. – 3:12 AM
The excitement of Spider Island continues in full force in this issue of Spidey! The Jackal and his cohorts are hosting a meeting with all of the major crime families of New York to distribute a little something to the now spider-powered thugs. Spider suits. Almost every Spiderman costume there has been, and he has also given them orders to terrorize the city in every way possible. Not good! Peter in the meantime can’t get over the fact that his gal pal Carlie has spider-powers as well now. What makes it worse is that she flat-out told him instead of keeping it a secret. What a jerk that makes you Mr. Parker! Or it just makes her look like a gossipy woman who can’t keep anything to herself. I’ll let you the readers decide on that one.
Mayor J. Jonah Jameson as you can imagine is happier than a pig in its own excrement due to the fact that his idiotic Aniti Spider Patrol is somewhat relevant for the moment. After all the guy did spend 30 percent of the city budget on it…. good call JJ. A group of folks not so happy are the Avengers who show up in the issue to perform some spider control. I get the feeling that the spider powered criminals may be in over their heads because you have the likes of Wolverine, Ms. Marvel, Red Hulk and the Thing whooping their web-clad asses in the issue.
I have to say one of the best moments for me was when Peter showed up in his spider suit to help out and was rewarded by getting pummeled by his comrades. Something tells me that he should have just thought that one over a few minutes longer before jumping into the fray. Overall I give the issue 4 out of 5 grizzlies.
The issue was a bit on the light-hearted side even as all hell breaks loose in New York. I have to say it kind of annoys me continuity wise when an event like this happens during the same time as another event, that one being Fear Itself. How can all of this crap be happening at once?! Regardless, Spider Island is just too much fun for me to care at this point. I hope Dan Slott keeps it up throughout the arc because I am thoroughly entertained. I may be one of the few but I still enjoyed the issue even when I’m not a huge fan of Humberto Ramos’ art. I’ve grown to accept it over the years but not enough to hope he’s drawing one of the books I read.
TV and Superheroes rarely mix well, and on the off-chance they do it probably isn’t the best representation of superheroes on the market. Smallville worked, Lois & Clark kind of worked. That’s… about… it. So it’s obviously time to present a list about some of these less than awesome superhero shows. The problem was I had TOO many shows/TV movies to choose from, so I expect to hear about what I’ve missed or that my choices suck or that I need to put down the fork. Wait, what? Anyways, let’s get to the list. We didn’t stick to comic heroes, because sometimes the ones created just for television pretty much define this list.
10.) My Secret Identity
It’s possible this show missed a lot of people’s radar as it was a Canadian TV series, but it aired in syndication in the States. I personally loved this show as a kid, but giving it another look kind brought shame to my younger self. Might have to re-evaluate my love for Biker Mice From Mars.
My Secret Identity is basically Back to the Future meets The Sentry, except no god like powers or Time Travel. Let me explain. Jerry O’ Connell, the fat kid from Stand By Me (he probably hates it when people call him that) plays Andrew Clements, a 14-year-old kid who is zapped by a photon beam while helping his neighbor, 4th smartest man in the world Dr. Benjamin Jeffcoat (the fact that he’s a smart guy inventor dude is obviously the B2TF connection), played by Derek McGrath. Obviously, this grants him super powers (a la The Sentry… sort of). Super speed, Invulnerability, and levitation, with super strength added in later seasons, because why not? He actually used aerosol cans to direct his flight for a time, but that was changed pretty quick.
If you recognized his friend Kirk, played by Christopher Bolton, then you’ve probably seen another Canadian show called Rent-A-Goalie, and I applaud you. Regardless, this show is a terrible excuse at a superhero show, made even more so with Degrassi level quality and Canadian film mentalities. No offense to my homeland’s cinema, but… well…
I was really on the fence over adding this show to the list. It had so many great things going for it that even as a kid I rooted for it. First African-American Superhero on TV, the pilot was directed by Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Spider-Man) and written by Sam Hamm(Batman), and it had a $1.4 million per episode budget. This was in 1994.
M.A.N.T.I.S. (Mechanically Augmented Neuro Transmitter Interception System) was worn by Dr. Miles Hawkins (played by Carl Lumbly, who would later go on to voice the Martian Manhunter in the Justice League animated series), a handicapped scientist who decides to fight crime after inventing his super suit. The season was bogged down with numerous changes in story over the course of the season, and they actually killed off the main character in the final episode. He died while fighting a giant dinosaur. Seriously.
While this show suffered from the presentation and effects, it still wasn’t even that bad. Those who remember M.A.N.T.I.S. usually do so with fondness and a desire to rewatch the series, which is where the problem lies. Still deservedly holds a place in superhero TV history, just not a place on my DVD shelf.
8.) The Amazing Spider-Man
What? There was a live action Spidey TV Movie? Yeah, but it wasn’t very good, which is a nice way of saying it was terrible. I may be a bit judgmental, seeing as how I wasn’t even a glimmer in my parents eyes when it came out, but I just couldn’t enjoy it when I watched it as a young Spider-Man fan. The music was cheesy, his webs were laughable, and his spider-sense turned his eyes all kaliedoscope-y. Not to mention it looked like it would take forever for Spidey to climb a building. Plus, there were no members of Spidey’s rogues gallery, because apparently Spidey is the only person in that world who ever felt like throwing on some tights and fighting crime!
This movie actually spawned an even lamer TV series, if that’s possible. They then proceeded to make the costume worse than it was in the TV movie, much like they did with everything else that was wrong with it. Sorry Nicholas Hammond, but no. Wrong. You are not Peter Parker.
7.) Mutant X
Have you ever read an X-Men comic? Have you read it, and then wondered what it would be like to see it horribly ripped off with lame characters and terrible special effects? Well, look no further, because Mutant X brought us multiple seasons of lame storylines, terrible ‘villains’, bad acting and the worst X-Ripoff since… ever. Seriously, this show makes me vomit. I’m not even lying. I watched the pilot episode and got violently ill. And somehow this show got more than one season. How is that possible?
It shames me to put it on the list that’s how bad it was. The over the top characters that were clearly all based off of some of the core X-Men mutants that didn’t even try to hide the similarities. The team was basically comprised of alternate reality versions of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Shadowcat, and Professor X. Actually, if you picture it as an alternate X-men reality… no.. .no… it’s still really bad.
6.) Generation X
Now on to an actual adaptation of an X-series that isn’t just a lame ripoff. Still pretty lame, unfortunately. If you read X-Men comics in the 90’s chances are, you saw an ad for this made for TV movie and actually got excited. I was an avid X-reader in the 90’s, and I tuned in for the 2-hour special event… and then I turned it off. It was no good. Emma Frost wasn’t hot, Banshee wasn’t cool, the kids were nothing like the comics. I mean, Jubilee was white. Not that I’m a stickler for race continuity, I voted for Donald Glover as Spider-Man, a decision I still support highly. It was just a mixture of all the little details put together that ruined this one for me. And I was a pretty big Gen X fan. The trailer was so terrible I’m going to show you a theoretical intro that was created:
Wow, that was still bad. As far as TV movies go, it’s not as bad as some of the other ones on this list, but it’s still firmly rooted here. A forgettable storyline and terrible casting, special effects, and overall laziness leaves a bad taste in the mouths of X-fans everywhere. Even worse than the X-Men Origins: Wolverine aftertaste. Bleh.
5.) Night Man
Who the eff is Night Man, you ask? No, he’s not the fighter of the Dayman. He’s a hero from a long dead Marvel imprint. His biggest adventure may have been a crossover with Wolverine once, but who hasn’t done that at one point or another? As for the show itself, I would say picture a young Bill Clinton with night based superpowers and a recovering mullet. Seriously! This dude rocks out his Jazz Saxophone and then costumes up and beats the crap out of bad guys. Sounds awesome, right? It wasn’t. At all. For some reason my Dad absolutely loved the show, but check out the trailer and judge for yourself.
Batman mixed with the Saxman from Lost Boys pretty much describes this guy to a T.
4.) Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D
Two words; David Hasslehoff. David. Freaking. Hasslehoff. I don’t think I even need to talk about this one, just watch the trailer and tremble before the raw talent the Hoff brings to Marvel’s Chief Spy. It also featured Sandra Hess, who you may remember as Sonja in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, which came out a year before this…
The movie was low quality, and Hasslehoff was his usual self, which is like a bad cross between Rambo and Baywatch. Not that there really is a good pairing of those two. There is one honorable mention, as this is the first credited appearance of Stan Lee in a cameo, which he’s continued in most marvel films today[Ed. Note – The Trial of the Incredible Hulk in 1989 featured Lee’s first uncredited cameo, as pointed out by commenter Jason X. Thanks for the catch there Voorhees!]
3.) Doctor Strange
It’s the 70’s, The Incredible Hulk is smashing airwaves and Marvel is trying to keep the train rolling. Unfortunately, with every attempt they fail pretty abysmally. Doctor Strange was another made for TV movie that I’m pretty sure nobody has seen, but it was made memorable for it’s frequent use of man-falling-into-kaleidoscope-background.
The film was created as a backdoor pilot, with the hopes of receiving a full series order, but there is no surprise why that never actually happened. Starring Peter Hooten as a kind of hippy Stephen Strange, this film had one redeeming quality that lasts to this day; Lucille BluthMalory Archer Jessica Walter played the villain of the film, Morgan le Fay, and if there’s one role she can play well, it’s that of a villain.
2.) Captain America
Now I know what your thinking. Your thinking that I am going to talk about the 90’s Captain America movie that was terrible and should never have been made. Well, you’re wrong. Not about the movie, it was horrible. I’m actually talking about another made for TV movie that Marvel released in the 70’s, and this one featured Cap like you’ve never seen him before. Picture Evil Knievel… well I was going to try to mix it with something else but that’s pretty much it. Evil Knievel with a shield. And not just any shield. This shield pulled double duty as Cap’s wind screen on his bike. This guy was efficient.
The craziest thing about this? It spawned a sequel, another terrible made for TV movie. What happened in the 70’s people? Was this considered acceptable entertainment? No, no it wasn’t.
1.) Justice League of America
Wow, I really don’t even know where to start with this one. I mean, it’s quite an obscure selection of members, with terrible costumes for each and every one of them. Mix in lame special effects and a terrible story with a dash of bad acting and you’re left with this piece of crap. As soon as this pilot was announced it was doomed to failure. The main villain is the Weather Wizard, so you know it’s going to be terrible. But you can check that out for yourself in this promo set to the Justice League cartoon’s music:
You can clearly see why this takes the #1 spot of the worst TV Movies/Series. Man, that was terrible. It actually hurts to watch, and that was only one minute of it. I challenge you to find and watch each of these picks, and decide for yourself, if you can stomach it.
Honorable Mention: David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman
Okay, this one’s kind of a cheat. But it had to have been really bad for every network to pass on even making the pilot. Then NBC decided to give it a chance, and it still failed most heinous. I hope this one gets leaked to us like the failed Aquaman pilot. Wait a minute… Adrianne Palicki was in that one too. I think we’ve figured this one out, folks. Stop casting Adrianne Palicki in your pilots.[/tab][/tabgroup]
And that’s my Top Ten worst attempts at the small screen superhero. What do you think? Did I miss some crucial choices? Were you a closet fan of My Secret Identity? Sound off in the comments section below!