After the box-office success of movies like the two Spider-Man movies, the X-Men trilogy, and Batman Begins, among a list of many others, Hollywood producers have become more inclined to make more comic book movies. 2007 promises to be a full year of comic book movies. Although release dates are always subject to change, here is a brief list of some of the comic book movies fans can look forward to in 2007.
Ghost Rider (February 16): Ghost Rider has been heavily delayed, but will finally be released early in 2007. I’m still a little iffy about the choice of Nicolas Cage to play Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider, but that is mostly because I don’t really like him. I’ve heard a lot of other fans who think that Cage can do the role justice, and perhaps they’re right. Regardless, I think that the visual effects are going to be simply amazing for this movie–when I first saw the picture of Ghost Rider’s motorcycle, I was awestruck. The only other reason to be leery of Ghost Rider is that it was written by and is directed by Mark Steven Johnson, who was also involved with Daredevil and Electra. Notice that I didn’t mention those two when I was talking about successful comic book movies.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (March 23): Technically speaking, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would qualify as a TV show/comic book movie. I suspect that this one will have more to do with the TV show than the comic book, but I’m including it here anyway because it is at least marginally related to a comic book. I’m a little bit bothered by the fact that only two of the voice actors have been announced, but my excitement for this movie is enough to banish that worry. I secretly hope that they bring back the voice actors from the first three movies. Heaven knows that Corey Feldman could use the work. Director Kevin Munroe hasn’t worked on any other major movies to date, so this will be an interesting test of his talents.
Spider-Man 3 (May 4): Most fans of Spider-Man have only one thing that they need to say about this movie: black suit. The inclusion of Venom in this movie, even though Sam Raimi tried to keep it a big secret, is an absolute thrill for comic book fans. The continuation of the previous cast and director make Spider-Man 3 very likely to be an impressive piece of work, and the addition of Topher Grace and Thomas Haden Church are a continuation in the tradition of great supporting cast for the Spider-Man movies.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (June 15): I know that a lot of comic book fans were disappointed by the first Fantastic Four movie, but I, for one, am looking forward to Rise of the Silver Surfer. I think that the casting on the Fantastic Four is just about perfect, since I can even tolerate Jessica Alba as Sue Storm. I’m not familiar enough with Doug Jones, who will be playing the Silver Surfer, to comment on his being cast in that role, but based on the casting of all of the other roles, I would say he is likely to do well in this role. Bringing back director Tim Story also promises good things, as he did well with the first Fantastic Four movie.
Transformers (July 4): Another TV show/comic book movie, I am very excited about Transformers. I was a huge fan of the TV show as a child, and I even liked the original Transformers movie at the time. Having recently bought a new DVD copy of that movie, I think that it definitely needs to be pulled out of the 80s and into the present, and hopefully this quasi-live action version will do just that. It would be nice if more of the Transformers could be built, rather than simply rendered in CGI, but I suppose there are still limitations on what Hollywood is capable of actually creating. Director Michael Bay seems to be making a career for himself by remaking and rehashing older movies (Armageddon and Pearl Harbor notwithstanding), so hopefully he can do justice to Transformers.
30 Days of Night (October 19): 30 Days of Night isn’t the best known comic book, particularly as it doesn’t have the longevity of many other comic book titles. Nonetheless, it is a pretty amazing series about vampires descending on a small Alaskan town in the dead of winter–a town where the skies will remain dark for an entire month. Director David Slade hasn’t directed many movies to date, but I’ve heard good things about Hard Candy, so I’m hopeful for his skill in directing this comic book movie.
This early, it is entirely possible that this list is incomplete. But even considering only these 6 movies, 2007 will likely thrill comic book fans everywhere with the wide selection of comic book movies scheduled for their appearance on the big screen.