The State of Supermen Pt. I: The Gilded Age

With the release of The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan’s highly ambitious, consistently masterful Batman Trilogy has ended, standing head and shoulders above competition as the highlight of what could be referred to as a golden age of superhero movies. After all, the comic book adaptation has become the predominant trend in modern blockbuster filmmaking. But if Nolan’s films have brought the comic-book movie to new heights, why have so few superhero films tried to match them? It’s not as if Iron Man or Thor’s stories don’t have potential to be great movies. But there’s a decreasing level of ambition in most recent comic-book adaptations. It isn’t that there aren’t a number of great directors willing to put their own stamp on the material. Rather, it has more to do with a modern version of the Classic Hollywood studio system that gives projects out to workmanlike filmmakers, limits creativity of great filmmakers, and displays an extraordinary lack of imagination in restarting franchises.

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