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March 16, 2003

Last summer everything changed. A little independent art film called Spiderman ran away with the box office and every nutsack producer in Hollywood got his assistant on the cell phone and told him to go to the comic store and pick up everything on the shelf. You're not going to believe what's already in the can, not to mention what's further down the line as far as movies based on comics. It's a Golden Age that even Stan Lee didn't see coming. So sit back, relax, enjoy, and let The Beefboy do, what The Beefboy does best… and that's break it right on down for you.

In the past ten or so years, movies based on comics have brought greedy Hollywood sharks plenty of skrilla (yes, The Beefboy said skrilla). Batman and it's sequels, The Crow, The Mask, Blade and Men in Black all came from the minds of comic geeks and did fantastic box office. However, we were also treated to such dogs as The Punisher, Captain America, Fantastic Four and any other Marvel properties I forgot. For those of us who have grimaced at some real dogs, the future of comic-based movies is bright indeed.

X-Men and Spiderman, and the money they brought in, have made comic-based films a hot commodity. This year has an amazing line-up on the heels of that success. Daredevil has already come out and is doing well. Look for X-2, the X-Men sequel, The Hulk, Bulletproof Monk (based on the 1993 Image limited series) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (based on Alan Moore's series from America's Best Comics) starring Sean Connery.

Impressed yet? That's the tip of the iceberg when compared to what is being filmed or in development for next year. Batman: The Frightening, is a prequel that should have a younger Batman, while Ashley Judd stars as Catwoman in her own movie (Judd in a tight latex outfit?… The Beefboy is first in line for that.) Also in the works is The Fantastic Four, Superman, "re-imagined" by Rush Hour director Brett Ratner and The Amazing Spiderman, sequel to last year's hit.

While mainstream audiences will undoubtedly flock to those movies there are a few relatively obscure comics that hold even more promise as films. Constantine, with Keanu Reeves, based on The DC/Vertigo series Hellblazer, is one of The Beefboy's favorite comic characters, and despite Reeves could be very good if handled right. Yes, I know, Keanu Reeves as a blond English malcontent is the most idiotic piece of casting since Tom Cruise played a blond English vampire in The Vampire Lestadt, but hey, Keanu didn't ruin The Matrix and Cruise didn't ruin Lestadt, we may luck out here. Garth Ennis' tour de force, Preacher, from the DC/Vertigo series, is slated to star James Marsden. Finally, hang on to your prospective genitals for Mike Mignola's Hellboy, directed by Guillermo Del Toro (Blade 2) and starring Ron Perlman! Del Toro is a powerful and highly underrated director, while Perlman is the essence of cool. Hellboy could be the movie of 2004 (don't hold your breath around Oscar time though).

Creatively bankrupt Hollywood types will continue to go to the comic store to get new ideas. As long as the majority of comic movies make money we should continue to see an increasing number of adaptations. Hopefully, that will turn some movie audiences into new comic readers, but let's not get silly! It's the Golden Age for comics in movies. Enjoy it. Excelsior!

Dig it!

-The Beefboy

October 10, 2004 - Since I wrote this article some things changed. Obviously Ashley Judd decided to not take the Catwoman role (a good decision), Hulk tanked, Hellboy was not the movie of the year (but still damn good) and the Batman movie changed its name. I also discovered that Road to Perdition was based on a comic.

Meanwhile, we're looking forward to more X-Men, another Spiderman movie (are you kidding?... if they keep making this much money on Spiderman you can expect them to pop those out like teen mothers!), Fantastic Four is coming out fairly soon, and we're still waiting on several movies I mentioned in the article.