Top 10: Superhero Movies That Could Be TV Shows
There is no question about it. the era of Superhero films is dominant across the movie world. I first got into watching superhero movies back in 2003, yes I was a very late bloomer to the whole super hero theme. But back then these types of films were only beginning to blossom, and the likes of Fantastic Four – released that very same year – was not helping the cause that superhero films were the next generation of blockbuster movies.
Yet there is always those lingering question many fans ask themselves when they see their favorite heroes on the big screen, and the one question everyone is guaranteed to hear after a screening is ‘What if that hero was in a television series rather than a film?’
It is always something to consider. Your big heroes like Batman, Captain America, Iron Man and so forth have great character development, with a huge cast of protagonists and antagonists to go with their respective titles. Fortunately these films have done well to satisfy their target audiences with carefully handled plots and great detail for the characters.
But there are always those who question as to whether that heroes story arch was right for the big screen, and whether it should have been given a slot in a television series, possibly due to the depth and broad context of that character alone.
So here is an exploration into eight possible superheroes that could have made better television shows than possible films.
10) The Hulk
One of the most iconic figures in modern culture, The Hulk is one the most loved and yet feared heroes in the Marvel universe. Whilst the Hulk is often portrayed a ‘witless, war machine’ capable of mass destruction, a television series could prove better for fans to interact with Bruce Banner. It would be interesting to see the development of Bruce Banner as a person, since the audience who are not familiar with comics understand the side stories to how he became the man he is shown to be. Yet another hindrance for this becoming a reality is the financial cost of producing such a show; not only would it prove costly to animate The Hulk, but you have to create an environment that he can potentially lay waste to. Though I am sure with the success of Mark Ruffalo in the Avengers, we could see the Hulk appear on our screens again sooner rather than later.
9) The Crow
Whilst the film was received well with some fans, something screamed to me about how the crow could make a great television series on HBO, or any other cable channel. The story revolves around an unfortunate man, Eric. He and his fiancée Shelly are assaulted by a gang of thugs which leaves him paralyzed after taking a bullet to the head. He is then resurrected by a crow and soon seeks vengeance on the thugs. Revenge themed programs seem to be a craze now, and the Crow certainly fits the bill, as Eric stalks his targets. Furthermore his story provides a very gothic and dark element, as part of the story arc is focused on his personal life which proves to be torture for him and leads to some examples of self-mutilation.
8) Ghost Rider
Nick Cage certainly made a botch job of this one. But to put this one bluntly, Johnny Blaze is stunt cyclist who sells his soul to Satan to save the life of his mentor and soon gains supernatural powers. Soon he is taking on enemies from the underworld whilst he is living a lifestyle that most teenagers would probably find interesting. To be honest anything would be better than the film adaptations of this character.
7) Judge Dredd
Two films made and neither one has still been able to pleasurable to enjoy. Dredd’s story arch can be adapted into a crime drama similar to the likes of Law & Order, though you may have to adapt it to Dredd’s aspects for justice. What’s more his character can, through a television series, engage with the audience over current issues occurring in the real world, from the police state, authoritarianism and rule of law.
6) Fantastic Four
When I re-watched the 2005 a few months ago I immediately thought that this could work as a television show. You have a quartet of individuals each blessed with different powers, and vary in personalities. Mix that with a mad man who is a polymath& a genius and a cosmic entity capable of destroying entire world then you have something to work with. Using these elements can provide flavour to a well-developed plot that can build suspense and tension over the course of a series of episodes. Though the budget for effects would have to be heavily considered if a show of this magnitude was to air.
It has taken three films to realize that title should never have been considered for film release. In all honesty Dolph Lundgren should count himself lucky that directors still hire him, though it’s not like any of his films are famed. Anyway Punisher is about Frank Castle, a war veteran of the US military who wages a one man war on all criminals after his wife and two children were killed by the mob during a shoot-out. So you immediately have your dramatic hook there. What makes the Punisher far more interesting is that he is an anti-hero, he employs murder, kidnapping, extortion, coercion and torture in his war on crime. Frank Castle is tragic figure, and shows with psychologically troubled characters seem to be well received. If you want to know what a Punisher show could look like, just watch the fan-made short below with Thomas Jane and a cameo appearance from Ron Pearlman:
The Toby Maguire films gradually got worse after the first, and Andrew Garfield’s adaptation of Peter Parker’s alter-ego was good, but still lacked a lot of qualities that fans were looking for. Peter Parker is easily relatable to the intended audience, a teenager going through High School and then college, this sort of environment provides drama. Also the environment is New York City, a place where many directors have created the illusion that the city never ends. Combine this with a pool of interesting characters, a wide range of lavishing story arch’s and you could have a successful television series.
We’ll ignore the rumors of a John Blake Batman plot happening for now. Batman has become one of the biggest successes for Superhero films in modern-day cinema, so what’s the next best thing? Whilst the idea of Robin themed film/TV show has proved controversial, the story arch does not need to continue on from the Dark Knight series. You could simply have them both starting out from the beginning, so for Nightwing it would be a Bludhaven in the first episode, and/or Robin starting his first solo missions. Though I guess the best feature would be to have a feature show with both of them, and possibly the odd cameo of Batman acting as a behind the scenes presence and possible guest star? Yet no doubt this would receive mixed responses.
2) Green Lantern
The film was a disaster from start to finish. Ryan Reynolds was the wrong choice when the director was casting Hal Jordan, Blake Lively was just annoying and the script was fairly lazy and predictable. Yet what got me interested in the Green Lantern series was the amount characters that the reader could love or hate, the development in the comics was pitch perfect and a TV show could do the same. I mean look at Game of Thrones, there are more characters than you can count but the show has done well to help the audience remember each and every one of them. Also the setting for the Green Lantern series is the entire universe, you can’t explore that universe in a two-hour film blockbuster, it spoils all the fun and enjoyment for the audience.
No matter how Ben Affleck is viewed now, many fans of the Daredevil franchise will never forgive him or Mark Steven Johnson for turning one of the coolest superheroes into a total laughing-stock. If we take the exception of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D show being made, then Daredevil could be one of the smarter choices made by Marvel to adapted it into a television series. His superpower is that he’s a blind guy but can see – a power well within a TV show’s SFX budget (actually all you need is a guy who can parkour and who has good martial arts choreography and your there). His two biggest foes are an assassin and fat crime lord, well with the SFX budget, and he fights mainly on the streets at night and is a lawyer during the day. Basically you can have a Daredevil TV show that is a police procedural and a law procedural as well, which is incredibly popular at the moment.