Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Editorial: Are Comic Book Movies Resurrecting Careers?

Are comic book movies becoming the catalysts in career resurrections? Consider this:

1. Most people would say that 2008 was RDJ's year; MTV went as far as to anoint him the "Actor [They] Were Most Thankful For." Although Downey had been steadily doing good work for years, Iron Man launched him to Hollywood heights he hadn't seen before

2. Ron Perlman was relegated mostly to television before his breakout performance as Hellboy in 2004. Since then, he's done a sequel, a motorcycle gang show on the FX network, and he's got at least seven movies that he's completed or is working on for 2009 and 2010. Plus, he's going to be a main character in the interesting-sounding Josh Hartnett movie Bunraku.

3. Mickey Rourke has put out at least one movie a year since 1979 (with the exception of 2007), but his career received an extra boost after his portrayal of Marv in the critically acclaimed and fan-praised Sin City. He's currently got five films in pre-production.

4. Gerard Butler was in a few big budget movies like Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Reign of Fire, and The Phantom of the Opera but never really shined until he became a household name with his bellowing portrayal of King Leonidas in 300. He's got some more high profile projects on the way, most notably Law Abiding Citizen with Jamie Foxx.

5. The cast of Watchmen isn't exactly the most high-profile ensemble gathered for a comic book movie (that honor goes to The Dark Knight), but a few of the film's stars are already feeling the effects of their participation in the film. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Comedian) is joining another comic book adaptation - this one based on Andy Diggle's "The Losers." Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach) has been hired recently to star in Fox's "Human Target," also based on a comic. Plus, Haley is in serious discussions to star as Freddy Krueger in the upcoming Nightmare on Elm Street remake due (almost certainly) to his insane performance in Watchmen.

These are just five examples - not a full-fledged thesis, but I think enough to be considered a hypothesis. Something to think about, at any rate. Any other instances you can think of? Let me know in the comments section. Until next time...

Note: I've been a little busy lately with weddings and bachelor parties and such, so my production hasn't been as high as usual (although March was pretty awesome). But I'm heading to Ground Zero for movies - Los Angeles, California - for a week on Tuesday, so I'll let you guys know how that went if you're interested when I get back.


Jacob said...

Good editorial. I recall the words of Bette Davis about starring in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1950 film ALL ABOUT EVE: "He resurrected me from the dead." From the late 1930s through the mid 40s, Davis was the queen of Warner Bros. But her career had been sagging for about five years by 1950, when she was 42 (not a friendly age for women in Goldie Hawn put it in THE FIRST WIVES CLUB, at that point you're either district attorney or Driving Miss Daisy). So it's always fascinating to watch careers bounce back and forth. I recall watching a made-for-TV horror thriller called BAY COVEN, which starred Pamela Sue Martin, and in a supporting role, Woody Harrelson. In 1987 everyone knew who Pamela Sue Martin was: she had been on a show called "Dynasty" that was a big hit. 22 years later I doubt if anyone knows of her, and Woody Harrelson is quite famous. Ahh, showbiz...

Ben Pearson said...

Epic comment, Jacob. I like it.

Head Hero said...

Mickey Rourke was awesome in Sin City, but I think people see The Wrestler as more of a comeback (but I still love Sin City). And now he is going to be in the Iron Man franchise.

When comic movies cast relatively unknowns it seems that they become bigger names in the industry. It is pretty cool.

Dude...what's going down in LA?

Ben Pearson said...

I'm heading out there to see if I can find some work, and just to check out movie heaven. I've never been there before (other than in my infancy), so I'm pretty pumped about it. My flight leaves tomorrow and I'll be back on Tuesday.