The Obsession With Ensemble Superhero Movies

The more the merrier…?


It really wasn’t that long ago when superhero or comic book adaptations in general were looked down upon by the big studios and authoritative figures in Hollywood. Superheroes were for “geeky loners who couldn’t hold down a real job and still lived with their parents”. Right? Nobody really wanted to pay good money to see a quality superhero movie with competent acting and a gripping story, did they? Well Hollywood got it wrong. Bryan Singer changed it all when he released X-Men in 2000 and of course Christopher Nolan’s grounded Dark Knight Trilogy managed to turn the big-wigs head a full 360. Now blockbuster season is rife with comic books stories. Every top actor, writer and director wants in and it doesn’t look like the craze for spandex action will be ending any time soon.

Superheroes are here to stay!

When Marvel’s unremitting money making machine got rolling way back in 2008 with Iron Man, they were reinventing a genre for a new audience and re-establishing their own brand in the process. We weren’t fully aware of what was happening but Iron Man was just the starting point in the journey that would ultimately lead us to the highly ambitious Avengers project. The very idea that Marvel were throwing on the table – and actually following through with huge success – was as much a shift in gears as any movie movement in history. The success of The Avengers changed everything and it’s influence has bred something viscerally earnest in the other big studios.


Fox hit it big with X-Men Days of Future Past. It recently became one of the biggest grossing movie of the year so far – only second to Transformers 4: Age of Extinction – besting Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Fox are currently rebooting Fantastic Four with a sequel already announced sparking rumours that they may explore the possibility of a shared universe with Professor Xavier and company. Those rumours have since been timidly squashed by Fox representatives but it’s still a viable option. Sony are developing Sinister Six (Spider-Man spin off) and have also been linked with Fox in an alleged – although highly unlikely – alliance to fend off Marvel’s dominance. Oh and in case you haven’t heard Warner Bros. have Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice coming in 2016 with a slew of other DC character movies following leading up to a full on Justice League picture. Despite a presence at this years San Diego Comic-Con, Warner Bros. didn’t reveal any details regarding their Marvel-like phase program.

Is it just me or is there a pattern developing here?

It seems like we’ve actually got to the stage where studios are only thinking about their proposed ensemble pictures and are gravitating less towards solo superhero flicks (except for the purpose of introductions). I suppose it makes sense considering that superhero team movies – the only few that we have – have historically outperformed their solo counterparts. Whether or not it’s becoming an obsession so to speak is difficult to surmise right now but with Guardians of the Galaxy already looking like a sure fire hit and murmurings of an X-Force, Defenders of the Earth and Marvel’s Defenders productions being talked about it feels like every new superhero project is literally getting bigger and bigger.


What other solo superhero movies out there are people still getting excited about? The leaked test footage from the proposed Deadpool movie directed by Tim Miller looked pretty good and certainly different. If the internet buzz surrounding it is anything to go by then the studio and everyone involved will surely make more of an effort to pull something out of the bag. I’d certainly like to see that movie but unfortunately it’ll only be a matter of time before the powers that be want Deadpool to team up with the X-Men or Fantastic Four. Not that that would be a horrible idea or anything, it’s just a shame that a superhero – or antihero – isn’t allowed to be the sole protagonist anymore.

Let me know what solo superhero movies you want to see…

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Gavin Logan – Follow me on Twitter




2 thoughts on “The Obsession With Ensemble Superhero Movies

  1. I am more of a Marvel fan than DC but I would love to see a Wonder Woman movie as well as another Green Lantern (I’m one of the few that enjoyed it).

    As for other of my favorites, I think it is time we had Spider-Woman and Black Cat make an appearance in a Spider-Man film.

    Lastly, I would love to see a stand alone villian film. Let me see a film from the perspective of Dr. Doom or Lex Luthor and please don’t make it seem like they are really trying to be a good guy. Show me how evil they are, don’t try to make me like the character because I already do.

    • Id love to see a proper villain movie too but unfortunately I don’t think it would work without jeopardising the evil side a little. Too bad. Thanks for reading 🙂

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