Movie Trend: Superheroes for the Ages

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Justice LeagueThe year 2000 marked the rise of superheroes to mainstream stardom, starting with “X-Men.”

No longer lampooned as Saturday’s cartoon or exclusive territory of the geeks, superheroes have gone “public” and they’re big business for Hollywood. Producers, directors, writers go as far as bringing in their unfinished creations to Comic-Con every year to get feedback or gauge reactions from fans.

In the last decade we’ve seen the invasion of superheroes on the silver screen (“X-Men,” “Lara Croft,” “Spider-Man,” “Daredevil,” “Elektra,” “Fantastic Four,” “Hulk,” “Hell Boy,” “Batman,” “Superman,” “Transformers,” “Iron Man,” “Wolverine,” “The Punisher,” “GI: Joe,” “Tron“).

Some of these superhero tales are light and fun, but some are heavyweight champions, both in the minds and hearts of the audience, as well as at the box office.

Visionary storytellers have churned out stories that are relatable to young and old, males and females of all races. Special effects have come a long way that superpowers appear to be realistic. Talented actors have embodied characters that are believable. And in some instances, the superhero roles have actually made relatively unknown or browbeaten actors household names (Tobey Maguire, “Spider-Man;” Christian Bale, “Batman;” Hugh Jackman, “Wolverine,” Robert Downey Jr., “Iron Man”).

The super-trend continues…

This year, expect to see “The Green Hornet” (recently out; January 14), “Thor” (May 6), “X-Men: First Class” (June 3), “Green Lantern” (June 17), “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (July 1), “Captain America: The First Avenger” (July 22). Next year you can expect “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Wolverine,” “Deadpool,” “Spider-Man” (reboot – Andrew Garfield, “The Social Network“), “Superman: Man of Steel” (reboot – Henry Cavill, “The Tudors”) flying at theaters near you.

Then there are those “in development” for 2013 and may be subject to change, such as (not in any particular order) “Iron Man 3,” (another) “Fantastic Four,” “The Flash,” “Justice League: Mortal,” “Aquaman,” “Thundercats,” “Red Sonja,” and so on. One thing is for certain, the rebirths of “Spider-Man” and “Superman” alone will spew more sequels in the years to come.

Stay tuned for more superheroes!

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Copyright (c) 2011. Nathalia Aryani.

Nathalia Aryani is a business manager, foreign language translator, lifestyle/travel writer and film columnist. She can be reached at Nathalia owns a movies blog, The MovieMaven(

Nathalia Aryani is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic ( She has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at [email protected].

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