By Tahlia Merrill Kirk
Marvel has been cramming as many superhero movies into theaters as possible. Luckily for them, fans’ appetites for these flicks seem to be unending. But there’s one series that has been wildly popular in print, but keeps getting pushed to the back of the lineup for Hollywood.
The Runaways has such a perfect elevator pitch, (group of teens learns that their parents are actually super-villains–bam!) it’s kinda ridiculous that studios would opt for a THIRD Spiderman movie reboot rather than showing Brian Vaughan’s creation some love.
Ah, but maybe that’s the key here. You’d think a heavy hitter like Marvel Studios wouldn’t be afraid of risk, especially now they’re backed by Disney, but perhaps not. Superhero movies tend to have massive budgets and all those explosions cost a lot of money, which is why executives would rather invest in sequels of brands with high name recognition and nostalgia attached to them.
But what about the exceptions to this rule? Some comic book heroes are managing to get movies even though they weren’t previously on the public’s radar. Looking at the schedule for the next five years, I see less famous names like Ant-Man, Black Panther, and Inhumans. (http://www.newsarama.com/21815-the-new-full-comic-book-superhero-movie-schedule.html). A little research revealed a common thread between all three: Stan Lee.
So my current theory is that Stan Lee’s name carries so much clout in this genre that his creations are getting preferential treatment. It kind of makes sense–pull a random guy off the street and ask them to name two comic book writers, I’d bet the only name most people would know would be Stan Lee’s. So if my theory is right, we’re more likely to get a Purple Man movie than a Runaways movie anytime soon (http://www.comicvine.com/purple-man/4005-3227/) …Oh, wait, this just in…Purple Man will be a character in the new Netflix series AKA Jessica Jones (http://www.themarysue.com/david-tennant-purple-man-aka-jessica-jones/). Yeah, we may be waiting a long time before Runaways makes it to the big screen.
For those interested in learning more about why Runaways are so great, here’s a great guide to help pique your interest: http://www.ign.com/articles/2006/08/08/runaways-guide