Superheroes are bigger than comics. They are bigger than movies. They are bigger than all the billions in merchandise they earn for their makers. And, they are much, much bigger than the actors who play them.
For the longest time I didn't think any movie could get me more excited than The Dark Knight Rises (2012). But the primary reason for that is the fact that it has to follow The Dark Knight, which is one of the best films of the drama, action, and thriller genres - and it happens to have a superhero in it.
But just because Chris Nolan accomplished to make one of the greatest films of all time doesn't mean he will do it again. He probably will, but the pressure is just too much. Does that mean The Dark Knight Rises won't make a billion dollars? Of course not. The Dark Knight's opening weekend had shows at midnight, 3am, 6am - in almost every theatre in the US. That is truly epic.
But times have changed. Batman is, after all, a mega-rich hero in a fictional city with its own problems. No matter how hard the audience tries, they just can't relate with him or the citizens of Gotham. This isn't criticism for Christian Bale and Chris Nolan's talents - its praise for the superhero people of all ages can watch and live and laugh and cry with.
I'm not going to make this about Tobey Maguire's Spiderman. He had no competition back then. His Spiderman was the first, and no one could argue with his rendition of the character as we had never seen it on film. But, his Peter Parker was kind of a sissy. He really made it look like his gift was a curse - I just didn't believe that he wanted it. A 30-something Spiderman isn't the Spiderman we want to cheer for. And most of all, I just couldn't buy that he actually likes helping people.
And his dark turn in Spiderman 3 only made it worse:
Thankfully, after watching Andrew Garfield in The Social Network - I can't imagine anyone else as Peter Parker. And while I would love to talk about how great the film looks so far, and how Spiderman is about to beat Batman's ass - I don't want to. Andrew Garfield does more than enough justice to what Spiderman means in the video below.
In San Diego, where I've lived for the past 4 years, there is an annual event known as Comic-Con - an event where the geeks and nerds come from all parts of the country and the world to meet their on-screen and behind-the-scenes heroes and get exclusive sneak peaks at upcoming blockbusters. It is the one place where people not wearing costumes stand out.
And just to set up how much its fans love Comic-Con - passes to this event sold out within three hours - 6 months ago.
And while I don't consider myself nerd-y enough to attend Comic-Con (weirdly enough, its embarrassing to admit that), I really wish I was there for this:
There is no better way to become a fan favorite. And while he may not be the biggest fan of Spiderman, he is certainly the one with the most heart. He isn't doing this for the money, or the fame - he truly is The Amazing Spiderman.