Too many Superheroes…


I suppose it’s because I was weaned on comics such as the Dandy, the Beano, the Eagle, Superman, Batman and Captain Marvel, to name just a few publications from the nineteen-fifties on. These comics had a singular hero in the story, somebody you could identify with. Now a single film has a platoon of heroes and are probably the reason I don’t have a lot of time for the enormous output of these superhero films from the Hollywood studios.

Some time ago, I saw the title of a film, ‘Superman versus Batman’, or was it the other way around? I can’t be bothered to do any research on it, even if it means just a single stroke on the keyboard… As far as I’m concerned, the scenario was preposterous, Superman versus Batman? Superman, a super-being who can push planets or asteroids, which are about to hit the Earth off-course to save the planet? A being who cannot be killed with a bullet or a knife. A super-being who brings a runaway train to a shuddering halt by merely standing in front it, the train coming to a halt when it hits him as if it had run into a cliff face… The same being who can launch himself into outer space in order to fly fast enough to reverse time…  This being called Superman… versus Batman…?

Whoa… Sorry, I had to pause my typing as I was laughing so much at the thought… Batman is an ordinary super-fit man who can be killed, his pluses include having a bat-cave, along with various bat-vehicles and paraphernalia that would separate him, and give him a distinct advantages over a normal overweight human being… However, having Batman battling Superman, and I have listed a few of Superman’s advantages, just didn’t cut it with me… I didn’t care if people pointed out to me, and they did, of the amount of money the studios were making out of the interminable remakes… Now the studio’s are putting together teams of people with superpowers, soon they’ll have so many superheroes there’ll be no room for a story, or character development, in a two to three hour film… 

For me, I’m not going to see any of them or buy the DVD’s, or stream them on the television or whatever device I own. For me the whole scene has lost me as I’m no longer prepared to stem my disbelief…  

Moving on from superheroes. I know there are good stories being made into film, but I personally think the TV studios are doing a much better job of giving believable characters to whet the public’s appetite, certainly mine… Netflix and Amazon prime are making me binge watch various series although I’m a willing victim because they feature brilliant writing and acting, certainly as good as anything being made by the film studios.

I have to say, ‘long live these companies’, as the more people who are seeking good stories to make into television series, the more chance I have of fulfilling my fantasy of writing a blockbuster. I care not whether it’s for television or film because I stated my ambition on the first day of my MA (screenwriter), when we got asked to introduce ourselves and state our ambitions. Everybody present, including the tutors, found my declared ambition amusing and I got laughed at by everybody. I still don’t understand what was so amusing about my ambition as a screenwriter, surely every writer must have some sort of ambition, even if it’s only to become a hack writer on the Daily Record!  So, I haven’t abandoned my ambition, I am simply approaching it from a different angle…

There is a true story about a screenwriter who tried to get many agents to take him and his screenplay on as a client, being turned down by all of the agents, all telling him the story had no chance of being made into a film. He did exactly the same thing that I am doing now, he re-wrote his screenplay as a novel. The novel went to the top of the book charts and became a sought-after property, with many of the same agents who had decried his screenplay, trying to secure the novel for their filmmaking clients, the screenplay went on to become a hot property and was made into a film.…

The genre in the fantasy world that still has me enthralled and fires my imagination is the one where people are being genetically engineered… Things are going on in labs worldwide that we have absolutely no knowledge of, and there are definitely good stories to be mined from this area. Look at your neighbour who was in hospital for a few weeks taking part in a trial and doesn’t want to talk about it… are you sure they’re the same person that entered the hospital?

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