The iFanboy 2008 Summer Movie Preview

I was reading my copy of Entertainment Weekly the other day, perusing the line up of movies for this summer, which already seemed like a huge summer with such movies as the new Indiana Jones (I don’t care what anyone says, I’m totally there), the new X-Files (meh) and Speed Racer (genius casting). But as I flipped through the movies, I realized something. Not only do we have a bunch of comic book adaptations coming out, five in all, they all seem to be fairly high profile and A-List in terms of the actors and filmmakers involved! I know that Hollywood has been raiding out sub-genre for properties, and it’s been a parade of comic book movies for the past few years, but five movies, in one summer? That’s insane.

Before I go through each movie and share my thoughts, I do have one observation. Is this the beginning of the end? It’s been almost 10 years now of a steady flow of movies based on comics, with more in development and on the way (*cough* Watchmen *cough*) and that’s partially bolstered by Marvel getting the rights back to a bunch of their characters and producing movies themselves as a studio. But how much more can happen? Will this summer be the apex of the comics movies phase and it will be down hill from here? I don’t know. I sure hope not, but given how fickle audiences can be, I wouldn’t be surprised if the box office numbers start dwindling and the number of comics movies goes back down to make room for the latest trend. But who knows what tomorrow will bring. All I know is right now, I’ve got a bunch of movies to see and I’m psyched.

Iron Man

Opens May 2, 2008 – You’ve seen me excited about this movie in an episode of iFanboy Mini, and I already have my tickets for Thursday night. This is the one movie that I’m most excited for this summer. Like how I read my comics, I’m psyched that it’s coming out first as it will set the bar for the comics movies this summer. I don’t think I can say anything more about how perfect the casting is, with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. Unless there’s some unknown piece of awful (like the end of the last Hulk movie), this movie is a lock to be fantastic. I still am a bit leery of the villain, the whole Iron Monger thing, as well as this open source angle on the villain, but I’m hopeful.

The Incredible Hulk

Opens June 13, 2008 – I know a lot of people didn’t like the Eric Bana/Ang Lee directed Hulk movie from a few years ago. Personally, I enjoyed it. The ending just about ruined the whole thing but aside from that, it was a good movie, I thought. Never in a million years did I think they would make another, and completely forget about the last movie. Even if they did, I didn’t think it would be so soon. I’m a huge Ed Norton fan and his casting as Bruce Banner is interesting, but recent tales of strife between Norton, the director Louis Leterrier and the Marvel Studios leaves me worried the most about this movie. It’s definitely an open question mark. The trailer didn’t help it’s cause either. I’ll be there on June 13 to see it, but I’m not as confident about this one.


Opens June 27, 2008 – Another total shocker. How psyched are Mark Millar and JG Jones to see their book, Wanted on the big screen with Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman? As far as I can tell, this movie seems to deviate the most from the original text of the comics, but after seeing the trailer, you know, I don’t think anyone is complaining. Wanted is straight up action, and from the looks of the trailer and everything I’ve read, it’s going to deliver on some level. I’m not a huge purist of the comic, so I can let a little deviation go, but I’m sure Millar loyalists will complain, as they’re oft to do. But I bet even they think the car scene with Jolie is awesome.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Opens July 11, 2008 – I have to say, in the world of movie sequels, I can’t think of a finer property than the Hellboy franchise to get a sequel. Mike Mignola’s comic has been masterfully translated to the movies by Guillermo del Toro, so much so that I really believe the first move is vastly underrated. Hopefully with this sequel, the masses can see how great Hellboy and his universe can be for stories that are enjoyable, action packed and a little bit spooky.

The Dark Knight

Opens July 18, 2008 – In terms of anticipation, coming in right behind Iron Man, is the sequel to Batman BeginsThe Dark Knight. It was already going to be a huge movie before the tragedy of Heath Ledger’s death, and I’m curious to see what the affect of that will be around the press of the movie as we get closer. If you can ignore that, though, going into the movie, I think we’ll be in for a treat. Batman Begins gave us a great return to glory for the Batman franchise with a believable Christian Bale as Batman, fantastic direction by Christoper Nolan and of course, Jim Gordon played masterfully by Gary Oldman. Everything I’ve seen of this movie, from the trailer to stills to interviews with the cast makes me think this will be just as good, if not slightly better than Batman Begins (Maggie Gyllenhaal wins over Katie Holmes in my book).

Those are a lot of movies to go see.  I don’t know if I can take a more jam packed summer than this. I’m still amazed at the fact that we’re even getting these movies made that the fact that this summer’s crop seem to be high quality just blows my mind. Hopefully, these movies will lead more people to the source material of the comics, as we always hope. But regardless of that, it’s great to see such legends as Iron Man and Batman get their due on screen, and to see such creators as Millar/Jones and Mignola get the rewards they deserve for creating such amazing characters and stories. It’s nice to be able to plan to go to the movies for pretty much every weekend this summer and be guaranteed something good to see.


  1. I always knew something good was in store for 2008. Little did I know that it would be the summer of movies to kick my ass.

    What sucks is that my excitement for some movies is overshadowing anticipation for others. Like, I’m really excited for Dark Knight, which means I’m not as excited for Hellboy, even though it looks great.

    Its a lot for my mind to handle. I’m already gripping with the fantasticness that is Matthew Fox as Racer X.

  2. looking forward to 4 of 5 movies on that list… i think "wanted" is gonna be wait for dvd or let’s-go-to-a-crappy-theater-and-sneak-in-a-six-pack.  that latter part is not recommended for kids.

  3. I’m pretty much looking forward to all of these, Wanted not so much.  I’m also super excited for the X-Files, even though it feels more like a Fall/Winter movie.  Anybody else Want to Believe?

  4. I’d have to agree with most of the folks here – looking forward to all of these, but Wanted probably least of all. Call me one of those Millar purists if you want, but I think it would be a better movie with all the spandex, shit monster and that skeleton guy.

    I’m with Ron on the first Hulk movie – in my opinion, the only thing missing from the Ang Lee flick was the Hulk hitting someone, and judging from the trailer, we’ll at least see some of that.

    I’m probably more excited about Dark Knight than I am for Iron Man, although both are at the top of my list, along with Indy, for top movies of the summer. Having seen the second full DK trailer (bless you, You Tube!) only heightened my excitement. I think this could be an Empire Strikes Back/Spider-Man 2 where DK surpasses an already amazing first flick.

    X-Files? I’ll be there with my black suit and FBI badge on opening day. 

    And not only genere flicks, but there are other promising movies out there as well. Get Smart, Stepbrothers – there are just a lot of promising movies coming out this summer. Looks to be the best summer for flicks in a long while. 

  5. Most anticipated movie for me is The Dark Knight and in very very close second is the X-Files 2, I definitely want to believe.

    Wanted and Hulk, I’ll rent the dvd. 

    Oh… and here in Mexico we get to see Iron Man… today! Awesome!

  6. Couldn’t agree more here!  I’m psyched for Summer movie season.  I actually had a pass to view Iron Man last night at a special advance screening, but was unable to attend due to my other job responsibilities. 🙁  Hence, I’ll be standing in line with everyone else for this one this wkend. 

    Out of the 5, though, The Dark Knight has me salivating!  I can’t wait to see that knew trailer on Sunday!  I fully expect to have my sox knocked off by TDK. 

  7. maybe five years ago i would have agreed that comic book movies/superhero movies were a flash in the pan movie fad, but it’s been around so long now that i think it’s moved from being a fad to being it’s own bonified genre. You have to remember the special efefcts technology has only now caught up to the overthetop action found in comics. I don’t think they will go away anytime soon, if anything it may only slow down, but i think there will always be demand for superhero movies in some form or another from here on out. But maybe im just ignorant to the way movie studios work, who knows?

  8. Who is saying bad things about Indiana Jones!

  9. I really don’t care how much that Wanted deviates from the source material, it just does not look like a good movie. Ever since I saw the trailer (I still haven’t read the book, though I grabbed the issues for $1 a piece at a recent show), I just thought it looked bad. Don’t get me wrong, it’s got great people in it, but it just looks too silly, while at the same time trying to be "super serious." And I’m not sure about anybody else, but Angelina Jolie is just tiring to see anymore. She looks old and super skinny and just kind of gross. (and she’s only like 33!!)  I’ve pretty much had it with her. Everything else I’m down for, (as well as Indiana Jones and Speed Racer and what the hell, X-Files too), but count me out from Wanted. 

  10. I can’t wait to see all them. But the one movie can’t wait to see out of all the summer movie them is Indy 4.

  11. Is it just me or does each year the movies get bigger and better? I mean I was stoked last year for Pirates 3 and Spiderman 3 ( which sucked but still stoked ). This year with Batman, Speed Racer, Wanted, Indy 4, Iron man, Hulk. Its gonna rock. And next year with Wolverine, Watchmen and others? AWESOME!!

     Ya Dark Knight takes it for me this year though. I think Wanted will surprise people and be a lot better than people think though.

  12. Can’t remember where I read it, but in the last two months no less than 16 comic adaptations have been greenlit. This is far from the beginning of the end. We’re on the incline for a while.

    It was an article about how a lot of people have actually realized that you have better chances of getting your foot in the door with a comic to adapt than writing a screenplay. Just easier to do. Says Frank Miller, anyways.

  13. Maggie Gyllenhaal even beats Katie Holmes in the dictionary, I don’t think it’s just your book Ron. I’m wondering which of the films could be this year’s Spider-Man 3, as in the film we are looking forward to which will make you want to commit yourself to somewhere nice, relaxing and padded.

    Only Iron Man and Dark Knight have me as excited as I initially was for Spider-Man 3: The Musical, and I just can’t seem them letting me down.

    I just cannot wait for the this weekend.

  14. I actually really LOVED the first Hulk movie.

  15. This is why I love The Dude.

  16. Okay, so one of the banner ads running up on top had a link for the new trailer for THE INCREDIBLE HULK and I clicked through and by golly it *is* a new trailer.  I have to say that I like this trailer a lot more than the last one but the CGI still looks worse than in the first film.  Worse by a lot.

  17. I’m not sure how I feel about the CGI in The Incredible Hulk.  I think it looks decent, but its hard to say.  Remember how everybody made a stink about Hulk’s Superbowl commercial? 

    One of the best CGI comics character’s that I remember seeing recently was the Silver Surfer in the last FF movie.  He looked unbelievable!

  18. I loved Ang Lee’s Hulk too. Everything I’ve seen about this "reboot" has looked good, but nowhere near as great as Lee’s version. Especially the CGI.

    Can anyone explain this to me?

    Eric Bana’s Banner = slicked side-parting; Bana’s Hulk = short spikey crop.

    Edward Norton’s Banner = bushy spikey cut; Norton’s Hulk = slicked fringe.

    Is it just me that finds this odd?

    Anyway, Dark Knight all the way baby! I refuse to believe that this film will disappoint, I actually think it will exceed the expectations already on it. 

  19. O.M.G. !!!!!! I just got home from seeing "Iron Man" at the cinemas…….. WOW! THAT WAS FREAKING AWESOME! I can’t stress it enough, it felt long, but not, it hit ALL the right spots for action, comedy and drama, it updated Iron Man for a new generation so that anyone interesed in it could HAPPILY jump straight onto his comics and not be too confused; current storylines non-withstanding, but they will know all the characters and motivations


    I seriosuly can not wait to hear what you all think about it 



    And for those that don’t normally do so….. watch till the end of ALL the credits 😀



    also showed the trailers for Wanted and Hellboy 2, which look freakin sweeeet 😀 

  20. I just watched the new Hi Def Hulk trailer at  I don’t know what the raw footage looks like but to borrow a phrase from Ron’s vernacular, it left me feeling "meh."  Can’t put my finger on it which bugs me.

    The first Iron Man trailers had me thinking, "Wow."  Maybe it’s that the Hulk trailer just recapped the familiar premise.  Iron Man had never been on film so it was full of reveals about the movie interpretation.  Lots to react to.  The Hulk just showed Banner on the run and the Abomination (whose design I don’t care for.  "ABomb" would’ve been a better visual match.).  Anyone else?

    Technically, I hope they degrade the Hulk’s image to match the film stock of the live action because it had a Roger Rabbit vibe. 


  21. So i saw the  ironMan movie on whensday (my friend got early tickets from his dad) and he took me knowing I like comics and I like to read ironman and all i have to say is it is good. Much better then Spiderman imo.

  22. people have been saying for awhile that the trend is going to die soon, but then more of these keep coming out. stop trying to jinx it!!!

    saw Iron Man last night and it was fantastic. so glad I waiting till after the credits!

    this is gonna be the best comicmovie summer ever, can’t wait for the rest!

  23. oh and let’s not forget HANCOCK…

    yeah i know it doesn’t technically count, since it’s not based on a comic book, but it is a super-hero movie, even if it might look kinda awful.