Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dangerous Times

Yesterday we discussed the possibility that Ghost in the Shell could be remade as a live-action American picture.
Were this not part of a larger trend, our discussion would have ended there. But this is far from an isolated incident. Beginning with the release of Speed Racer next month, we will soon be bombarded by remakes and revisions of Japanese animation and manga. Some, we expect, will be good, some will most likely be bad, and others... well... we have no idea what to expect.

(As a side note, we are well aware that the cartoon The Last Airbender is not based on is not true anime. But it's close enough).

What to make of this coming wave? Well, we do not concern ourselves with trivial fears that the movies may be awful. Other properties have faced far worse, dear reader, and lived to tell the tale.

What worries us is science. We in The Middle Room know evolutionary theory well, and we are aware what can occur when two species compete to occupy the same niche.

Our normally friendly attitude towards anime dramatically shifts as soon as our superheroes are threatened.

This attitude may strike some as paranoid, but we have seen genres fall before. What became of the action films of the 90's when superhero films became the norm? I ask you, where is Jean-Claude Van Damme (iD&Di: .19) now?

Superheroes are now the rage. They are the chosen property, and they seem truly invulnerable. But the public is fickle and films are expensive. It would not take much to cause producers to shift their money to a new trend.

Certainly the superhero genre will not die out entirely, but it could easily fade to a shadow of its current glory should the best filmmakers abandon it.

James Cameron (iD&Di: .30) and Steven Spielberg (iD&Di: .47) have already cast their ballots. How many will follow?

We truly hope there is room enough at the theaters for both genres. We hope that both are able to flourish and provide the Geeks of the world, both those within The Middle Room and those beyond, with a banquet of diverse films. But we are not optimists here: we have thrown enough dice to know the old adage holds true: for every twenty, there is a one.

And the icosahedron is always turning.

No comments: