This week saw the release of the first trailer for Wolverine 3, succinctly named Logan. That title is just the beginning of the changes that are apparent in the third installment of the superhero’s solo trilogy. For the rest of the changes, take a look at the trailer below;
What you may have noticed about the trailer is that Logan feels very much like an indie movie. It is a superhero movie but the trailer doesn’t showcase huge set-pieces, big explosions or any building-leveling sequences. It seems to have more in common with Midnight Special, Chronicle or any other low-budget, sci-fi movie.
Of course, Logan won’t be low-budget and it may become apparent that this first, very brief trailer is no where near reflective of the final movie. On the other hand, this could be reflective of the way that superhero movies are changing.
That change isn’t new and with anything superhero related, Marvel seems to be driving this forward better than any others. Superhero films are still in their Golden Age but that Golden Age seems to be waning, with X-Men Apocalypse, Suicide Squad and even Batman V Superman bombing in comparison to the success of their Marvel studio rivals.
Marvel seems to be staying ahead of the curve because they’re reinventing their movies. Marvel aren’t making superhero movies anymore, they are making different types of movies which feature superheroes.
This seemed to begin with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This didn’t feel like a superhero movie. This was more of an old-fashioned, espionage thriller, or as close to one as you could get starring a super soldier. This continued with Ant-Man. A movie that features a man who shrinks to the size of an ant should be enough to sell the premise but instead Marvel turn the origin film into a heist movie and it felt fresh.
Marvel aren’t resting on their laurels with this either. Guardians of the Galaxy feels like the biggest, surprising success of the superhero landscape in recent times and when you watch it back, it felt much more like an action-comedy than another superhero origin movie.
These changes are starting to influence others and it seems like Fox is the studio that is paying attention. Deadpool was risky but making an R-rated, more adult focused superhero film paid off, burying the more traditional and subsequently average X-Men: Apocalypse.
Marvel are still continuing their trend of changing the style of the superhero movie. Spiderman: Homecoming is a high-school set superhero movie (and not an origin movie thankfully) which is apparently inspired by the John Hughes films of the eighties.
As strange as this may seem, it is definitely a step in the right direction. Superhero movies show no sign of stopping and each summer will feature at least five for the next few years. This means that any sort of difference is welcome and Marvel have got that idea. A new Spiderman movie will clean up regardless (especially if Tom Holland’s performance in Civil War is anything to go by) but make it a teen-drama and you get a fresh take on a very over-done character.
It could also spell the doom for the other studios unless they step-up and take note of the superhero franchise powerhouse that is Marvel. DC look to be making the usual, average superhero movies, even aping The Avengers in their new Justice League and offering a poorer version of Guardians of the Galaxy with Suicide Squad. Sony have made the right choice sharing Spiderman while Fox could well be changing their take on superhero movies if the Logan trailer is anything to go by.
Overall, superhero movies seem to be evolving. Marvel is mixing genres, be them spy films, heist movies or even teen dramas, while other studios, notably DC, seem to be playing catch-up. Logan has the feel of an indie movie, making a much smaller superhero film although it stars a huge, well-known powerhouse of a character and that may be the only way to keep the superhero genre relevant and successful.