Film

Four successful superhero reboots

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Batman Begins

The rebooted Fantastic Four opens this week. Here are four superhero reboots that succeeded in their way.

Batman Begins (2005) After director Joel Schumacher’s disastrous efforts to camp up the Caped Crusader with 1995’s Batman Forever and 1997’s Batman & Robin, Christopher Nolan cast Christian Bale as a darker, more serious Dark Knight, creating a new Batman series that succeeded both critically and commercially.

The Incredible Hulk (2008) Audiences didn’t go for Ang Lee’s arty, challenging 2003 Hulk starring Eric Bana, so Marvel rebooted the character in a more action-friendly movie starring Edward Norton. Although Norton was replaced by Mark Ruffalo in future Marvel movies, Incredible was still the first step in bringing the Hulk to the Marvel cinematic universe.

Punisher: War Zone (2008) The third take on Marvel’s Punisher character (starring Ray Stevenson) was a financial failure and led to Lionsgate relinquishing the movie rights, but it’s since become a cult favorite, with director Lexi Alexander’s name coming up whenever a new superhero franchise is announced.

Man of Steel (2013) Fans and critics were divided on Zack Snyder’s darker take on Superman (played by Henry Cavill), but after the failure of 2006’s Superman Returns, Man of Steel brought the iconic DC hero back to box-office success and helped kick-start the coming wave of DC-universe movies.

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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