Editorial – Where Next For Earth’s Mightiest Multiplex Fodder?

Hollywood blockbuster is soon to come out of hybrrnation. Following the majestic heights of the 2012 “season” it’s difficult to look at the 2013 line up and not feel like it has a lot to live up to. Between them The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises (and the later Skyfall) managed to completely reassert the dominant position of the blockbuster within the cinema calendar. Regardless of how one might feel about the quality of the films themselves, the wide-scale success of the movies was quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. But alas, the show must go on, and the Superbowl, which takes place later today and marks the end of a different kind of season, is the tradition siren call for the studios to offer up their shiniest and biggest offerings for the term ahead.

Already this week we’ve had suspected Iron Man 3 spoilers from that once-unlikely, but now all-too frequent plot hive of the toy line-up, with a pivotal revelation from that particular film said to be contained within the packaging of one now-infamous action figure, and that has been accompanied by a rather dramatic poster, while elsewhere in Blockbuster-land The Man Of Steel, Warner Bros. great (blue and red) hope graces the cover of Empire Magazine. As with last year it’s the blockbusters derived from comic-books that act as the great handles for the season ahead, with both Marvel and DC hoping to capitalise on the momentum gained from their earlier successes, although both face pretty unique challenges in their quests, namely, how can Marvel build on a project quite as big as The Avengers, and how can DC draw water from a well as firmly sealed as The Dark Knight Rises? The prospect of where Hollywood goes after Nolan’s Batman and Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is actually pretty interesting, with Marvel’s initial port of call seemingly being to redefine when the Summer itself actually takes place thanks to their placing of releases in April and November; and you thought The Avengers was ambitious. Marvel are also branching out in to television with the S.H.I.E.L.D television series, which marks a new level of intertextuality between mediums.

On a more stoic note, and at the other end of the hype scale sits Vanity Fair, of which their annual Hollywood Issue saw print this weekend. Typically lavish, and laced with thoughtful pieces on cinema, the Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue has long proven an unlikely source for reasonably great writing on film. Amongst an extensive focus on the work of photographer Bruce Weber and a great article that goes by the set-explanatry title of “When The Spec Script Was King”, the piece in this year’s Hollywood Issue that has garnered the most attention online is their oral history of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, from which the gossip mongers of the digital realm have feasted upon an alternative cast that might have been. In place of the renaissance man himself, John Travolta, could have been Daniel Day Lewis, a somewhat forgotten early Miramax icon thanks to My Left Foot. Had Harvey Weinstein had his way then the figure of Vincent Vega would have been changed irrevocably, with the-man with a-past intertextuality of Travolta instead replaced by the man of the hour indie cred of Day Lewis.
Adam Batty – Editor-In-Chief

Further Reading

The Oral History Of Pulp Fiction – An excerpt from the complete article mentioned above can be found online.


Last weeks Criticwire Survey – In which we were asked to name the worst sequel of all-time.


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