I bought this poster a decade ago and considered it an investment at the time. It’s been hanging above my desk for years, to the point that I half forget it’s there and completely forgot that the squiggle on the fuselage of the plane is actually Kevin Spacey’s autograph.
I just looked up from my computer screen for a minute this week and remembered Spacey was Lex Luthor in ‘Superman Returns’ and that it’s his signature, which felt more than a little odd in the light of recent events. I still like the poster generally and I even like the film far more than most people, so it’s most likely going to stay where it’s at, especially as I hardly notice the squiggle there unless I look up, it’s one small mark in an otherwise nice piece of decor.
Much has already been written about what should be an appropriate audience response to the mass of recent accusations and admissions surrounding figures in the film & television world. I’m not in a rush to throw away all my films and shows those now fallen from esteem have been involved in, the list seems to grow daily. I feel prominence plays a big part in how strong the response should be. So, if my poster were of Lex Luthor rather than Superman it’d be a completely different matter.
Another example on the same issue this week was that I pre-ordered the ‘Baby Driver‘ steelbook when I saw the film in the cinema months ago, and was pleased to receive it a few days ago with beautiful artwork that doesn’t feature Spacey on the front at all, so it has taken its intended place on my shelf with other good-looking steelbooks. However again, if the artwork had focused on Spacey’s character I would feel very differently about it being on display and it would’ve been slid in between other films with just the spine showing.
I don’t think this matter is over, sadly I fear it never really will be, there will always be people acting inappropriately and these reports will emerge, though hopefully the frequency of these will subside soon as things are dealt with. Until then, from time to time I’ll re-evaluate my film collection and gauge my own feelings about watching or possessing certain items, also pondering on how sometimes off-screen events completely change how we perceive what we watch. Once they’ve been revealed to be a villain in real life, we imbue their character with extra revulsion, diminishing likeability of their positive roles and making even comic ‘baddies’ a whole lot worse.
Apparently, Disney is considering buying large parts of the Fox organization, specifically their film and TV divisions, this is HUGE news in the entertainment world, especially for comics fans like me.
I am usually wary of Disney buying up influential properties, as they did with Marvel, LucasFilm and the Muppets. I’m still wary, though the possibility of Disney reuniting huge chunks of the Marvel characters is hugely exciting.
There are two sides to the argument.
Firstly, it would mean that the Fantastic Four, X-Men and others could join forces with the Avengers as and when needed, especially pleasing when adapting beloved comic story arcs that featured these characters interacting. If you want proof that this could be a good thing, buy ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ when it’s released later this month, it’s a really enjoyable return for a character that struggled elsewhere and has flourished when brought closer to the fold. The prospect of a similar revival for many Marvel characters such as the ‘Fantastic Four’ or even the somewhat fumbling ‘X-Men’ is massively tantalising.
However the other point raised is that Disney hasn’t yet gone for any R-rated adaptations, so films like ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Logan’ wouldn’t likely have been made under their ownership. I would respond to that objection with a finger pointed at Netflix, showing that Disney has been developing the more mature content when they see the need, getting the desired results and therefore increasing the likelihood that films might follow in a similar vein.
It seems that, for now, the talks have stalled, so I don’t expect a huge announcement anytime soon. Though, it suggests Fox may be open to negotiation and offers if Disney were to make moves to re-acquire certain aspects of the company. So, though buying all their film and television production divisions may be unlikely, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they have targeted their buying power on 20th Century Fox and the Marvel properties they currently hold the rights to.
UPDATE: Apparently talks have resumed and are progressing. There’s a good chance of an announcement soon, I look forward not just to the initial announcement but more the subsequent films that it puts into production.