Step 1: Story – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The very first step, this is often the easiest. Ever since Marvel and DC comics came on the scene, there has been no dearth of super-hero material. In most cases, lifting stuff off previously published matter is seen as unimaginative at best or plagiarism at worst, but it is not so in this case. Here, the audiences demand a hero and a plot they remember from elsewhere. To teach them something new and to create a set of superheroes from scratch is bad idea businesswise. The Incredibles notwithstanding, it is always, repeat always, safer to go for well-established stuff. The older the better, as Homer would have testified had he been alive to catch the screening of Troy.
Step 2: Casting – Think Green (Dollars or Spinach)
This is entirely dependent on the budget. There is the Louis Vuitton approach, in which ageing stars are forced by their agents to go on a green salad-Power Gym diet for anywhere from 4-12 weeks to build up muscles. They are rewarded for their pains by a gratuitous nude scene in the movie coupled with leaked training videos on Youtube. Yes, I am talking about Nicholas Cage in Ghost Rider and Papa Stallone in Rambo. Or else there is the Wal-Mart approach in which wannabe actors are cast cheap, and pointed to the nearest drug store.
|Yes, that’s right, everyone flexes their muscles when they are surprised|
Step 3: Music, Screenplay and Direction – Stick to Classics
Easy-piecy. Shell out moolah for Hans Zimmer, Christopher Nolan/Scott Ridley and Justin Theroux. Also if you can, get your hands on one of those iMax cameras. They are all the rage nowadays, especially after Nolan pulverized one of the only 6 or so such cameras in the entire world.
Step 4: Shooting – Let the Pentagon worry about authenticity of locations
This necessarily has to happen in a mix of exotic locations. In these uncertain times, the rebooted back-story of most superheroes is set in Iraq or the Af-Pak theatre. Since the insurance costs of shooting in afore-mentioned locations are prohibitive, settle for some desert somewhere. Don’t worry about unique geographical landmarks or the fact that Iraq was built around the second best oasis in the middle-east. Bush Jr. did film-makers the world over a favour by homogenizing the entire area in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shoot a dusty street with a sunlight filtered lens and add in a couple of dilapidated brick and mortar residences with their paint peeling off, and voila!! you get Iraq. Who said cluster bombing doesn’t work?
Step 5: Marketing – Sex Sells ; So do Toys
Nothing works without the spiel nowadays. Start a website in the film’s name prior to release, issue manufacturing licences for action figures, start online-real life treasure hunts for film memorabilia, actively promote fan fiction sites, and kick start rumours about a hook-up between the co-stars.
These steps, followed religiously, will almost always result in a super-hero movie that can resurrect flagging careers at Hollywood and Lego. And glorify a 6’3”, buffed up Norse God whose all-mighty weapon happens to be a small hammer.
|But ONLY the WORTHY can wield this SMALL hammer. Everyone else will get BIG ones.|