Joel Silver Shares His Thoughts On Comic Book Movies

The uber-producer speaks up on Swamp Thing, The Losers and the genre itself.

Joel Silver is one of the movers and shakers in Hollywood. He seems to have his finger in the pot on so many big movies you wonder when he sleeps. The 58 year old has at least twenty movies in one stage or another of production. As far as CBM's go he is attached to Swamp Thing, Sgt. Rock and Lobo. While out doing promotions for the horror movie Splice, Collider caught up with him and he let loose with some of his thoughts on comic book movies.

Swamp Thing seems to have stalled out and doesn't look to go anywhere soon.

"I’ve always wanted to make Swamp Thing. I like Swamp Thing. I think it’s a good idea, and I thought it would be a good venue for a 3-D movie, but there were rights issues with Swamp Thing. We were developing a script. We actually developed a couple of drafts and were close, but then, all of a sudden, it became evident that the motion picture rights were not held by Warner Bros. Even though DC owned the underlying material, the movie that was made by Embassy with Adrienne Barbeau was owned by another company. It’s complicated. So, we’re trying to work it out. Forbidden Planet was the same thing. I really want to make that movie, and it was very hard to clear the rights. It took years to get the rights cleared for that, but we finally cleared it, so I’d like to make that."

The Losers vastly underperformed at the box office (only $24 Million worldwide). What happened?

"It didn’t work. I liked the movie. Looking at The A-Team and The Expendables, and they’re much more expensive films than The Losers was. It was a very inexpensive movie. And, we all went down there hoping to pull it off. I liked it, but either it wasn’t fresh enough, it wasn’t unique enough or it didn’t draw an audience enough."

Asked if he would do anything differently:

"I don’t know. The Losers of the comic book is what we made. That’s what it was. We did what it was. I don’t know if having a lot of bigger names in it would have made a difference. Warner Bros. tried to make it 10 years ago, and maybe that’s when it should have been made."

Collider finally asked the following : "Do you think that there just isn’t the interest, if it’s not Batman, Spider-Man, Superman or Iron Man?"

"Iron Man was not a prevalent, important character. He wasn’t. Downey wanted the role desperately, at the beginning, and they didn’t really want to go with him. He didn’t even really know about Iron Man. Yes, he was on television in the morning, but it wasn’t like Batman, Spider-Man and Superman. But, that movie is the single most saleable character that Marvel owns now – more than Spider-Man, and more than anything – because of those movies. Men in Black was a weird, off-the-grid comic book. It depends on how the movie is. And, when Downey made Iron Man, he wasn’t Will Smith. It’s just that that movie did create a lot of interest in the character and in those comic books, in general. And, they’re making a third Men in Black now. The reality is that each movie has got to be seen in its own light. Warner Bros. tried to make a Justice League movie for years and then they shut it down. Now, The Avengers will be the first superhero team movie. With Downey and Chris Evans, who is in The Losers, and all these guys, it could be a huge movie. We’ll see."

To hear more about Splice check out my Exclusive interview with director Vincenzo Natali from last month.

Click the link below to hear more from Silver on Logan's Run, Splice and a new horror flick called The Apparition.

DogsOfWar-Silver is definitely a "throw it against the wall and see what sticks" kind of producer. Many of the movies he is attached to fizzle out and go nowhere but he has hit many more out of the park. Along with the CBM's I would like to see Logan's Run get remade with all the new advancements in film-making.

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