Comic Book Brain

My Marvel Wish List - March 2019

My Marvel Wish List

March 18, 2019: In a typical Marvel film, somewhere in the cloud of credits at the end will be something like this (from Captain Marvel)

Special Thanks Captain Marvel Movie

Shouldn't the long list of past artists and writers be at the front end of the movie somewhere, or at least should they not lead the list of credits at the end? (Not jammed into a spot in between the VX dept and the gaffer).

A friend said to me "they may not what to do this as it might create a liability for a claim by the past creative people for money."

If Marvel (aka Disney) isn't already writing appreciation checks to past creative people whose work is being transplanted into the Marvel movies, they obviously need to start. Though there is a credited screenwriter(s) on each of the superhero films of the last decades (including DC and the others), so much of cinematic superhero writing is a collage of material lifted from the four-color world of comics, and shouldn't the credit for that be to simply perform the function of acknowledging the original creative people in some (more) direct fashion?

I expect that the legal situation is that those past comic book creative people have no legal claim on the cinematic adventurers because of those legendary "work for hire" contracts which seemed to have been written with the point of making certain that under no circumstances would the author of a work being published by the comic book companies actually have legal recognition as the author in terms of ownership or a share of ownership. But my point isn't legal ownership, but appreciation.

My sense of the situation on these cinematic legal issues is dark, though, because it is colored by screenwriter Joan Didion who decades ago wrote that the point of typical Hollywood production is the construction of the "deal" not the creation of the artistic work. I took her essay on this matter as a way of explaining how a Hollywood movie can be a bomb and pure audience repellent at the box office, yet the production people walk away declaring it a "winner" because no matter what happens vis a vis the ticket-buying movie-watchers, the people who cooked up the production deal got their money up front and if the whole thing crashes they've already cashed the check. If it succeeds at the box office, that's good but only as far as it creates leverage for concocting the next deal.

Captain America at the Window

The Mouse Factory

Original Page Oct 2013| Updated May 2019

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