The concept comes from a story that Jack Kirby wrote shortly after leaving Marvel. Kirby was part of the Marvel team that created Thor.
And after getting the character off the ground, he thought it would be interesting to craft a universe in which all the popular mythological gods had died, forcing a new wave of deities to arise.
This gave birth to Apokalypse, Darkseid, Mr. Miracle and the like. I don’t think anyone realizes just how monumental New Gods will be. We are truly living in the Golden Age of comic book movies.
Think about the history of comic book adaptations. Sure, Hollywood has proven on more than one occasion that they can think outside the box. Titles such as Blade, Road to Perdition and Spawn came about because the film-making fraternity wanted to challenge the public’s viewing tastes.
But those gambles rarely paid off, which is why adaptations like Scott Pilgrim became so scarce. Do you think it’s a coincidence that we have had so many Batman and Superman adaptations?
Why do you think every iteration of The Fantastic Four has worked so hard to ground its heroes in conventional reality?
Hollywood has spent so many years playing it safe. They simply could not trust audiences to accept the insanity comic books were known for producing. Even interesting projects such as X-Men had to be muted, stripped of colour and the whimsy for which their source material was known, just so they would appeal to mass audiences.
And now we are here, in a world where mass audiences have finally welcomed comic book adaptations. Hollywood has responded by finally taking the training wheels off. Studios realise that moviegoers are now an open-minded bunch, willing to dig into the most bizarre aspects of the comic book arena.
Just look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). When you watched that first Iron Man, did you think it would ever lead to a movie like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
How about Guardians of the Galaxy? Was there ever a time when you thought that a giant movie studio would throw its weight behind a franchise featuring a walking tree and a talking raccoon?
Now we have a Thor sequel in which Jane Foster wields Mjolnir; a standalone Joker movie with serious Oscar chances; a live-action connected universe of shows on TV gearing up to do their very own Crisis on Infinite Earths saga; an Eternals movie that will open up the cosmos in new ways, and so much more.
Comic books have become that awkward stepchild you were once too embarrassed to acknowledge but who now sits comfortably on your shoulders for all to see.
The future of comic book movie adaptations is bright, crazy, and unrestrained. Producers and directors such as Ava DuVernay are more than willing to dive into the comics world, with DuVernay working on DC Comics’ New Gods.