This post requires something of a prologue. I wrote it over a year ago, in the last few weeks of 2013, and wound up deciding it might be more effective if I sat on it for a year. It details my sneaking suspicion that in 2015 pop culture at large just might start to get sick of all the superheroes and zombies and science fiction that have dominated movies and television so successfully for the past several years. I’m finally posting it now because not only do I still stand by the sentiments illustrated below, I’d also argue they are more pertinent now than they were a year ago. That being said, a few of the release dates aren’t accurate anymore. I know Dawn of Justice isn’t coming out in 2015 anymore. But alternatively, this piece doesn’t include things that have been announced since then: Agent Carter, the various Marvel Netflix series, the Supergirl TV show, etc. With all of that in mind, prologue over.
I’m not sure I even knew who Iron Man was in 2007. I certainly hadn’t heard the name Tony Stark though. Nor did I know of Robert Downey Jr. Today, however, I’m inclined to suspect that if you ask even a remotely aware kindergartener who Robert Downey Jr. is they’d say “Iron Man.”
Geek Culture has made its way from the bowels of Cheeto-dusted, collectible-packed basements across suburban sprawls out into the world at large, taking over mainstream culture one superhero-zombie-space-graphic-novel-TV-movie at a time. An in-depth knowledge of alternate X-Men timelines, Justice League line ups and science fiction auteurs, a scarlet letter in decades past, has become something of a badge of honor in the new millennium.
But circa 2013 a working knowledge of Batman’s rogues gallery isn’t so much cool anymore as it is just sort of expected. The takeover is complete. The geeks have inherited the Earth. But the saturation continues and it’s only a matter of time before the bubble bursts, Geek Culture overstays its welcome and the mainstream beats it back into plastic display cases in derelict storage units like an old Elvis pinball machine.
“When is this bubble going to burst?” you ask breathlessly, mind racing through stocks you need to liquidate, real estate you need to repossess and motorcycles you and Lamar need to repo.
Much as wish I could say that mainstream culture will embrace the nerd with arms open wide until the sun explodes and fries us all off of this Earth I cannot tell a lie every once in a while. And this is one of those whiles.
2015 is going to make or break the whirlwind courtship between geek culture and all the rest of culture.
Wasn’t it cool when Marvel pulled off the impossible last summer and brought together four separate movie franchises to in The Avengers? Will it be as impressive the second time when The Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters summer 2015? I don’t know. Will it be as exciting? Probably not.
But Avengers 2 won’t be the only superhero team up on the docket come 2015. DC Entertainment is set to release their Superman vs. Batman flick that same summer. Alternatives are great I guess, but didn’t the Batman movies just end a year ago? And we’ve already got another one?
Who cares? They’re already going to be rebooting the Fantastic Four earlier that year anyway. And you won’t even have time to worry about all that because right after you walk out of the theater from Batman 6 vs. Superman 3 you’ll need to get in line for, drum roll, Star Wars Episode VII. Arguably already the cinematic event of 2015, Star Wars is sure to garner massive amounts of money and press alike.
Not that that will stop movies like Assassin’s Creed, Terminator 5, Independence Day 2, Prometheus 2 or Jurassic Park IV aka Jurassic World from coming out. You’re going to want to be hoping on the Wikipedia pages of a few multimedia entertainment franchises for a refresher. You might want to start now. But you’re going to want to take a break on Sunday nights so that you can stay up to date on AMC’s The Walking Dead. After all, there’s a spinoff coming our way in 2015.
And you’re DVR is going to be busy because between now and then comic books are poised to take over television. Do you like Arrow? The CW show that follows the adventures of Green Arrow? Good. Because this season guess who’s popping up on Arrow – the Flash. And come 2015 he’s going to spinoff into his own television show.
But the CW doesn’t have all the DC goods. NBC announced the development of a series based on John Constantine. You know, the terrible Keanu movie. But don’t worry, they’ll be some A-list DC television adaptations as well. Literally in immediate response to Marvel’s television show, Agents of Shield, which I’m sure we’ll still be kicking come 2015, DC announced the development of Gotham, a show on FOX focusing on Jim Gordon’s early years on the GCPD.
It’s a lot to take in even for those of us in the thick of geek culture, but to the outsider looking in who likes to watch a superhero movie every now and then or catch the Walking Dead on Netflix when they have a free moment will 2015 prove to be too much geek?
I personally am pumped as hell for more Batman and Superman and Avengers and Star Wars and Jurassic Park and maybe you are too. I cannot wait. But come 2015 are kids on the football team and in marching band and drama and auto tech all going to be sporting Batman shirts through the hallways at school?
I don’t know, man.
It’s only so long before the rest of the world gets fed up with entertainment that ties into a fistful of associated comics, graphic novels, video games, prequels and sequels. Tent poles are great until you want to go outside.