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Jackman calls Bryan Singer the ‘inventor of the superhero genre’. Thoughts?

20th Century Fox Panel - Comic-Con International 2013

“I love you, man.”

Hugh Jackman made some interesting comments in an interview with Access Hollywood.

Amidst all the hype for the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past movie, Jackman also discussed director Bryan Singer’s role in the superhero movie genre as a whole.

“Few people credit Bryan for what he deserves credit for, which is really inventing that genre. There wasn’t really a superhero genre before X-Men came out.”

Which got me to thinking… is he right? Yes, there were movies featuring superheroes before the original X-Men movie (Superman, Batman etc.), but did Singer’s efforts help create the boom that defined the genre and in turn paved the way for the likes of Raimi, Nolan and all the others to make the genre their own? There’s certainly a compelling argument to be made, and I’d love to know what you guys think.

So, Bryan Singer… inventor of the superhero genre… yay or nay?


the writer of this piece was:

CEEJ_AvatarCraig Neilson aka (CEEJ)
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More Ceej blogs (including movie reviews, etc.) @ Ceejsays

1 Comment on Jackman calls Bryan Singer the ‘inventor of the superhero genre’. Thoughts?

  1. Calling him the inventor of the Superhero genre might make it sound as if Hugh’s suggesting that Bryan Singer invented the Superhero.

    Obviously he’s not saying that.

    What he is suggesting though, is that Bryan Singer is responsible for the current Comic Superhero movie boom we’re currently enjoying. In that he is absolutely correct.

    I actually watched X1 again recently, for the first time in a while. It holds up pretty well. Some of the seams show, and it’s nervousness about the genre – owing to the legacy of Warner Bros. Batman movies – seems a little needy and over focused from our current vantage point where the genre has become so ubiquitous, but it’s understandable when placed in context. Batman & Robin in particular, had all but squandered any currency that these movies had left at the time, leaving most movie studios wisely apprehensive, and even a little cynical about Superhero cinema. There was a very real concern that the movie would simply be dismissed as silly, and that was something that needed to be addressed head on. That timidity from the studio also means that the production is left straining at times against an unreasonably tight, all but anemic budget (for the type of movie that it is), particularly in the third act. But what worked still works.

    The concentration camp sequence that opens the movie remains just as arresting today, and even somehow more affecting than Matthew Vaughan’s shot for shot re-staging in First Class.

    Rogue’s introduction, is a rather brilliant juxtaposition then, with the cost of what it can mean to be a mutant in this world being clearly defined in that one moment.

    Her first meeting with Wolverine still feels fresh as well.

    Wolverine’s cage match intro is just about the best way you could reveal that character. Hugh Jackman owns the role in seconds, with a mere tensing of his neck muscles. It’s interesting however, that his grasp on Wolverine varies slightly throughout the picture. The bar scene came late in the production, so he’s got it down by then, but in some of the later – but earlier shot scenes – you can see that he hasn’t quite found the character yet (and that’s as a result of the absurdly tight schedule they were working under, and the fact that Hugh was cast VERY late in the game). He’s never bad, far from it, but he plays it more like Han Solo in some scenes. Just this sort of cynical loner, but without that feral, quality. He hasn’t quite discovered that there’s always a sense of the caged animal to Wolverine, but he does.

    I love that Bryan decided to treat Xavier’s like a school. It had always been called that in the books, but really operated more like a boarding house for wayward teens than any actual academic forum. Here it feels like a place of learning, and a pool from which to draw future X-Men, something later installments would take advantage of.

    Patrick Stewart IS Charles Xavier. He was the only choice for that role, and the charge that comes from his and Ian McKellen’s onscreen encounters is worth the price of admission alone.

    McKellen interestingly, wouldn’t have immediately sprung to mind for Magneto, but what inspired casting! The actor’s own activist roots, and his commanding screen presence really give Magneto gravitas, and his argument a plausibility, a rationale, and a resonance that movie super-villains had not possessed up to that point.

    And that was what Bryan Singer’s X-Men movies did more than anything else. They said that these stories need not be frivolous. “No mere product of wild imagination!” to quote Marlon Brando’s Jor-el from Superman the Movie. That they are peopled with intriguing,and relatable characters, that are more than worthy of being brought to life by the best actors around. That they speak about the world we live in, and those things that concern us, and that the fantasy, and the action are merely storytelling elements used to make it all the more exciting, and engaging.

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