When I tell people how excited I am about “the Avengers”, or super hero movies in general they seem to be surprised. But, I would like to remind people before I was a designer clothes shopping, Adam Levine crush carrying, “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” watching gay man, I was once a little boy. And while I was born gay, my tastes didn’t catch up until adolescence. So that meant that until around 11, I had the same interests as most other boys – cars, Power Rangers, and super heroes. Now aside from being very ignorant, assuming that I was a nine year old Vogue subscriber because that’s who I am today is also short sided. Because, in my opinion super heroes are super gay. Um, big buff guys who are good people with a drive to be normal and accepted members of society but this one thing that makes them different is not accepted by others? And in turn they are labeled as freaks and treated poorly? GAY! Don’t even get me started on my theory that the X-Men is a representation of gay people in hetero-normative society. Also, Professor X and Magneto? Lovers. If you don’t believe me watch “X-Men: First Class”. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender have more chemistry on screen than most romantic comedy couples.
Who would have thought that a “Thor” movie would be so successful? Moreover, who would have thought that “Thor” himself, Chris Hemsworth would be so dreamy?
Anyway, let’s get back on track… I am super excited about this week’s release of “the Avengers”. The movie is a perfect mix to appeal to my inner child who loves super heroes and comics books. But, with Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston it appeals to my gay side as well. What’s odd is my excitement over this franchise is a recent development. As a child, I was always much more of a fan of the DC comic universe. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc. But, in recent years DC has been unable to get it together. A failed attempt at relaunching their Superman franchise a few years back and then the terrible Green Lantern film with Ryan Reynolds. While their Batman franchise is spectacular, I find it to be too dark. “Batman Begins” and “the Dark Knight” are great, but they’re not the kind of films I could or even would watch over and over again. As a kid I loved Spiderman, who is arguably Marvel’s biggest property. But, I was only vaguely aware of Captain America, The X-Men and the Fantastic Four. And, characters like Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye who round out the Avengers were not at all known to me. But, after watching Marvel build and develop this series over the last few years, I count myself among the millions of fanboys excited about the film.
Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr. and I in 2010.
It was in 2008 with the release of “Iron Man”, that I think Marvel changed their standing all together. They took who I would consider to be a B-list character and with a little A-list talent, a well written script and a great production made a blockbuster. They then built on Iron Man’s red shoulders and developed a universe. They released “The Incredible Hulk, “Iron Man 2″, “Thor” and finally “Captain America”. Proving that if you do it right, a less popular character can anchor a huge summer blockbuster. If someone told me as a child that Thor would beat the Green Lantern and Captain America at the box office in a few years I would laugh. While all of the films are terrific in their own right, the Iron Man movies are my favorite. RDJ was born to play the role. Plus his playful but sexy chemistry with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts is just about my favorite. I was excited to hear that Paltrow would be featured in “the Avengers”, regardless of how briefly. Aside from her chemistry with Downey, she is one of my favorite actresses.
Mark Ruffalo and I earlier this week after a taping of Jimmy Fallon. When asked he told me a Hulk movie was not set in stone… yet. Regardless of what the internet says.
Now, while I am singing the praises of Marvel and their ability to build an entire blockbuster movie universe, I do feel obligated to point out the 8 foot, 1400 lb, green beast in the room. Mark Ruffalo joins the team as Bruce Banner and from what I have heard from reviews and word of mouth he is the best of the three actors who have portrayed the not so jolly green giant. However, the fact that he is the third actor, affter Eric Bana and Ed Norton is kind of terrible. Rumors have been swirling that Ruffalo has signed a 6-movie deal with Marvel and will star in a Hulk movie of his own. Well, I can reveal that is not the case… at least not yet. When I met Ruffalo I congratulated him on the success of this film and asked him if a Hulk movie was imminent. He told me “not yet exactly, it’s still in discussion.” So I guess we’ll see.
Aside from being a really nice guy, Tom Hiddleston is also amazing as the deliciously evil Loki in “Thor”.
While a Hulk movie may be a way off, the Avengers is finally here and opens tonight at 12:01 all over the United States. Reaction has been positive so far, and I am interested to see how the Avengers interact with each other. But, also how much we see of them. Four of these characters have had their own movies, will each one have their own chance to shine? Also, while he was deliciously sinister as the thorn in Thor’s side, will Tom Hiddleston’s Loki be a sizable foe to six of the world’s greatest heroes? Also with Iron Man and Thor sequels already in the works will these characters be able to stand alone after we’ve seen them stand together? If Tony Stark is having an issue, I am going to think why not call up Bruce Banner? Or set up a portal and beam in Thor for help?
Luckily, my wait for answers is down to a few hours. And, I will keep you posted on my thoughts. But, as of right now I feel comfortable calling “the Avengers” the film to beat this summer. While I am very excited about the Andrew Garfield led Spidey reboot and can’t wait to see Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in “The Dark Knight Rises”, I think that this film is the one that will end up with the biggest bounty at the box office. I just hope for my inner child and comic book nerd that DC gets their shit sorted out. I have always dreamed of a Justice League movie and think that “the Avengers” shows how possible that is. Thankfully while we wait for DC, we have what at this point seems like an infinite universe to explore thanks to Marvel.