Since about two decades ago, comics have become a source of inspiration for the world of entertainment, mainly for cinema which has brought to the screens of many countries around the world the stories that began on paper in the 30 years of the last century.
In the United States, comic strips have become an important part of their identity and popular culture, however, themes that have been printed and released on the big screen are universal, such as those corresponding to the DC Universe, they have made a similar impact internationally.
I believe the themes these characters represent are universal, they speak to everyone and I think that is why they are so popular and continue to grow. Ideas and themes about empowerment, identity, morality and these things translate to any culture and any country.
I believe this is one of the reasons people are so attracted to it, I believe we all want to feel like we are better versions of ourselves and these characters represent that. They work in all the ways and are a good reflection of our humanity, our humanity”, shared with Excelsior filmmaker Mark Catalana.
Along with filmmaker Leslie Iwerks, Catalina embarks on a new adventure titled Superpowers: The History of DC, an HBO Max series premiering July 20 that takes an unprecedented look at DC’s enduring and influential legacy, allowing fanatics to rediscover the universe of characters as well as their origins at the iconic comics company, its evolution and nearly nine decades of cultural impact.
I’m looking at the history of comics, from the first pages to how you get to television, to fine art where these comics were replicated by cinema, to video games and now we’re in a world of augmented reality and artificial intelligence… I believe the world is limitless in terms of where you can take these characters and these stories. So I believe technology will go where technology goes”, Iwerks said.
There will be different and innovative ways to share these stories. You can contact them (comics) digitally, there are deliveries you can watch on your phone, and it’s something global. I think it’s coming up, these characters can be translated into whatever new technology is available, and I think the audience will always be ready for that.
These heroes are very concrete in what they represent, but they are very malleable, they can change their tone and they can do what appeals to adults and young children. And I believe they will continue to adapt them for all kinds of audiences and they will continue to prosper”, said Catalana.
With a wealth of interviews with the industry’s most prolific creators like James Gunn and the actors who took their iconic personas from page to screen like Gal Gadot, the documentary reminds us that at the heart of DC lies the comics and the soul that puts them into these new mediums.
When we start to think about a topic like this, we really look at the general story and say ‘how?, who are the people who were influenced by the comics? And most of the time were in the same sense that the people who were the creators were heavily influenced by these. They grew and loved in their surroundings, inspired them to go into this world. They were the artists, the creators, the executives who had the vision to specifically shape and advance that era and take comics in a new direction”, says Iwerks.
They really brought this structure together in a way that was able to focus on these points of inflection and who were there and who were the most important people in DC history and who are also the unsung heroes. I think it’s very rare that you actually hear a story out and in the opposite direction from the creators themselves. We wanted the story to be in the first person as much as possible and hear DC history, Catalina said.
POWERFUL: The History of DC features more than 60 new and archival interviews with industry creators, actors and executives, including Melissa Benoist, Greg Berlanti, Tim Burton, Mike Carlin, Linda Carter, Henry Cavill, Kaley Cuoco, Gal Gadot, James Gunn, Patty Jenkins, Dwayne Johnson and Michael Keaton, among many others, it’s hard to narrow down a list.
For just about everything, we had many names and we had lists and lists of people, but we didn’t want those things to be repetitive and that’s how we helped narrow down the list. And then, of course, you want to spread it across different media, you want people from cinema, television, animation, we wanted everyone to be represented, but it’s a little more on the comics side because it was very important for us to show casual fanatics that they only know movies and television shows where all these ideas come from”, says Catalina.
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Huelga was founded on May 2 by the Hollywood Screenwriters Union, as is the actors’ union, one of the topics that most concerns the future of the entertainment industry, for which characters such as Leslie Iwerks and Mark Catalina fully support the movement.
The writers who are there are, surprisingly, for a very powerful reason: a fair deal. This is nothing new in the world of comics. I mean everything we see through this program, a lot of people didn’t get their due credit, they didn’t get their due pay and it’s really bad in the world of comics.
We scientifically support what’s happening right now and we wanted to resolve this in the best way possible for the creators who use these writers and these artists, creators and actors who are producing these shows and turning them into million dollar success stories, they should all be getting paid fairly,” Iwerks said.
They want to receive fair compensation, especially from where the ideas originate, in the case of cinema, Hollywood, and in the case of comics, they are generated by authors, so they must be compensated and treated fairly, otherwise, these productions would cease to exist”, said Catalina.