Spiderman, Batman, Iron Man, Phantom have all done it. Yes, they have transported themselves from the pages of the comic books to celluloid. And it has proved to be a big money spinner for the makers of these films. Yet, despite the fact that Hollywood keeps churning out more and more films on comic book characters that has just seen a rise over the years, its Indian counterpart has yet to nurture this tradition.
Indian comic books over the years have seen a gradual slide downwards. With the internet wave storming over the country, kids’ priorities have changed drastically. Despite the odds stacked against the comic book industry, yet the business of comic books is huge with more and more youngsters vying for the share of the pie. New and new characters are seen venturing into unchartered territories of the imaginative world. But how long will the comic book industry sustain itself without any support from the entertainment industry?
It’s time for the film industry to take notice of the growing clouts of comic book characters in Hollywood which is big business. Series of successful films have been made in Hollywood and comic book characters are reinvented with time to attract the current generations. From Batman in the 60s to the Batman in The Dark Knight Rises, the character has gone a complete transformation to keep with the flow and the fact that The Dark Knight Rises grossed more than $1 Billion revenue at the Box Office is a testimony of the character’s popularity with both the old and the younger generation.
India on its part is not short of its comic book characters despite a stiff competition from its western counterparts. We have Shaktiman, Bahadur, Super Commando Dhruva, Chacha Chaudhary, Nagraj, Shikhari Shambu and a host of other indigenous characters who have a cult following. Even today, the fans still take interest in the likes of these characters. Shaktiman and Chacha Chaudhary who in recent times made a huge name for themselves thanks to their avatar on television can no doubt make a huge impact on big screen as well if the film is well made.
In short, why doesn’t Indian cinema which has a rich 100 year old tradition develop this kind of cinema? Indian audience has always welcomed Hollywood Super Hero films with an open arm. Whether it’s the Spiderman series or the Batman series, each of the films have made a mark for itself at the Indian Box Office. India also boasts of the best animators and CGI experts who do quality work for Hollywood and other film industries. So why not start a trend of making films either live or animated on indigenous comic book characters that over the years have enthralled its fans?
A couple of years ago, there were unaccounted rumours of a film being planned on Bahadur. However, Indian audience has a long wait. Is there a producer who’s willing to bet his big bucks on Bahadur? Or on Supandi or for that matter on Super Commando Dhruva? Will the Indian audience specially those who grew up reading the exploits of these wonderful comic book characters ever get to see these lovely gems on big screen? For one, the new generation is definitely missing out on all the fun and adventure that each of the characters underwent. And it’s on through a film that these characters can be experienced to the maximum.
If only these characters come alive on the big screen… a new genre of Indian films that will appeal to all…
(This article was first posted @ fridaybrands.com)