Movies vs. Nerds: Top 9 Complaints Proved False

Like riling up a Chihuahua, we love it when movies piss off the fanboys.

Like riling up a Chihuahua, we love it when fanboys get upset over nothing.

Nerds love their franchises and genre movies, and if you even think about messing with the magic, prepare for an avalanche of online moans and groans. Hollywood grovels at the feet of the nerd audience, which is why every comic book property from the mainstream to the obscure has been, or will be, adapted into a movie, video game, TV series, or gum. But when a director or writer attempts to throw in their two cents, the geeks revolt…and then are proven wrong. Here are the nine nerd complaints that have since been completely, utterly, and fantastically proven wrong.

9. “The ‘Brokeback Mountain’ guy is The Joker?!?! WTF?” (The Dark Knight)

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

It seems Chris Bridges-level ludicrous to picture it now, but flash back to circa 2004 and director Christopher Nolan’s announcement that he had tapped Heath Ledger to portray the iconic Clown Prince of Crime. Fanboys went APESHIT, calling this the worst thing to happen to their lives since puberty.  Of course, after they actually, you know, saw the movie, their comments took an abrupt about face. Now they’re up in arms over Bane’s weird, mumbled voice in The Dark Knight Rises trailer. Is there no pleasing Batman fans? Suddenly we’re second-guessing our pitch of “What if the Riddler was played by one of those Air Bud dogs, and the movie wasn’t a movie, but more of a decorative vase?”

8. “ORGANIC Webshooters? FAIL!” (Spider-Man)

Photo: Columbia Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Even though this idea actually began with geek deity (and almost Spider-Man director) James Cameron, poor Sam Raimi got raked over the coals for this slight change to Spidey’s origin. Forget that it actually makes more sense (wouldn’t it be more logical for the spider-DNA in his system to mutate him in this way, rather than forcing us to believe that a high school student was able to invent web shooters and web fluid on his own?), the online haters had a field day ripping into this. However, no one nailed it quite like author Ray Bradbury, who famously said that if the movie wanted to be more scientifically accurate, Parker should launch webs out of his ass. Currently Spider-Man director Marc Webb must have read the Internet, because Andrew Garfield’s Spidey will use the home-made shooters, even though that idea is so stupid and dumb and is ruining our memories of the mid 2000’s!

7. “All these years, and it’s just a ‘Ferngully’ remake?” (Avatar)

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Right after finishing Titanic in 1996, James Cameron won his core fanbase back by announcing that he was returning to sci-fi with a groundbreaking new project called Avatar. It would take him 13 years to finally deliver, and the intervening decade saw fans build their speculation to such a fever pitch, the movie would had to have personally deflowered every audience member to live up to it. And the facts that Avatar shared some similarities to a certain 1992 animated film, a certain Kevin Costner western, and a certain group of mythical creatures who life in mushrooms, were too much for the impossibly high demands of the movie geek. Too bad it didn’t matter one bit, and the negative word of mouth did nothing to stop Cameron’s blue aliens from becoming a box office phenom.

6. Any and all Lost spoilers. (Lost)

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Remember how obsessive Lost fans would dissect every episode for clues, Easter eggs, and hidden meanings? And remember how angry they would get if you revealed quote-unquote “spoilers” about upcoming episodes? Man, they probably felt foolish when the entire series built to the biggest “F-you” ending of all time. And you know how we feel about Lost. For all intents and purposes, it amounted to “it was all a dream” and literally nothing that happened for six seasons meant anything. So there was never anything to spoil. And what the hell was up with Walt!?!

5. “They whitewashed Aang and Katara!” (The Last Airbender)

Photo Courtesy of: Paramount Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Speaking of Avatars, there once was a “beloved” anime series called “Avatar: The Last Airbender” that was, as anime tends to be, thoroughly Asian. When M. Night Shyamalan decided to make it into a movie, however, he hired a bunch of white people to play the lead roles. Fans were outraged. But in the end, the ethnically insensitive casting didn’t matter a bit, because the movie was poo. In fact, Asians actually thank Shyamalan for leaving them out of it.

4. “Hulk poodles??” (Hulk)

When fans learned that Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director Ang Lee was taking on The Hulk, they were stoked. After all, Bryan Singer had done justice to X-Men, and Sam Raimi had delivered on Spider-Man, so why not let another odd but intriguing director have a swing? Then they found out that Ang planned on having the Green Goliath battle hulked-out dogs. The initial stokedness shrank like a calming Bruce Banner. But the joke was on them – that wasn’t the worst part of that movie! Haw! Hell, the dog fight is actually ended up being one of the highlights of that ambitious misfire of a flick. The lowlight? The WTF subplot and powers of the Hulk’s daddy.

3. “Mr. Mom is Batman?? FAIL!” (Batman, 1989)

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Way before the Internet was a thing and nerds were given a megaphone through which to scream their complaints–such things were still relegated to their tear-soaked pillows and dream diaries. Ah, the 80s–Tim Burton flirted with a full-on geek fatwa when he cast comic actor Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne. Not only did Keaton acquit himself admirably in the role of the Dark Knight, fans soon learned that his casting was far from the biggest crime against Batman that would be committed on film.  The other rhymes with “Bowl Shumacher.”

2. “They put flames on Optimus Prime? My childhood is being raped!!!!” (Transformers)

Photo: Paramount Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

You would have thought Michael Bay had decided to make the leader of the Autobots a pink Vespa with the voice of Harvey Fierstein the way fanboys carried on about the slight tweak to the leader truck’s design. You see, the original Optimus was a red, snub-nosed truck, not a long-beaked rig with red and blue flames on him. Did you find that distracting? Did you even notice? Exactly.

1. “Black Heimdall!? WTF??” (Thor)

Photo: Paramount Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

The best nerd outrages are, of course, the ones that reveal far more about the complainer than they realize. Anyone who claims the Star Wars prequel raped their childhood probably was raped during their childhood if a couple of sci-fi movies are their brightest memory. Such was the case when Kenneth Branagh cast The Wire star Idris Elba as Heimdall, guardian of the rainbow bridge Bifrost that connects Asgard to the nine realms, in Thor (what?). You see, being a Norse deity, he should be white, right? The complaints were loud and obnoxious and outed a lot of comic book fans as cross-burning racists. In the end, Elba exuded power and authority and even humor – everything Heimdall needed. Suggit, racists! Now we want Elba to play Superman, Batman, the Pillsbury Dough Boy and any role intended for Luke Wilson.