The Rise of Superhero Fan Films

Posted by David Konow

Making a short film on your favorite comic book is a pretty cool new phenomenon. You do it as a fan, with the disclaimer that it’s strictly a fan thing and not meant to profit off the series. Then you post it on YouTube, and see who salutes it. Max Landis, the writer of Chronicle, did a funny Death of Superman commentary that racked up a ton of views on YouTube, and up and coming director Christian Cardona also did a well received fan adaptation of DC’s Y: The Last Man Standing. 

Now the Wrap tells us that Adi Shankar, the producer of Dredd, has built up quite a following with his Marvel “bootleg” movies, including Dirty Laundry, a follow up to The Punisher, which got close to 4 million views, along with Truth in Journalism, featuring Venom. Shankar got a hero’s welcome at Comic Con, so clearly fan bootleg superhero films are doing quite well these days. 
Considering that Shankar was a producer on Dredd, he will also be making a Dredd short because the cult for that film is apparently growing, with 52,3000 fans signing the Facebook petition to make a sequel. 
The one question The Wrap didn’t answer is could a superhero bootleg film lead to a young upstart making a blockbuster feature length superhero flick. That remains to be seen, although Landis launched his own superhero franchise with Chronicle, and Shankar said he’d love to do nothing but these kinds of films if he didn’t have to pay the rent. 
Still, we sense a trend growing here, and many feel whatever will be the next revolution in storytelling will probably start with something smaller launched on YouTube, so stay tuned.