Samuel L. Jackson has been a part of the 21st century superhero boom from the beginning. He not only debuted as a costumed vigilante voicing Frozone in 2004's The Incredibles, but he was also one of the first major stars to sign a long-term contract for the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. You might think him prescient because of these moves, but that's really not how he sees it. Instead, as I learned last week, he has much more of an "It's about time" mentality about the whole thing. Said Jackson,
It's just not even the current modern times, it's always been that - we just didn't have the means of doing it, or the technology to make it happen. From the time I first picked up a comic book when I was a kid, I figured there was a space. And I watched the Superman TV show when it was on, with George Reeves. I watched that! I watched the funny Batman. So there's always been an interest. It was just a matter of time to get it on the big screen and make it work. We watched Flash Gordon and everything else. People just don't realize -- we had superheroes when I was a kid.
When I sat down with Samuel L. Jackson during the Los Angeles press day for Incredibles 2, one subject that we discussed was his specific part in pop culture's current obsession. His early involvement wasn't so much about recognizing the potential of the material for the future, but simply understanding for the potential it had in the moment. We've been seeing superhero stories told on screen for decades, but only now are we seeing proper resources put towards it.
As Samuel L. Jackson noted, film and television have been bringing comics to life for almost as long as mainstream comics have been around (the namedropped Superman show started airing in 1952), but there is also no questioning that the adaptations made now have a much greater ability to faithfully and realistically shepherd the material. Sure, some of the technology and methodology is similar, such as wirework and stunt teams, but modern visual effects can portray things that classic special effects couldn't -- and that has absolutely loosened the reins on the imaginations of filmmakers.
You can watch Samuel L. Jackson discuss the current superhero boom and its origins by clicking play on the video below.
We just saw Samuel L. Jackson in a superhero blockbuster a few weeks ago thanks to his small part as Nick Fury in Avengers: Infinity War, but this weekend he will also be bringing Frozone back to the big screen in Incredibles 2. Be sure to head to a screening (it's definitely worth it), and head back here to CinemaBlend for more of our coverage!