Bloodshot is a comic book character many films fans won't be familiar with, but the upcoming film adaptation believes it can be successful by taking lessons from all the comic book movies that have come before it. Bloodshot's co-creator Bob Layton recently spoke about the Vin Diesel led film version of his character, and he says that all the previous comic book movies that have come out have shown that the key to making a good comic book movie is character, not action. According to Layton...
I'm going to put it very succinctly: character, character, character. It's not about big fight scenes. It's not about giant tentpole stuff. The thing that really makes superheroes resonate is character. Tony Stark in the first Iron Man film was so true to the spirit of that character and we care about him because we come to love Tony, warts and all. That's so important for superhero movies. In the case of Bloodshot, they're really focusing on Vin's character and it really seems to be a more character-driven movie, rather than just a lot of big explosions and 9/11-style building demolitions. The most boring part of superhero films to me are the pornographic, giant fight scenes that take up the entire third act. That's not entertainment, it's just a giant amusement park ride on film.
Bob Layton knows a thing on two about the spirit of Iron Man's character as he worked on the comic book for Marvel for several years. Layton points out that the reason Iron Man works as a superhero is because, first, Tony Stark worked as a person. We came to relate with Stark, which meant that we were along for the ride when the wild stuff started to happen. It seems that the team behind Bloodshot, like Vin Diesel and producer Neal Moritz, are taking that to heart.
There's little denying accuracy of Bob Layton's comments to Deadline. Superhero movies are no different than any other movies in that regard. No matter how out of this world the comic book creation might be, they still have to be somebody the audience can empathize with, or the story is hollow.
And Bloodshot certainly has the potential for a very interesting story to be told. It hits similar beats to the Winter Soldier in the MCU. Bloodshot is a super soldier who has been programmed and controlled to be used as a weapon. Eventually, Bloodshot finds freedom, but with his memory having been scrambled by those who created him, including having false memories created as a motivation tool, he doesn't really know who he is. There's absolutely some real character development that can be done with a story like that.
Bob Layton specifically says he doesn't like the action-filled third act that ends pretty much every superhero movie to date. One has to wonder if there's a plan to do something else. It would be nice to see a superhero movie try something different, not that I have the first clue what in the world that would be. While the massive action sequences might not be the part of comic book movies that makes them great, it is one part that undeniably makes them fun. It's not like we don't want any of it.
The Bloodshot movie is currently in production and is set for release in February of 2020.