Cruising Stardom in Hollywood Franchising: Tom Cruise as Franchise Star in the ‘Mission: Impossible’ and ‘Dark Universe’ Storyworlds

Starring Tom Cruise, edited by Sean Redmond. Wayne State University Press, 2021. Book Description Starring Tom Cruise examines how Tom Cruise’s star image moves across genres and forms as a type of commercial product that offers viewers certain pleasures and expectations. Cruise reads as an action hero and romantic lead yet finds himself in homoerotic and homosocial relationships that unsettle and undermine these heterosexual scripts. In … Continue reading Cruising Stardom in Hollywood Franchising: Tom Cruise as Franchise Star in the ‘Mission: Impossible’ and ‘Dark Universe’ Storyworlds

Practicing Superhuman Law: Creative License, Industrial Identity, and Spider-Man’s Homecoming

Published in The Superhero Symbol: Media, Culture, and Politics, edited by Liam Burke, Ian Gordon, and Angela Ndalianis, and published by Rutgers University Press, 2019. Continue reading Practicing Superhuman Law: Creative License, Industrial Identity, and Spider-Man’s Homecoming

Senses of Cinema, World Poll 2018

The Senses of Cinema World Poll has come around again and I’m happy to have contributed to this significant and extensive project for another year. As with my 2017 contribution, I focus only on franchise instalments because I consider franchise cinema to be an important mode of contemporary entertainment and worth acknowledging in any celebration of cinema and cinephilia. In 2017, I ordered my list … Continue reading Senses of Cinema, World Poll 2018

The Legacy of Superhero Film Serials: Early Adaptations, Crude Licensing Agreements, and the Case of Republic Pictures’ ‘Captain America’ (1944)

Presentation at the Superheroes Beyond Conference, convened by the ARC-supported research group Superheroes & Me and hosted by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne, Australia — 6–8 December, 2018. Continue reading The Legacy of Superhero Film Serials: Early Adaptations, Crude Licensing Agreements, and the Case of Republic Pictures’ ‘Captain America’ (1944)

Senses of Cinema, World Poll 2017

Every year the online film journal Senses of Cinema calls for written contributions from film critics, scholars, and cinephiles around the world that reflect the most memorable and significant viewing experiences during the year gone by. I would usually read this annual poll with interest and curiosity but also a sense of disconnection with the type of film and viewing practices that regularly appear. Since my … Continue reading Senses of Cinema, World Poll 2017

“That’s Not How the Force Works!” Rebooting the Franchise Mythos in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

In The Last Jedi, rebooting is significant as a transformative strategy because it doesn’t reboot in the ways we usually expect. The Last Jedi pushes the boundaries of rebooting, franchising, and audience expectations by re-negotiating the mythos, or brand essence, of the franchise itself. This is is not a reboot of surrounding ornamentation, but of franchise mythology. Continue reading “That’s Not How the Force Works!” Rebooting the Franchise Mythos in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’