A friend and I were discussing the cyclic nature of comics the other day and how it relates to movies today. I was a big comics fan in the 80s and 90s 9less so today). Comics then were generally pretty formulaic until Watchmen and the Dark Knight Returns cast aside the status quo. The publisher's seemed to think that 'gritty' was what people wanted and the anti-hero was on the rise. Wolverine became huge as well as grim takes on Green Arrow and Daredevil among others. The grom stories were everywhere. The other big thing in comics then was the grand crossover event, starting with Secret Wars.
Now, in movies, the success of the Dark Knight has forced reboots that are grittier and brooding -- like the new Spiderman and Man of Steel. The movie crossover is coming as The Avengers.
I'm a little concerned about the moves in the film. Batman is compelling as a dark, moody prick. Spiderman is not. Some characters are just not suitable. The crossovers can be great, like Secret Wars, or awful, like any of the DC Crises (except Identity Crisis, that was ok).
I fear that the rush for grittiness will wind up with some really bad movies and this will sour the studios on more super hero movies. They seem to think that if a movie does bad its because the genre is stale when often the movie was a huge misstep. If gritty Spiderman and Man of Steel don't work and the Avengers is a mess (which is a very likely scenario) then comic book movies are is for a rough ride.