A number of essays in the recent Thomas Elsaesser and Kay Hoffmann anthology, Cinema Futures, consider the mutual dependence — both cultural and economic — of the institutions of cinema and television.1 In particular, Elsaesser describes two related strategies of media repetition. The first, serialisation, is a textual strategy employed by both television (serials, series, sagas) and cinema (series, sequels, remakes) to deliver and bind a global audience to its product and its own institution. The second, multiplication, is a marketing strategy that connects these institutions, and their audiences, beyond textual and national boundaries via adjacent discursive fields.2 In other words, Elsaesser describes a globalised entertainment industry (dominated by Sony, News Corp, Time-Warner and the like) in which film and television franchises exceed boundaries (textual, national, institutional) to be reiterated — expanded and exploited — across an array of media platforms: from music and print media to theme parks and electronic games.3 This is, for instance, the strategy of the Batman remaking (Tim Burton, 1989) of the television property and feature film of the 1960s (Batman, ABC, 1966–68; and Batman, Leslie Martinson, 1966, respectively). Both versions (1960s and 1980s) have their foundation in Bob Kane’s comic books for Detective Comics in the late 1930s, and the Burton remake (earning $250 million domestically and $160 million overseas) revived the franchise, spinning it out through sequels (Batman Returns, 1992; Batman Forever, 1995; Batman and Robin, 1997; Batman Begins, 2005) and a host of media texts (including a new Batman tele-series, 1992–95) and merchandising items.4
KeywordsComic Book Sibling Rivalry Feature Film Television Series Television Feature
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