Parallel Universes: Remaking Superheroes in Film and Popular Media

deadline for submissions: 
June 7, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Dr Lorna Piatti-Farnell

PLEASE NOTE: This CFP closed in 2019. If you are encountering it any time in 2022 or afterwards, it is due to an error in the system. Thank you. 


Twenty-first century film and media have seen a rise not only in remakes and ‘re-imaginings’, but also in transmedia adaptations, works based in nostalgic callbacks, fan-written versions of media, and genre-bending remixes. While a wider body of work exists on transmedia storytelling and adaptation, contemporary superhero remakes and re-adaptations are still a largely unexplored subject, even as interest in the remake phenomenon continues to grow. The history of superheroes – and their supervillain counterparts – is rich in re-adaptations and remakes. This process seems intrinsic to the superhero’s textual and cultural journey, as it is re-shaped and re-moulded, from comics to film and other media forms. In the post-2000 era, long-standing comics and cinematic groups such as Marvel and DC – among others – have provided viewers with an array of re-imaginings, constructing veritable ‘parallel universes’, as superheroes transform and change, from page to moving image, and to moving image yet again.

This edited collection, intended as a volume for Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield’s ‘Remakes, Reboots and Adaptations’ series, seeks to address the multi-faceted remakes and re-adaptations of superheroes (and supervillains) in contemporary film and poplar media (including platforms such as Netflix). Parallel Universes sets out to say something about who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we’re going, as read in our popular culture and the stories we tell ourselves over and over again.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

-       film and popular media remakes/re-adaptations of iconic superheroes

-       the construction of ‘superhero universes’ (within film, and across media platforms)

-       the relationship between ‘superhero comics’ and ‘superhero films’ in the contemporary popular culture scope

-       hybridity, canon, and genre-bending superhero remakes and re-adaptations

-       discourses of gender/race/ethnicity/class/national identity in superhero remakes and re-adaptations

-       superheroes vs supervillains

-       nostalgia and remaking/re-adapting superheroes

-       issues of recycling and stereotyping in superhero films and media texts

-       superhero narratives and historical (in)accuracies

-       the comics roots of contemporary superhero media

-       superhero (and supervillain) remakes/re-adaptations and the internet

-       superhero (and supervillain) remakes/re-adaptations and fandom

-       cinematic ‘superhero studios’ and branding

-       multimedia remakes and re-adaptations of superheroes and supervillains (from games to YouTube channels, and more)

-       transnational and transcultural remakes of superhero films and popular media.

Abstracts (250 words max) are due for submission on 7 June 2019. Please send your abstracts, together with a short bio (100 words max), to the editor of the collection, Dr Lorna Piatti-Farnell: Authors whose abstracts are provisionally accepted for inclusion will be notified by 5 July 2019.