As a preteen/teenager who grew up loving My Chemical Romance, Bring Me the Horizon and From First to Last (Skrillex before he was Skrillex), I have an appreciation for the emo community in 2020. I respect the hair, makeup, and ~attitude~ of the emo community, but specifically the emo boiz. They have “the look” we all miss and still deep down adore, whether we want to admit it or not. So when my good friend Hannah points out to me that two major blockbusters are coming out with emo leading men, I am over the moon. I’m obviously talking about Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, which is now set to release on the same day, October 1, 2021. A new holiday.
In the trailer for The Batman, Robert Pattinson not only has the makeup and hair down for an emo take on Bruce Wayne, but the attitude is what puts it over the edge. Pattinson appears so sad and angry as Bruce Wayne in the trailer. The Nirvana cover obviously puts the overall emo-ness over the top.
In the trailer for Dune, along with all the stills that have been released, Timothée Chalamet has his emo, long hair on point. His hair is truly one of the stars of the film. Chalamet appears moody and emotional in the trailer, especially when his dad, played by Oscar Isaac, is mentioned.
Two moody, long-haired emo boys leading two major blockbusters is not something I ever saw coming, but especially in 2020. We’ve spent years with Chris Hemsworth, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and thirty more Chris-es starring in every blockbuster available, whether it be fighting dinosaurs, earthquakes destroying my city, or each other. (I don’t know, I’ve never seen The Avengers, I just assume they fight each other.)
While I understand it needs to be believable superheroes or leading action stars can handle all the physical work they face, I enjoy the idea of a moody, emo superhero. I feel as if superheroes and action movie characters have an attitude that they have to take on so much for the greater good of the planet and their personal lives take the heat from that work. An emo superhero will perfectly display the anger they take out in their day-to-day caped crusader battles and the emotional downside to their career choice (career choice? maybe personal vendetta).
But now, it is our time for emo leading men in blockbusters. I feel seen and understood by a studio. This is for all the kids who would go to shows of wanna be screamo bands, take a million photos to upload to Photobucket, and then post on Myspace. We are finally thriving and taking over blockbusters, not not the video store, just superhero and sci-fi fantasy movies. Our leading men wear eyeliner and have long hair.
Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.