Who Cares What Actors Wear Beneath Superhero Costumes?

Has life in America really gotten so boring despite smart phones, computer pads, video games, video streaming and porn on demand that anybody really cares what actors playing comic book superheroes are wearing—or not wearing—beneath their spandex?

Over the course of two days, movie fans were treated to the absolutely vital news that Scarlet Johansson and Andrew Garfield are going nekkid beneath their respective costumes. That would be costumes for Black Widow in “The Avengers” and Spiderman in the reboot, respectively. As if those movies did not already have the lion’s share of marketing going for them.

Seriously, is there something wrong with American movie marketing that it is not enough to simply show what the film is about? And is it not enough that the costuming department already probably spent about ten million dollars experimenting with ways in which to create a Black Widow outfit that took advantage of every single curve on Johansson’s body as well as finding ways to transform Garfield into something more hunky that he has been in previous movies?

Maybe this apparent fascination with what lies beneath the superhero costumes work in movies is just a sing of the times. Or, maybe, there really is not all that much fascination. Maybe the release of news that these two actors are going free and wild beneath the costumes is just not really all that important to movie fans. Maybe the news is just a desperate attempt to create more interest in the films so that more money will be made. Everything is about marketing these days in the movie business. Tons more money will likely be spent on the advertising campaign even for movies with a built-in audience like “The Avengers” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” than you could possibly imagine. So, in that light, absolutely any and every bit of free advertising that can be wrung from the media is nothing less than total gravy.

But where will it end? If marketing mavens really think that millions of fans actually care about whether Johansson and Garfield are traveling naked beneath their superhero costumes, then what comes next? Actually, I would prefer to not even dwell on the possibilities. Many classic movies made many millions of dollars in the past without so much as a single member of the audience having the slightest idea what was worn beneath those petticoats and tights. I think it is entirely reasonable that both “The Avengers” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” would have made a busload of cash even if some members of the audience didn’t come specifically to check out the just how form-fitting those costumes are.