Cinematic Universe is all about superheroes, comics, movies and TV shows. If something falls under one of those four categories, then there’s a chance we’re interested. If it’s all four, then we definitely are.
We began life in 2015 as a fortnightly podcast hosted by Joe Cunningham (Film4, Empire) a film journalist with a growing interest in superhero and comic book properties. Enlisting comic book experts Seb Patrick (Den of Geek, Anglophenia) and James Hunt (Comic Book Resources, Den of Geek), he set out to learn more about the comics behind the movies. Each episode we pick a different film or show to review, discussing what’s on screen in detail as well as filling in some of the context and background and recommending relevant comics to read. We also run through the latest comic book movie and TV news both on the main episodes, and also on interspersed “minisodes”.
Aside from Seb and James, several guest experts have joined us on the episodes so far. These include Sarah Dobbs (SFX, Total Film), Caroline Siede (The AV Club), Al Kennedy (House to Astonish), Michael Leader (Sight & Sound, Film4), Amon Warmann (Total Film, London Live) and Matthew Turner (ViewLondon, SciFi Now). We’re always keen to get a wide perspective on the chosen film or TV show, and to make our episodes accessible and enjoyable for a wide audience.
In 2017, we expanded Cinematic Universe to include a website with news, features and reviews – including an archive of superhero and comic book-related content that we had written for previous sites.
In 2019, after nearly five years, 100 main episodes and many more additional ones, Joe stepped down as regular host of the show. Seb and James continue the podcast with rotating guests (including occasional appearances from Joe).
We hope to be entertaining and accessible, no matter what your existing level of knowledge or interest – whether you’re new to this universe or as much of a nerd about it as we are, we want to share our enthusiasm and insight with you.
Our outlook is optimistic: we might be critical of certain work at times, but at heart we love this genre and we always want it to succeed. We try not to approach adaptations from an angle of “We’d have done this better” or “This isn’t enough like the comics” – while we like exploring how the movies and their source material relate to one-another, we recognise that they’re distinct takes and should be treated accordingly. We think comic book movies are worthy of critical dissection when necessary – but we also recognise that they’re fun slices of pop culture that can be treated with irreverence.
We love Raimi’s Spider-Man. We love The Dark Knight. We love Scott Pilgrim. We love The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. But we also love Howard the Duck, in its own way. Everything across the entire cinematic universe – the cinematic multiverse, even – is worthy of our time.
Except maybe for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Seb’s love of superheroes and comics began with Christopher Reeve’s Superman in the mid-1980s, and has only continued to grow from there. But the fact that his daughter shares a name with a major Superman supporting character is a coincidence, honest. He writes or has written for Empire, Den of Geek, BBC America’s Anglophenia, When Saturday Comes, New Statesman and Comic Heroes; is the editor of the official Red Dwarf website; and works on digital content for a PR and communications agency.
James has worked as the editor for IGN’s Planet X-Men and Classic Gaming websites, as deputy editor for Mental Floss UK, and as a staff reviewer at Comic Book Resources. He’s also a freelance writer for Den of Geek, SFX, Wired, Comic Heroes, Virgin Media and more, and one third of the Cinematic Universe podcast team. He’s well past putting jokes of any kind in his bio.
Joe has been addicted to movies ever since he mainlined Disney animated classics as a toddler, but his love for superhero movies blossomed after seeing Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man in cinemas as an impressionable 13 year-old. Now a fully-fledged grown-up, he still consumes an unhealthy amount of pop culture, and if he’s not busy watching it then he’s probably busy discussing it. He’s previously written for Film4, Empire, Radio Times, Virgin Media, The Playlist and HeyUGuys.
Jeremy founded the unaffiliated site CinematicUniverse.com, which was folded in to this site in 2017.
Julian contributed reviews to Comics Daily and Alternate Cover, previous sites by James and Seb whose content has been folded into this one.