I just saw the trailer for Brave. With Hunger Games still huge at the box office, are bows and arrows replacing guns in movies?
—Bomb Bob, via the inbox
We do appear to be in a mini-era of bad-ass bow wielders, and I'm not just talking about Katniss and her dystopia-slaying arrows...or the flaming red-head who stars in Pixar's upcoming adventure. How about:
Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye in The Avengers is a prime example. As is Norman Reedus' Daryl on The Walking Dead. And the character Pete Hornberger, who works with Liz Lemon on 30 Rock? Used to be an Olympic-grade archer. Really. In the critically acclaimed We Need to Talk About Kevin, our promising young killer has a way with a bow and arrow. A re-imagining of the Green Arrow comic book character, called Arrow, is headed to the CW this fall.
And then there's Game of Thrones, in which swords rule, but projectiles are often used to, among other things, kill inconvenient ravens. And keep boy kings entertained.
Does all this equal an end to on-screen bullets?
"Virtually 95 percent-plus of movies and TV that you see features the use of at least one firearm," says Bill Davis, a weapons and prop master and owner of Tactical Edge Group. "Battleship is coming out, and they have lots of guns. The next Transformers is coming out, and there's going to be guns all over the place. There will always be guns."
After all, Davis points out, nothing moves a plot along like a bunch of bullets whizzing and possibly killing folk.
"Gunfights are usually main plot points," says Davis, who has worked on Saw, Heat and Garden State. "It's the main reason firearms are so important in a story. It's good theater, good drama."
That said, Hollywood is definitely looking for new weapons with which to amuse us. And when it comes to alternative weapons, bows are some of the best.
"Well, I can say that firearms maybe have become old hat in the industry," Davis tells this B!tch. "People are trying to get away from that, make stories more Rambo-esque. The bow and arrow has always been a primitive weapon and the audience has more of a tendency to sympathize with someone bearing the weapon because it doesn't have the accuracy and range of a firearm.
"Hollywood just wants to change it up a little."