The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Once Upon a Superhero

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to grow as the most profitable film franchise of all time, take a step back and appreciate the award-winning 2018 independent film, Once Upon a Superhero. Filmed on a shoestring budget in Los Angeles, Once Upon a Superhero differs drastically from the Hollywood superhero genre through the story of Solar Flare, a down-on-his-luck superhero who used to be the galaxy’s greatest superhero, but has since been exiled to Earth where he has lost all of his powers.

A young aspiring actress named Frankie (Yvette Monreal) finds a down-on-his-luck homeless man passed out on the streets of Hollywood in a costume.  The homeless man is Solar Flare (Adam Marcinowski) who proclaims to be a real superhero from the sun, who’s been exiled to live on Earth without his superpowers for 189 days. After Frankie takes him to nearby diner, Solar Flare recounts his past few months in the underbelly of Hollywood.

A wildly innovative and creative art-house film. Once Upon a Superhero has been quickly gathering momentum through its many film festival awards and word of mouth. As a promising future cult hit, Once Upon a Superhero sets a positive example for independent filmmakers about what can be achieved in the superhero genre without studios or big budgets.


A renegade piece of cinematic triumph…my favorite movie of 2018.” – Evan Rosen, Brooklyn Film Review

“Hits hard without Hollywood superpowers.” – Pat Emil, Critics Den

“A film with strong cinematography, an immersive soundtrack, and a taste for the subversive.”– Chelsea Novak, Vue Weekly