The Suicide Squad director James Gunn thinks that superhero films could be in trouble if they don’t make some changes. In some comments to The Irish Times, the filmmaker went in-depth on what could be a problem for the genre going forward. He points to both war films and westerns as historic examples. Back in the day, both of those genres could do no wrong in the popular consciousness. People couldn’t get enough of those pictures. But, over-saturation settled in after a while and those studios suffered. Comic book movies have been riding high for more than a decade now. However, some critics have wondered what the tipping point would be for audiences who are seeing more and more stories put out every month. If figures like Gunn are to be believed, it’s going to take a lot more than common origin stories to keep viewers invested. His work is a little bit more off-kilter, but it might take a lot more directors employing their own sensibilities to keep things going.
“We know about the way cowboy films went, and the way war films went,” Gunn explained. “I don’t know, I think you don’t have to be a genius to put two and two together and see that there’s a cycle to those sorts of films, you know and that the only hope for the future of the comic book and superhero films is to change them up. They’re really dumb. And they’re mostly boring for me right now.
“I loved them at the beginning. I was really excited when they first started making those movies. It was about the visual effects when I saw Superman as a kid. I still love that movie,” he continued. “Okay, I know, that’s a guy on wires and bluescreen with this sort of crappy visual effects. And then when Iron Man came out, I was in. You’re able to make a guy fly around who looks like a guy flying around. And that was a beautiful thing to be able to do. But if the movies don’t change, it’s gonna get really, really boring.”
For now, people are just going to have to wait and see what the future holds. Some of the upcoming Marvel slate is trying to push into different genres. DC’s film output has scrapped the idea of a linear connected universe altogether. Instead, they’ll be employing a Multiverse concept. (The MCU is dipping its toes in as well.) So, maybe that will be an incentive to stretch those creative muscles.
Do you agree with Gunn on this point? Let us know down in the comments!