Director Steven Soderbergh, known for his remake of Ocean’s 11 and Logan Lucky, recently expressed his confusion regarding superhero and franchise films.
Soderbergh recently did an interview with The Daily Beast to promote his upcoming film Kimi for HBO Max, where he discussed superhero and franchise films.
During the interview, Soderbergh is asked, “Do you get approached to make franchise blockbusters? Is that ever on your radar?”
He responded, “Not really, and I’m not a snob; it’s not that I feel it’s some lower tier in any way. It really becomes about what universe you occupy as a storyteller.”
“I’m just too earthbound to really release myself to a universe in which Newtonian physics don’t exist [laughs]. I just have a lack of imagination in that regard, which is why the one foray I had into pure science-fiction [2002’s Solaris] was essentially a character drama that happened to be set on a spaceship,” he explained.
Soderbergh then specifically took issue with his perception there is a lack of sex in these types of film.
He stated, “Also, for a lot of these, for me to understand the world and how to write or supervise the writing of the story and the characters—apart from the fact that I can bend time and defy gravity and shoot beams out of my fingers—there’s no f***ing.”
“Nobody’s f***ing! Like, I don’t know how to tell people how to behave in a world in which that is not a thing,” he added.
Soderbergh would also claim he doesn’t understand who is paying superheroes or how their jobs as superheroes came to be.
He stated, “The fantasy-spectacle universe, as far as I can tell, typically doesn’t involve a lot of f***ing, and also things like—who’s paying these people? Who do they work for? How does this job come to be?”
The director then bluntly stated, “If people want to go experience that universe, that’s fine. As a filmmaker, I just don’t know where to start.”
One has to wonder how many superhero or franchise films Soderbergh has actually watched given these comments. Most of the films make it very clear how the superheroes came to be, why they do what they do, and if they are being paid who is paying them.
As for Soderbergh’s idea that superhero and franchise film’s lack explicit sex on camera there’s plenty of examples to the contrary where there is sex on camera. One only has to look at Zack Snyder’s Watchmen or Deadpool.
And if you want to include TV just look at Netflix’s Marvel TV series such as Jessica Jones to find multiple examples.
There are also plenty of examples where sex happens off screen. The first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man, includes an implied sex scene between Tony Stark and a reporter.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe also includes numerous children of superheroes, meaning the characters have sex.
For example, Ant-Man has a daughter named Cassie Lang. Hawkeye has three children in Cooper, Lila, and Nathaniel. Even Tony Stark has a daughter with Pepper Potts named Morgan Stark in Avengers: Endgame.
With all that aside, I’m not sure most people going to see superhero and franchise films want to see explicit sex scenes.
It’s more than likely they want to see gripping tales of adventure and action with a dash of romance where the heroes do battle with the forces of evil.
What do you make of Soderbergh’s comments regarding superhero and franchise films?