Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn recently shared that he believes there are too many superhero movies and TV shows.
Gunn appeared on Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum show where Rosenbaum questioned, “Do you think that there are too many superhero shows and movies and… Because I remember when I did Smallville there were none?”
Gunn replied, “Yes. Yeah, I do think there’s too many.”
He’s then asked, “So what do you do about that?” Gunn responded, “But I don’t think it’s not…it’s much less a problem of too many. And yes, we are not going to overextend ourselves at DC. We’re going to be very careful with the product that we put out and making sure everything is as good as it can possibly be.”
Gunn then shared, “I think that what’s happened is people have gotten really lazy with their superhero stories and they have gotten to the place where, ‘Oh it’s a superhero let’s make a movie about it!’ And they make, ‘Oh! Let’s make a sequel because the first one did pretty well.’ And they aren’t thinking about why is this story special. What makes this story stand apart from other stories? What is the story at the heart of it all? Why is this character important? What makes this story different? That it fills a need for people in theaters to go see or on television.”
“And I think that people have gotten a little lazy,” he reiterated. “And there’s a lot of biff, pow, bam stuff happening in movies. Like I’m watching third acts of superhero films where I really just don’t feel like there’s a rhyme or reason to what’s happening. I don’t care about the characters.”
He continued, “And they’ve gotten too generic. There’s this sort of middle of the road type of genre, tone that so many superhero movies as opposed to having very different genres. I like very serious superhero movies. I like very comedic superhero movies. I like ones that are really just a murder mystery, but it’s with superheroes.
Gunn added, “I like to see these different types of stories as opposed to seeing the same story told over and over again. I don’t know how many times I…”
After Rosenbaum shared his thoughts and noted that the stories need to be more compelling, Gunn offered more of his own thoughts, “I think that also and then people say superhero fatigue. I think that you see now that it’s not a real thing. People are fatigued with repetition. And I don’t think it’s really just superhero movies, I think you’re seeing it happening now, it’s spectacle films in general.”
He went on, “But there’s a lot of spectacle films made and they just have gotten really generic. And they’ve gotten boring and they aren’t about characters, and there’s no emotion to them. And there should be emotion in things no matter. That should always be there: some type of emotion. I’m not saying it can’t be really light. I’m not saying it can’t be really heavy. I’m saying there should be some sort of emotion.”
Gunn would then reference the horror genre, “In a horror movie if you like that main character then you are much more scared when they’re about to get killed. The stakes matter.”
Gunn previously addressed claims of superhero fatigue back in April while speaking with Rolling Stone.
He told the outlet, “I think there is such a thing as superhero fatigue.”
However, he then asserted, “I think it doesn’t have anything to do with superheroes.”
Gunn then explained, “It has to do with the kind of stories that get to be told, and if you lose your eye on the ball, which is character.”
“We love Superman. We love Batman. We love Iron Man. Because they’re these incredible characters that we have in our hearts. And if it becomes just a bunch of nonsense onscreen, it gets really boring,” he elaborated.
He continued, “But I get fatigued by most spectacle films, by the grind of not having an emotionally grounded story. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether they’re superhero movies or not.”
Gunn then asserted, “If you don’t have a story at the base of it, just watching things bash each other, no matter how clever those bashing moments are, no matter how clever the designs and the VFX are, it just gets fatiguing, and I think that’s very, very real.”
What do you make of James Gunn’s comments about the current state of superhero films?