‘Rebel Moon’ Director Zack Snyder Backs Idea That Audiences Are Suffering From ‘Superhero Fatigue’: “No One Thinks They’re Going To A One-Off Superhero Movie”
In throwing his hat into the ongoing debate as to just what is causing the genre’s recent decline at the box office, Rebel Moon and former DCEU director Zack Snyder has joined team ‘superhero fatigue’, as he believes that shared cinematic universes have grown too big and too daunting for general audiences to want to invest their time and money into.
The original director of the Justice League‘s cinematic debut offered his thoughts on the topic while speaking in promotion of his aforementioned Netflix-exclusive sci-fi epic to The Atlantic’s Dave Itzkoff.
Pressed by his host as to whether or not he agreed with the regularly espoused concept of ‘superhero fatigue’ – that audiences are growing tired not of bad superhero films, but superhero films as a whole – Snyder replied in the affirmative, asserting to Itzkoff, “I have the same fatigue.”
Describing comic book films as being in “a cul-de-sac now”, the former herald of the DCEU then opined that the biggest problem with the genre was the level of time investment each subsequent release in a shared cinematic universe requires of its viewers.
“No one thinks they’re going to a one-off superhero movie,” he argued.
To this end, later on in their interview, Snyder would reflect on whether or not the industry’s love affair with adapting every piece of entertainment media to under the sun was finally coming to a close.
“I mean, like, how much IP is there?” he asked.
As noted above, while many fans, critics, and analysts have pointed to the concept of ‘superhero fatigue’ as the main reason for the genre’s recent box office woes, not all agree that the explanation is so simple as people being “over it”.
Rather, some argue that these financial troubles are actually self-inflicted by the studios themselves thanks to their constant disrespecting of the source material they have been entrusted with.
For example, despite the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s reputation constantly dropping in its post-Endgame years, Spider-Man: No Way Home and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, each of which treated their source materials and established continuities with the proper gravity and respect, both managed to turn a profit (the former admittedly far more than the latter) and draw positive praise from even the most divested of Marvel fans.
Further, the same ‘mutual respect’ between a project and its fans was also enjoyed by Netflix’s One Piece, which thanks to the dedication of its crew in adhering to the source material, as well as its involving of series creator Eiichiro Oda in every process of its development, has become highly-lauded among fans, with the live-action anime adaptation even ranking atop many a fan’s 2023 year-end ‘Best Of’ lists.
Meanwhile, the many projects which have failed to make any impact either at the box office or among audiences – Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Thor: Love and Thunder, Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), The Marvels – are all linked by the fact that their directors and writers essentially wiped their behinds with the characters and stories upon which their parent franchises were built upon.
And with this level of disrespect becoming the norm – along with a healthy dose of actively and intentionally insulting fans – it’s not hard to see why so many viewers have become disillusioned with the franchises they once loved.
After all, why get excited to see your favorite characters or stories adapted to the silver screen when the odds are everything you love about them will be treated as a joke and used as nothing more than soapboxes for screenwriters to air their own personal issues?