Batman v Superman director Snyder weighs in on Spielberg’s criticism of the superhero genre’s future…and not on the side you might think.
The superhero movie has evolved from sporadic stabs in the dark to a staple money making genre in Hollywood. The question is, will it keep evolving?
Stephen Spielberg was recently quoted doubting the genre’s staying power, suggesting it would “go the way of the Western”. Fans may have looked to current super directors to defend their creations – but no such luck. In fact, Zack Snyder has publicly agreed with Spielberg’s prediction.
As the godfather-in-residence of the DC universe, Snyder said in an interview with Yahoo that he may share Spielberg’s doubts about the genre’s future. But apparently that challenge is what will make his movies great:
“He might not be wrong. I think it puts more pressure on us, the filmmakers, to not just crank out superhero movies for the sake of it.”
Snyder also commented on how he sees Batman V Superman taking superhero movies forward:
“To me, the one thing I love working in the DC universe is that Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman are American mythology. It’s not about making a superhero, it’s a mythological universe that we live in. That I hope stands the test of time.”
Snyder discussed the DC characters’ transcendence more in an interview with The Daily Beast:
“I look at it as more being mythological than, say, bubblegum. And I think that that’s appropriate for Batman and Superman because they’re the most mythological of our superheroes.”
So Zack doesn’t seem too concerned about DC’s future. Is that “bubblegum” comment a dig at Marvel perhaps?
“… I feel like Batman and Superman are transcendent of superhero movies in a way, because they’re Batman and Superman. They’re not just, like, the flavor of the week Ant-Man—not to be mean, but whatever it is. What is the next Blank-Man?”
Apparently Snyder isn’t too crazy about Marvel’s current template. But then the bright bombastic family style of Marvel couldn’t be further from Snyder’s plans for DC.
Rivalry aside, his point has foundation: both Age of Ultron and Ant-Man were promo-ed to within an inch of their lives, and in the end they were entertaining but have lacked any lasting impression with audiences. That being said, Marvel is clearly aware of the change in wind direction. Plans for Phase 3 suggest a tonal shift for the universe. With Doctor Strange and Black Panther, Marvel will be confronting entirely different challenges, both visually and thematically. Hopefully their sequels and crossovers will follow suit.
It’s worth mentioning that DC and Marvel are in very different positions. DC is just starting it’s extended universe journey, while Marvel is working hard to diversify the universe it’s already established over 8 years. DC will no doubt be in the same position a few years down the line, although how they’ll dodge the bullets and keep the genre breathing post-2020 is anyone’s guess. “…who knows what audiences will want in the future”, asks Snyder.
Don’t get too downtrodden though! Batman V Superman is out March 25th…surely we won’t be sick of superhero movies by then. Right? Guys?
Watch this space for the latest foreboding movie news.