Writer-director James Gunn has shared his thoughts about the future of superhero movies, saying they need to change to remain relevant. Unimpressed with the current line-up of comic book adaptations, the famed director called the latest batch of movies in the genre “really dumb” and “mostly boring for me, right now.”
James Gunn made the comments in a recent interview with The Irish Times, where he discussed his concerns about the popular films while promoting his own superhero movie The Suicide Squad. The director compared the genre’s trajectory to Westerns and war films that once dominated the bid screen and expressed his thoughts on how they can avoid the same fate.
“We know about the way cowboy films went, and the way war films went. 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 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.”
James Gunn said he hadn’t always felt this way about these adaptations, which he “loved at the beginning,” before noting that the advancement of visual effects was one of the main reasons he fell in love with the genre. He told the publication that 1978’s Superman is a film he still loves because it made him “really excited” about the genre even though it featured “a guy on wires and blue screen with this sort of crappy visual effects.”
He also referenced Marvel’s Iron Man as another example of the ways superhero films have excitingly advanced movies. “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,” James Gunn said.
Despite his sweeping negative statement about superhero movies, James Gunn did ultimately acknowledge that they aren’t all the same. “There are people trying to do some different things with superheroes. So it’s not 100 percent a rule that everybody isn’t, but a lot of superhero films are boring.” Standing by his comments, James Gunn shared a related story on social media and said he’d still love to do a Western someday – with the entire cast of The Suicide Squad.
Given his work on superhero movies, James Gunn’s criticism of the genre may seem slightly hypocritical. But who would know better about the need for evolution in these movies than someone currently working on them? Especially since the director has showcased his ability to break conventions and deliver exciting efforts with every film.
James Gunn is set to begin production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 later this year, as well as the holiday special. Meanwhile, fans can look forward to The Suicide Squad which hits theaters on August 5th.
Directed and written by James Gunn, the story follows the imprisoned convicts of Belle Reve penitentiary who are sent as members of Task Force X to the South American island of Corto Maltese to destroy Jotunheim. The Nazi-era prison and laboratory held political prisoners and conducted experiments on them. But during their mission, the squad comes into conflict with Starro, a giant, telepathic alien starfish.
The film features an ensemble cast that includes Margot Robbie as Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn, Idris Elba as Robert DuBois/Bloodsport, John Cena as Christopher Smith/Peacemaker, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, and Sylvester Stallone as the voice of Nanaue/King Shark. Rounding out the cast are Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Jai Courtney as George “Digger” Harkness /Captain Boomerang and, Peter Capaldi as Gaius Grieves /The Thinker.