There’s been a lot of back and forth amongst prominent directors and actors regarding the longevity of the superhero genre over the past month. Things kicked off when Steven Spielberg hypothesized that the superhero film would eventually go the way of the Western and fall out of favor. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” director Zack Snyder chimed in, adding in that the film he’s working on is an exception to Spielberg’s theory and that Marvel’s “flavor of the week” movies (specifically “Ant-Man”) will decline in popularity.
At the recent “Avengers: Age of Ultron” Blu-ray release press event, IGN asked Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige about these two statements directly. In response to Spielberg’s comments, Feige said that people have been saying the superhero genre would decrease in popularity “for 15 years.”
“In 2001, 2002, 2003 there were two Marvel movies, three Marvel movies, and I still believe the same thing, which is as long as the ones that we can control are as good as they can be, that’s all that I care about,” said Feige. “I think we’ve been doing pretty well. I’m very confident in the films we’ve announced that we have coming forward that they’re going to be surprising and different and unique. I’ve said a lot: I don’t believe in the comic book genre. I don’t believe in the superhero genre. I believe that each of our films can be very different.” Feige also noted that he didn’t see Spielberg’s comment as a dig, since the Western’s era of prominence lasted “40-50 years, and they still pop up occasionally.”
Feige also indirectly addressed Snyder’s “flavor of the week” comment by talking about the Marvel movies’ varying genres. “Those are all very different movies. They all happen to be based on Marvel characters and Marvel comics, but from a genre and a cinematic perspective, they’re all very unique. ‘Civil War’ may as well be a different genre from ‘Age of Ultron.'”
He continued: “I think it’s the same thing as saying, ‘I don’t know how many more movies can be made from novels. I think people are going to bored with novels being turned into movies. I don’t know how long it’s going to last.'”
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