One of the perks of being a long-time member of the Hollywood film world is getting to criticize the heck out of modern productions. Veteran filmmaker John Landis (Animal House, The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London) has been working in the industry since he was 18 years old, so it’s safe to call him a moviemaking veteran. In a recent interview with Ireland’s Entertainment.ie he didn’t hold back any of his opinions on the current offerings from the major film studios.
In the wake of the landslide that is Wonder Woman’s success, Landis extolled the film’s virtues. “I thought it was good,” he said. “I really liked her – [Gal Gadot] was wonderful, really charming and beautiful. She really sold it. I was very impressed with the girl – the woman!”
Landis also suggests Wonder Woman’s success isn’t due solely to its female-led stor,y but also its intimacy of scope. “One of the reasons Wonder Woman has been received so well by the critics is that it doesn’t destroy cities! Even the superhero stuff is on a very human scale, [and] it’s the gods! We’re not seeing skyscrapers tumbling!”
Mass destruction is what Landis believes is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s biggest issue, and he doesn’t hold back in expressing his annoyance with how the MCU has taken shape. “I’m just… truthfully, I’m bored shitless with the Marvel Universe now,” he said. “All the superhero movies tend to be interchangeable, you always have these mass destruction of cities and huge computer-generated extravaganzas to the point where you could take a reel from any of the Marvel superhero movies and put it [in] any of the others and nobody would notice. They’re very well-made, it’s just they’re the same thing over and over again. But, I don’t know, people are showing up.”
He’s not all doom and gloom regarding Marvel’s future, however; though the interview was conducted ahead of the debut of Black Panther’s first trailer, Landis has good feelings towards the film based on pictures he was sent from the cast celebrating one of his own movies. “During the shoot, the cast had a big Coming To America party, and they all got dressed up in copies of my wife’s Deborah’s costumes!” Landis directed Coming to America in 1988.
As for what Landis is up to these days, he has stayed active directing television and says he has several projects he’s working on though whether they get made is up in the air as “it’s all a question of money.” Landis’s son, filmmaker/writer Max Landis, is working on a remake of his father’s film An American Werewolf In London with Landis executive producing, though no production details have been released.