Superhero movies are at an all time max, as far as releases per year go. This year we have three Marvel Cinematic Universe titles, two DC Extended Universe films, and Logan from Fox. Is there such a thing as too many superhero movies? Is “superhero fatigue” real? (I don’t think so…)
Patty Jenkins is very familiar with the subject, as she nearly directed Thor: The Dark World only to end up actually directing Wonder Woman, which comes out this June. Talking to CinemaBlend, Jenkins sees no end to the genre, and her reasons are right on point:
“That’s the great thing about the diversity of superheroes, and one of the reasons why when people say ‘Is the superhero thing gonna die?’ or whatever, I always think it’s so much bigger than that. It’s not about superheroes. It’s about the method of universal storytelling that all people have that is not of one religion, one thing, that America ended up inventing as a way to tell these metaphors about all different kinds of states of being. So to me, they’re the same as the Greek myth, they’re the same as the Roman myth, or religious figures of every religion. These are our common characters that we use to express stories about being a better person, or what you would do if you were faced with various things. So for me, that’s an incredibly powerful thing. There’s a million movies to be told with [these] common characters.”
Jenkins hits the nail right on the head; as long as the titles remain varied and don’t repeat the same formula, there are almost limitless stories and genres to tap into. We’ve watched the MCU evolve from fairly standard origin stories into different genres including a spy thriller (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), a space opera (Guardians of the Galaxy), a heist film (Ant-Man) and even a mind-bending Inception-style film (Doctor Strange, obviously). If “the method of storytelling” grows stale, that’s what will spell doom for any of these franchises or the genre as a whole. The characters themselves have limitless potential, and there are practically as limitless characters to draw from.
Do you think, “there’s a million movies to be told with [these] common characters?” Though that may be an overstatement, I’m still having a blast with every release. Or do you already see the cracks? Have you foreseen the end of the genre as we know it?
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