Superhero films have come under fire for the past ten years. Who could forget that Martin Scorsese says that Marvel isn’t cinema? However, the Oscar winner isn’t the only one who has criticized Marvel or superheroes in general. From Quentin Tarantino to Ridley Scott, it’s been a hot-button issue for years when it comes to auteur filmmakers. The true question is: Is the hate truly justified?
Superheroes films have been a healthy profit for Hollywood in general. Ever since Marvel and Kevin Feige made the bold choice to create a cinematic universe, the film industry just hasn’t been the same. The Marvel Cinematic Universe alone has made over $20 billion worldwide. Those are numbers that most films can only dream of. Despite being a critical darling (more often than not) and mainstream success, it’s understandable why some filmmakers have a pure hatred for superhero films.
Superhero Films Have Oversaturated The Market
Marvel and DC are both paying the price of this as we speak. What made the former so special is a well-developed and connected universe that didn’t flood every ounce of television. Now, superhero films are in every form of media: television, movies, video games, books, you name it! However, arguably the biggest sin is that the quality of said entertainment has gone down massively.
Still, superhero films are currently dominating the market because it’s the popular source of entertainment right now. Hollywood is a business, first and foremost. Altogether, the business has made the most money currently because of superhero films. It’s understandable why names like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese aren’t big fans of this type of content.
It’s hard to get an original film greenlit. There’s just not a healthy amount of diversity when it comes to genres in the mainstream. Romantic comedies are virtually dead. So are comedies in general. Sci-fi and dramas aren’t doing that much better. The market is currently being flooded with horror, animation, and blockbusters. However, the former has more space than the other two.
The Space For Telling Different Stories Is Diminishing
Since studios are spending crazy amounts of dollars on big-budget blockbusters like The Avengers or The Flash, that leaves little opportunity for smaller films. Independent films are receiving the worse treatment in the mainstream market out of all the genres. It use to be that indie films could break through and introduce an exciting new voice to a mainstream crowd.
That isn’t much of the case in this day and age. Outside of awards season, indies or small films besides horror aren’t given much chance to shine because that’s not what audiences are necessarily looking for. That’s what executives believe. The world of cinema hasn’t had much of a chance to expand because we keep getting the same stories over and over again.
Those weird and crazy experimental films that made names like David Lynch or even Tarantino famous don’t appear much in modern times. Sure, films like Swiss Army Man get some love from a wider audience. But everything is either an adaptation, a reboot, or a sequel.
The Quality Of Superhero Films
Filmmakers like Scorsese or Tarantino grew up on classics like Citizen Kane, North By Northwest, and The Maltese Falcon. Meanwhile, current fans consider The Avengers or The Dark Knight their version of the classics. Overall, the quality of superhero films is more good than bad.
In fact, there will be some films that audiences will remember ten-plus years from now. Are they on the level of the past generation of films? No. Simply because the originality factor is scarce in the modern age. It pretty much goes back to everything that’s been stated so far. The quality of superhero films isn’t bad, but they feel factory-made at this point.
Audiences know what to expect when they’re watching this genre. Though you can easily spot the difference between The Batman and Thor: Love & Thunder. The blueprint for both is relatively the same. Superhero films are cinema, but Hollywood desperately needs to shake up the formula by diversifying movies in the mainstream again. The hate for superhero films is understandable, but it’s up to the executives who consistently greenlight this material in hopes of copying the success of Marvel’s MCU.