Following several jabs at the superhero movie genre during last weekend’s Academy Awards, as well as a dig by Nightcrawler director Dan Gilroy at the Independent Spirit Awards about having to survive against the “tsunami of superhero movies that have swept over this industry”, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn felt compelled to step up and take a stand for the medium he loves so much.
Taking to Facebook, Gunn said;
As far as Dan Gilroy saying that attendees of the Independent Spirit Awards have survived against a “tsunami of superhero films” – well it seems a bit weird coming from a guy whose wife has acted in two Thor films – really, that seems like you’ve drowned horribly in that tsunami. But I know I just kind of make up stuff as I go along on these awards shows, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Whatever the case, the truth is, popular fare in any medium has always been snubbed by the self-appointed elite. I’ve already won more awards than I ever expected for Guardians. What bothers me slightly is that many people assume because you make big films that you put less love, care, and thought into them then people do who make independent films or who make what are considered more serious Hollywood films.
I’ve made B-movies, independent films, children’s movies, horror films, and gigantic spectacles. I find there are plenty of people everywhere making movies for a buck or to feed their own vanity. And then there are people who do what they do because they love story-telling, they love cinema, and they want to add back to the world some of the same magic they’ve taken from the works of others. In all honesty, I do no find a strikingly different percentage of those with integrity and those without working within any of these fields of film.
If you think people who make superhero movies are dumb, come out and say we’re dumb. But if you, as an independent filmmaker or a “serious” filmmaker, think you put more love into your characters than the Russo Brothers do Captain America, or Joss Whedon does the Hulk, or I do a talking raccoon, you are simply mistaken.
To be honest, there’s not much we can add to Gunn’s comments. While it seems that there’s always going to be a sneering derision by the self-appointed cinematic “elite” towards superhero cinema – and genre movies in general – surely it’s about time the field was taken a little more seriously in light of its stellar critical and commercial achievements?
Let us know what you think of Gunn’s comments below. Do you agree, or did he overstep the mark?