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Take Note, Naysayers: This Is How You Answer the Superhero Question

By Dustin Rowles | Film | November 26, 2021 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | November 26, 2021 |


It seems like every actor, director, and author is asked at one point what they think about the proliferation of Marvel and other superhero movies, and the answers are usually not great, even if you don’t like superhero movies. Marc Maron loves to trash them, even as he appears in them; the hostile opinions of Ridley Scott, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese are well known; and Denis Villeneuve believes that “cut and paste” Marvel movies have “turned us into zombies.

I like (but do not love) Marvel movies, but I also like Ridley Scott, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and Denis Villeneuve. Surely, there’s a more nuanced way to approach superhero films. Surely, the superhero movie question doesn’t have to be binary. Surely, someone can answer the question intelligently while acknowledging both the entertainment value and the cultural dangers of superhero movies.

Surely, the actor who came up with the most thoughtful approach to this question is none other than Stellan Skarsgård, father of eight, respected and revered movie actor and Emmy nominee, and … participant in superhero movies. From The Guardian:

I’ve got nothing against superhero movies. I’ve been in a couple and they definitely have a place. The problem is that the system that allows eight people to own half of the wealth in the world enhances the power of the market forces, so small and independent cinemas rarely exist any more outside a few big cities. There’s no distribution channels for all the mid-budget films that have the best actors, the best writing, because they can’t throw up $3m for a marketing campaign. When cinemas let them in, they do so for one week and if it doesn’t pay off in a week, they’re gone.

I think that we should have Marvel films and more rollercoaster films. We should have other films, too. And that’s the sad thing: when raw market forces come in, studios start being run by companies that don’t care if they’re dealing in films or toothpaste so long as they get their 10% [return]. When AT&T took over Time Warner, it immediately told HBO to become lighter and more commercial. They were always making money. But not enough for an investor.

Exactly. Vaccines are good! Big Pharma is not. Algorithms can be helpful, but they can also flatten our culture. We should have the freedom to express our opinions, but we should also have the freedom to use market forces to reject opinions that are bigoted. Both siderism is bad, but nuance is good!

Source: The Guardian via Matthew Lucas

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

Header Image Source: Marvel