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James Gunn Thinks the Hollywood Elite Should Get the Bug Out Of Its Ass About Superhero Films

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 24, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 24, 2015 |

Here’s an interesting note about the directors of superhero films: Many of the best ones? They started out as directors of great independent films. I mean, look at a few examples:

Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy): Memento, The Following

James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy): Slither

Rian Johnson (who is taking over Star Wars): Brick

Jon Favreau (Iron Man): Swingers

Josh Trank (Fantastic Four): The $12 million Chronicle

Bryan Singer (The X-Men): The $6 million Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil

Shane Black (Iron Man 3): Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

What I’m saying here is that the directors behind many of the most popular superhero films are also responsible for some of our favorite independent and low-budget films. I mean, that’s why they were hired. And yes, while I also occasionally tire of superhero films (mostly just the origin stories), they can continue making as many as they want, as long as they great (like Guardians, like the X-Men prequels) because I would much rather watch a well-made superhero film directed by a superb director than a “serious” film like The Theory of Everything or The Imitation Game, and I don’t care how many Oscars they got.

All of which is to say, I understand why James Gunn is a little annoyed with the way the “Hollywood Elite” thumb their noses at superhero films, because fuck those guys. Here’s what he had to say on Facebook about the all the jokes directed at superhero films at the Oscars:

I didn’t really find the Jack Black superhero jokes offensive, did you guys? It was, like, a joke. I’m not sure if you guys noticed, but the writing on the Oscars didn’t seem to be all that well thought out.

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.


via The Mary Sue

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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.