A few weeks back, Steven Spielberg made headlines saying he thought superhero movies would eventually “go the way of the Western.” And now, the architect of DC, one of the biggest superhero movie worlds, says he pretty much agrees.
That person is Zack Snyder, director of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as well as the upcoming Justice League Part I and II. Beyond that, he’ll produce pretty much all of the upcoming DC movies, meaning he has more invested in the superhero genre than almost anyone not named “Kevin Feige.”
“He might not be wrong,” Snyder said when asked about Spielberg’s quote by Yahoo:
“I think it puts more pressure on us, the filmmakers, to not just crank out superhero movies for the sake of it. To me, the one thing I love working in the DC universe is that Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman are American mythology. It’s not about making a superhero, it’s a mythological universe that we live in. That I hope stands the test of time. They stood the test of time. That’s hopefully the sort of magic bullet. But who knows what audiences will want in the future.”
Later, in a subsequent interview with The Daily Beast, Snyder elaborated on his statement:
“It goes to the mythological nature of the movies that we’re making,” Snyder said. “I feel like [Spielberg’s] right. But I feel like Batman and Superman are transcendent of superhero movies in a way, because they’re Batman and Superman. They’re not just, like, the flavor of the week Ant-Man—not to be mean, but whatever it is. What is the next Blank-Man?”
After the apparent Marvel jab, he continued:
“Didn’t he say it was kind of like the Westerns? But there are still great Westerns. I think it’s whenever anything becomes a ‘genre,’ you have to sort of look at it and try to understand it.”
That last comment gets at almost a whole other issue. The fact Spielberg’s quote, out of context and stuffed into a single headline, has a much different connotation. Here’s his full quote, from an interview with the Associated Press:
There will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western. Right now the superhero movie is alive and thriving. I’m only saying that these cycles have a finite time in popular culture. There will come a day when the mythological stories are supplanted by some other genre that possibly some young filmmaker is just thinking about discovering for all of us.
He’s saying something about culture as a whole and he’s 100% right. Think of popular music, fashion, something has its time in the sun, fades out, then comes back. But very few things stay in the spotlight forever.
As for whether or not Batman and Superman transcend that? That’s certainly a possibility. And thanks to Snyder, we’re going to find out in the next five years or so over the course of almost a dozen movies.
Beyond just his thoughts on the superhero genre, those Snyder interviews are chock full with a bunch of other interesting bits too.
Snyder confirms an earlier rumor that Batman has a more prominent role in Batman v Superman:
Only in that because it’s a different Batman than the Batman that was in the Chris Nolan movies, so we have a little bit more explaining to do—and you just had a whole Superman movie. But I think only in that way, because you need to understand where Batman is with everything. And that’s more toward the beginning, but it evens back out as it goes on.
As well as the rumor of George Miller doing a Man of Steel sequel:
George doing one of the DC movies? Oh my God, absolutely [I’d love that]. George can do anything he wants, in my opinion. We haven’t talked about it, and to be frank I just didn’t know what he was thinking of doing next. But yeah, if I was to think he had any interest in them of course I’m happy to talk to him.
He also kind of confirmed, and kind of talked around an older rumor that he pitched Lucasfilm on the idea of Seven Samurai-type Star Wars film:
“Where’d you hear that from?” he laughed. “It’s possible. It was before the sale…and they kind of have their own direction now, I think.”
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