Superhero fatigue has been all the rage right now. Mostly due to some pointing out that they’ve seemingly reached their limits and reading too much into box office performances of two distinct projects earlier this year. Shazam: Fury of the God couldn’t pull in an audience and opened with a depressing $30M while Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania lost steam surprisingly fast after a bombastic opening.
While there’s more to this given just how superhero films performed last year, James Gunn gave his thoughts on the topic and seemingly believes that there is such a thing. Yet, he points out that it’s not as simple as “superhero movies” but rather spectacle films that lack the heart that really drags us into these stories.
I think there is such a thing as superhero fatigue. I think it doesn’t have anything to do with superheroes. It has to do with the kind of stories that get to be told, and if you lose your eye on the ball, which is character. We love Superman. We love Batman. We love Iron Man. Because they’re these incredible characters that we have in our hearts. And if it becomes just a bunch of nonsense onscreen, it gets really boring. But I get fatigued by most spectacle films, by the grind of not having an emotionally grounded story. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether they’re superhero movies or not. If you don’t have a story at the base of it, just watching things bash each other, no matter how clever those bashing moments are, no matter how clever the designs and the VFX are, it just gets fatiguing, and I think that’s very, very real.James Gunn
It’s not completely wrong, as many spectacle films sometimes can overshadow the heart of the story. Ant-Man‘s third film is quite a bit “bigger” than the previous and perhaps just went overboard on what defined the franchise initially. Even Shazam‘s sequel seemingly started going in a bigger direction and there’s no surprise that the first two very family-centric franchises may have struggled a bit earlier this year.
Of course, the topic of superhero fatigue is also quite a bit important for James Gunn, as he’s the head of the newly formed DC Studios. With him set to also direct the next Superman film that’ll define a future new cinematic universe, he’ll put a lot of weight into ensuring that fatigue doesn’t take away their opportunity to build this franchise.
Source: Rolling Stones