DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn says that some superhero movies are getting “really lazy.”
Appearing on the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast, the filmmaker, who has superhero movies at both Marvel and DC under his belt, commented on the state of the industry.
“People have gotten really lazy with their superhero stories,” he explained. “They have gotten to the place where, ‘Oh, it’s a superhero, let’s make a movie about it.’ And then, ‘Oh, let’s make a sequel because the first one did pretty well’.”
Gunn himself recently made Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – a sequel. However, he insists that it’s how you approach the material, and what makes the story so important.
“They aren’t thinking about, ‘Why is this story special? What makes this story stand apart from other stories? What is the story at the heart of it all? Why is this character important? What makes this story different that it fills a need for people in theaters to go see?’ ” he added.
The trouble, he explained, is that superhero movies have become too generic.
“People have gotten a little lazy and there’s a lot of biff, pow, bam stuff happening in movies,” he said. “I’m watching third acts of superhero films where I really just don’t feel like there’s a rhyme or reason to what’s happening… I don’t care about the characters. And they’ve gotten too generic.”
One solution is to create superhero movies of different genres – something Marvel has already tried. After all, Ant-Man was every bit a superhero heist movie while Guardians of the Galaxy veers more into traditional epic sci-fi fare.
However, Gunn says we need to step away from “this sort of middle-of-the-road type of genre and tone that so many superhero movies have.”
“I like very serious superhero movies, and I like very comedic superhero movies,” said Gunn, who has previously made both Peacemaker and The Suicide Squad on the DC side. “I like ones that are a murder mystery but it’s with superheroes. I like to see these different types of stories, as opposed to seeing the same story told over and over again.”
Asked whether there are simply too many superhero films these days, he agreed.
“Yeah, I do think there’s too many,” he said.
However, he insists that won’t be a problem when it comes to DC’s upcoming slate, which he is jointly in charge of after he took over as DC Studios co-CEO alongside Peter Safran.
“We’re going to be very careful with the product that we put out and making sure everything is as good as it can possibly be,” he explained.
Want to read more about DC’s upcoming movies? Check out how to watch all the DCEU movies in chronological order as well as what’s in store for DC Studios in 2023 and beyond.
Thumbnail credit: Rich Polk/Getty Images for Disney
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.