DC Studios co-boss James Gunn says superhero movies have become plagued by lazy storytelling and uninspired third acts.
DC Studios co-boss James Gunn knows something about making superhero movies. Still, he’s aware that we’re reaching a saturation point with the super-powered genre that could make rebuilding the DCU an uphill battle. During an interview on the Inside of You podcast, Gunn agreed that there are too many superhero movies and television shows. Choosing his words carefully, Gunn says the new DC Universe won’t “overextend” itself with him and Peter Safran at the helm.
“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,” Gunn says about rebooting the DCU under his Gods and Monsters initiative. While recognizing that less is sometimes more regarding the amount of content a studio can produce under the superhero banner, Gunn says DC will only use more active storytelling in the future.
“People have gotten really lazy with their superhero stories,” Gunn said. “And 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,’ and 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?’”
Continuing his thought, Gunn adds, “People have gotten a little lazy and there’s a lot of biff, pow, bam stuff happening in movies and 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.”
I wonder which movies Gunn is referring to. I can think of a few from DC that fall under this disappointing pattern.
According to Gunn, part of solving the problem is having “very different genres” in the presentation overall. “I like very serious superhero movies, and I like very comedic superhero movies,” Gunn said. “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.”
I wonder how Gunn’s Gods and Monsters arc plans to avoid such pitfalls, with general audiences typically needing an “origin” film to onboard them to certain characters. It’s a challenging path to travel, especially with rabid fans and keyboard warriors waiting to judge your efforts before they’ve seen a frame of footage. I hope Gunn keeps his criticisms in mind while crafting the Gods and Monsters films, and the result is something we have yet to see.
Do you think Gunn and Safran have what it takes to introduce change to superhero cinema? Let us know in the comments below.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/james-gunn-lazy-superhero-movies/