James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) provided a thoughtful response to Jodie Foster's recent criticism of superhero blockbusters.
There’s been a flood of superhero movies over the last decade, and the general audience greeted them with open arms. But there are people in Hollywood who are less than thrilled about them, and a number of celebrities have heaped scorn upon the genre. Some envisioned its doom, but if that were going to happen, it most likely would have by now. Others warned that the studios’ devotion to the mighty beings from the comics would be the death of the movie industry as a whole.
Two-time Academy Award winner Jodie Foster was the latest celebrity to have a go at the superhero movie genre. Comparing studio tent-poles to "fracking", she added that they’re "ruining the viewing habits" of moviegoers throughout the world. She concluded by saying, "I don't want to make $200 million movies about superheroes."
Foster's comments triggered an intense debate across the various social media platforms. A fan on Twitter brought the controversy to Gunn’s attention, and we’re happy to report that rather than steering clear of it, he offered some insight. While he didn’t denounce The Silence of the Lambs star, he also didn’t agree with her:
I think Foster looks at film in an old-fashioned way, where spectacle film can't be thought-provoking. It's often true, but not always. Her belief system is pretty common, and isn't totally without basis.
I say it’s not without basis because most studio franchise films are somewhat soulless – and that is a real danger to the future of movies. But there are also quite a few exceptions.
For cinema to survive, I believe spectacle films NEED to have a vision and heart they traditionally haven't. And some of us are doing our best to move in that direction. Creating spectacle films that are innovative, humane, and thoughtful is what excites me about this job.
But, to be fair, at least from Foster's quotes, she seems to see filmmaking as something that's primarily about her own personal growth.
For me, that may be part of why I do this, but spending many millions of dollars on a film has to be about more than that – it's communication – so my experience is merely one spoke on that wheel.
But I respect Foster and her talent, and what she's done for films, and I appreciate her different way of looking at Hollywood's landscape.
Logan director James Mangold expressed that he agreed with Gunn’s statement by simply tweeting out "Well said, James."