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James Gunn defends superhero movies after Oscar jokes

02.23.2015

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I say jokes, but I can't remember any specific “jokes” from last night’s Oscar show. That’s not me being a jerk store; I was actually surprised at just how unfunny the show was. I guess it’s not a comedy show or anything, but look no further than Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes to know how to treat a room full of celebrities. During the opening musical number last night, Jack Black came onstage and sang about the lack of originality in movies and took a jab at superhero movies. See? Told you it wasn't a funny show.

It went something exactly like this:

“This industry’s in flux; it’s run by mucky-mucks, pitching tents for tentpoles and chasing Chinese bucks.
Opening with lots of zeroes, all we get is superheroes.
Superman, Spider Man, Batman,
Jedi man, sequel man, prequel man.
Formulaic scripts and after 50 Shade of Grey, they’ll all have leather whips.”

I’ve lived with the realization that horror movies are not to everyone’s taste and the academy recognizing films in that genre is as likely as Lloyd Kaufman being nominated for an award. This song dis here directed towards the superhero genre was surprising though because, as The Wrap pointed out, 9 acting nominees are with comic book roles. This made for a great rebuttal from the one and only James Gunn, director of a little movie you may have heard of last year called GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Of course, you can expect a high level of class here:

I didn't really find the Jack Black superhero jokes offensive, did you guys? It was, like, a joke. I'm not sure if you guys noticed, but the writing on the Oscars didn't seem to be all that well thought out. As far as Dan Gilroy saying that attendees of the Independent Spirit Awards have survived against a "tsunami of superhero films" - well it seems a bit weird coming from a guy whose wife has acted in two Thor films - really, that seems like you've drowned horribly in that tsunami. But I know I just kind of make up stuff as I go along on these awards shows, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Whatever the case, the truth is, popular fare in any medium has always been snubbed by the self-appointed elite. I've already won more awards than I ever expected for Guardians. What bothers me slightly is that many people assume because you make big films that you put less love, care, and thought into them then people do who make independent films or who make what are considered more serious Hollywood films.

I've made B-movies, independent films, children's movies, horror films, and gigantic spectacles. I find there are plenty of people everywhere making movies for a buck or to feed their own vanity. And then there are people who do what they do because they love story-telling, they love cinema, and they want to add back to the world some of the same magic they've taken from the works of others. In all honesty, I do no find a strikingly different percentage of those with integrity and those without working within any of these fields of film. If you think people who make superhero movies are dumb, come out and say we're dumb. But if you, as an independent filmmaker or a "serious" filmmaker, think you put more love into your characters than the Russo Brothers do Captain America, or Joss Whedon does the Hulk, or I do a talking raccoon, you are simply mistaken.

james gunn

That mic drop you just heard was from Gunn; he’s on his way now to write some solid dialogue for the talking raccoon. It’s ironic because BIRDMAN would exist without superhero movies.. It’s sad that we live with this patronizing attitude when it comes to specific genres; it's all subjective anyway, but still. Don't act like your industry would survive without monsters, mutants, and heroes.

What do you think, light-hearted jab or something more?

Source: The WrapJames Gunn

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