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Kevin Feige responds to Spielberg's and Snyder's superhero comments

10.02.2015

Exactly one month ago, we reported that Steven Spielberg felt that superhero films would go the way of the Western, suggesting that they were just a passing genre. Fair enough, if only because superhero flicks are no more prevalent than they are today. Zack Snyder responded in kind by saying that Spielberg might not be wrong, but that Batman and Superman are transcendent of superhero movies and that ANT-MAN is just the "flavor of the week." Not the most diplomatic of answers, but Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige did have some words of his own to share.

Kevin Feige on the future of Marvel movies:

In 2001, 2002, 2003 there were two Marvel movies, three Marvel movies, and I still believe the same thing, which is as long as the ones that we can control are as good as they can be, that's all that I care about. I think we've been doing pretty well. I'm very confident in the films we've announced that we have coming forward that they're going to be surprising and different and unique. I've said a lot: I don't believe in the comic book genre. I don't believe in the superhero genre. I believe that each of our films can be very different.

If he thinks the superhero genre will go the way of the Western:

It could, but the Western lasted 40-50 years, and they still pop up occasionally. It's been, what, eight years since Iron Man 1 if we count that, which I do, as the beginning of our MCU? Maybe [the superhero genre] will only last another 42 years.

Regarding Zack Snyder's comments on ANT-MAN and the other Marvel movies:

Those are all very different movies. They all happen to be based on Marvel characters and Marvel comics, but from a genre and a cinematic perspective, they're all very unique. Civil War may as well be a different genre from Age of Ultron.

The way Winter Soldier was a political thriller, I think there is a more emotional and more geopolitical and real world through line through Civil War than there was in the broader Age of Ultron with the killer AI Tony Stark invention. I think it's the same thing as saying, 'I don't know how many more movies can be made from novels. I think people are going to bored with novels being turned into movies. I don't know how long it's going to last.'

Kevin Feige makes a good point, but it's really all dependent on how unique and substantial the comic book film is. In regards to ANT-MAN, I don't think anyone's going to be talking about it a year from now (is anyone talking about it now?) but WINTER SOLDIER earns its political thriller status while also providing the action superhero films are known to deliver. This genre may go the way of the Western, but we still have a hell of a lot left to see before the sun sets.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR opens in theaters on May 6, 2016.

Now this represents the AGE OF ULTRON we should've seen!

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Source: IGN

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2:27AM on 10/05/2015
I can sympathize with the argument that comic book movies can be as diverse as any other adaptation strategy, but at the same time there's no denying that these films tend to have identifiable through-lines that simply can't be ignored no matter how out there they are. Guardians of the Galaxy was great, but the way the story was structured it still *felt* like a superhero movie. Same with Winter Soldier. And the thing is, yeah the Western genre lasted 40 years, but not consecutively - there
I can sympathize with the argument that comic book movies can be as diverse as any other adaptation strategy, but at the same time there's no denying that these films tend to have identifiable through-lines that simply can't be ignored no matter how out there they are. Guardians of the Galaxy was great, but the way the story was structured it still *felt* like a superhero movie. Same with Winter Soldier. And the thing is, yeah the Western genre lasted 40 years, but not consecutively - there was a huge gap after silent-era Westerns ended, and for fifteen of those years it was confined almost entirely to Italy. A long genre cycle does NOT ensure success for everyone making movies in that genre.
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9:07PM on 10/04/2015
Feige has done a good job from a business standpoint with the genre, but he's naive to think Marvel's various properties are so diverse in their story telling angles that they won't fade from the dominating trend they are now. You're always going to see a comic adaptation here and there in the future, but their total box-office and market domination in films isn't going to last much longer. Why else does a company like Disney ensure they have franchises like Star Wars to fall back on?
Feige has done a good job from a business standpoint with the genre, but he's naive to think Marvel's various properties are so diverse in their story telling angles that they won't fade from the dominating trend they are now. You're always going to see a comic adaptation here and there in the future, but their total box-office and market domination in films isn't going to last much longer. Why else does a company like Disney ensure they have franchises like Star Wars to fall back on?
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5:27AM on 10/03/2015
So much for having things planned out to 2028.

42 years is very optimistic. What will happen in 20 years when the actor who plays Spider-Man turns 35? Are they going to have Peter marry Mary Jane and give us a teenaged May Parker aka Spider-Girl in 35 years? They need to have more male legacy characters: they have mostly female legacy characters and I am worried that the Avengers will be overwhelmingly female in the future.
So much for having things planned out to 2028.

42 years is very optimistic. What will happen in 20 years when the actor who plays Spider-Man turns 35? Are they going to have Peter marry Mary Jane and give us a teenaged May Parker aka Spider-Girl in 35 years? They need to have more male legacy characters: they have mostly female legacy characters and I am worried that the Avengers will be overwhelmingly female in the future.
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10:29PM on 10/02/2015
The man is right. I might be int he minority but frankly I do think they could be around for decades to come. The books survived and thrived for decades. They hooked people for many reasons, but they hooked people. They wouldn't still be in print 70+ years later for many if they hadn't. The rest of the world is just beginning to connect to these timeless characters via the movies. I have 4 little cousins and nephews that have begun reading and collecting comic book themselves solely to see more
The man is right. I might be int he minority but frankly I do think they could be around for decades to come. The books survived and thrived for decades. They hooked people for many reasons, but they hooked people. They wouldn't still be in print 70+ years later for many if they hadn't. The rest of the world is just beginning to connect to these timeless characters via the movies. I have 4 little cousins and nephews that have begun reading and collecting comic book themselves solely to see more stories of the character from the movies they love. These movies are breeding new fans, and said fans aren't going to lose interest anytime soon. What will cause them to die out, is if they do things like Spiderman did, reboot after reboot losing continuity and being too much of a chore to follow. Marvel has it right, on linked world with a plethora of individual stories to tell each within their own little world.
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8:18PM on 10/02/2015
Superhero movies are not going to last 40 years. There will always be superhero movies, just like there always have been, but it will not be the dominate genre for much longer. People are already growing tired of them. The Dark Knight and The Avengers finally gave us everything that we've always wanted to see, everything else is just echos of that.
Superhero movies are not going to last 40 years. There will always be superhero movies, just like there always have been, but it will not be the dominate genre for much longer. People are already growing tired of them. The Dark Knight and The Avengers finally gave us everything that we've always wanted to see, everything else is just echos of that.
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6:39PM on 10/02/2015
The only way comic book movies survive 10 years from now is if these properties get rebooted. The actors will lose interest or get too old. However, outside Nolan's Batman films, all superhero reboots have been either been a mediocre success (Man of Steel, Incredible Hulk) or less successful than the original films (Amazing Spider-man, Punisher War Zone, Fantastic Four reboot). I't been cool seeing some new heroes on film, and there are still more to come (Dr. Strange, Wonder Woman, etc.) but I
The only way comic book movies survive 10 years from now is if these properties get rebooted. The actors will lose interest or get too old. However, outside Nolan's Batman films, all superhero reboots have been either been a mediocre success (Man of Steel, Incredible Hulk) or less successful than the original films (Amazing Spider-man, Punisher War Zone, Fantastic Four reboot). I't been cool seeing some new heroes on film, and there are still more to come (Dr. Strange, Wonder Woman, etc.) but I see another 10 strong years before the general public loses interest.
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4:08PM on 10/02/2015
Ant-Man was cool and fun and I can't wait for it to be released to at home formats.
Ant-Man was cool and fun and I can't wait for it to be released to at home formats.
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3:23PM on 10/02/2015
Comic book movies may or may not remain in vogue. Super hero movies, I think, do have an expiration date when people will tire of them. An example might actually be the success of Guardians of the Galaxy. The least-connected Marvel movie, with the most normal heroes yet. They're aliens, but they're not super-human. Well, Star Lord's a half-breed human. But people turned out for that movie. And then they came back because they were surprised how fun and random it was compared to the
Comic book movies may or may not remain in vogue. Super hero movies, I think, do have an expiration date when people will tire of them. An example might actually be the success of Guardians of the Galaxy. The least-connected Marvel movie, with the most normal heroes yet. They're aliens, but they're not super-human. Well, Star Lord's a half-breed human. But people turned out for that movie. And then they came back because they were surprised how fun and random it was compared to the others.

But comic books transcend the super-hero genre. You have spy comics, punk comics, western comics, horror comics. Just like movies. That, I don't think, will go out of fashion unless the fanbase isn't there for it. Super-heroes might.
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3:02PM on 10/02/2015
As a fan of the Superhero Genre, I can't see it going another 10 years. If it does, great. If not, I am sure something else will take its place. Look at Zombies. A huge gap where people stopped caring and then boom, everywhere
As a fan of the Superhero Genre, I can't see it going another 10 years. If it does, great. If not, I am sure something else will take its place. Look at Zombies. A huge gap where people stopped caring and then boom, everywhere
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2:53PM on 10/02/2015
I see what he's trying to say, and I agree in part with it, but he's really trying too hard to ignore the issue. The issue isn't whether the movies have different genre bends to them, the issue is rather that the general film-going public won't make that definition, and that's why the business will eventually die down. People do see them as "superhero movies", regardless of how right or wrong that statement may be, it simply "is".
I see what he's trying to say, and I agree in part with it, but he's really trying too hard to ignore the issue. The issue isn't whether the movies have different genre bends to them, the issue is rather that the general film-going public won't make that definition, and that's why the business will eventually die down. People do see them as "superhero movies", regardless of how right or wrong that statement may be, it simply "is".
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3:55PM on 10/02/2015
I think you are missing his point. He knows exactly what you are saying, but he works for a company that owns Super Hero characters so it's his job to make sure that his company's product has a future. He can sees that the only way that can happen is by taking the characters out of their little box and showing you that they can live in every genre. His job is to try and get you to see his it his way and get you to redefine the way you see his product. He wants you to believe that these
I think you are missing his point. He knows exactly what you are saying, but he works for a company that owns Super Hero characters so it's his job to make sure that his company's product has a future. He can sees that the only way that can happen is by taking the characters out of their little box and showing you that they can live in every genre. His job is to try and get you to see his it his way and get you to redefine the way you see his product. He wants you to believe that these characters are relatable and can exist in any genre. If he can do that then Marvel movies will only go out of fashion when all movies go out of fashion. So if people get tired of RDJ as Iron Man, then they stop making those and they switch to something else like maybe everyone wants to see dark noir style movie and they pull more punisher type characters... then when the time is right and they find the right guy they reboot Iron Man and take it in a different direct. I would not expect Marvel to go anywhere anytime soon, because they have the vision to diversify their media usage and focus on a good quality product.
5:11PM on 10/02/2015
Oh don't get me wrong, I entirely agree with his point of view that comic characters can suit multiple genres and be varied enough to last, but I am a comic nerd and a film lecturer, I was already converted to that viewpoint long before Marvel became a movie making powerhouse. What I'm saying is that the general movie-going public, as far as I'm aware, don't really understand this, and the issue Marvel will have isn't the diversity of their movies, but whether people will realise the wide
Oh don't get me wrong, I entirely agree with his point of view that comic characters can suit multiple genres and be varied enough to last, but I am a comic nerd and a film lecturer, I was already converted to that viewpoint long before Marvel became a movie making powerhouse. What I'm saying is that the general movie-going public, as far as I'm aware, don't really understand this, and the issue Marvel will have isn't the diversity of their movies, but whether people will realise the wide variety in genres instead of just focusing on the CG heavy superheroics. A vast majority of people, including respected figures in the industy, still refer to these as simple "superhero" or "comic book" movies, the issue Marvel is going to have is in the convincing of people otherwise. It's the same issue comics had in being a respected artistic and narrative form in the eyes of the general public who just saw childish funnybooks.
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2:51PM on 10/02/2015
Double post
Double post
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2:01PM on 10/02/2015
With the success of foreign markets--in particular China--I don't see this genre dying anytime soon. That's the primary reason people stopped watching Westerns a little thing called globalization. No one, mostly, besides Americans, care about Westerns.
With the success of foreign markets--in particular China--I don't see this genre dying anytime soon. That's the primary reason people stopped watching Westerns a little thing called globalization. No one, mostly, besides Americans, care about Westerns.
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1:50PM on 10/02/2015
I still believe the general movie going audience will sooner rather than later tire of the superhero movie. It's inevitable.
I still believe the general movie going audience will sooner rather than later tire of the superhero movie. It's inevitable.
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