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Steven Spielberg talks the death of superhero films, Jurassic World and more

09.02.2015

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We're only a little over a month away from the first Steven Spielberg film since 2012's LINCOLN, and by all accounts, the man doesn't look like he's slowing down anytime soon. He's already in the editing process for THE BFG, and has READY PLAYER ONE lined up right after that. In one of his most recent interviews, the man took some time to talk about the inevitable death of a popular genre, his reaction to JURASSIC WORLD's success and working with maestro John Williams in the future. Check it out!

If Steven Spielberg still feels that big-budget flicks will implode:

I do. I still feel that way. We were around when the Western died and there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western. It doesn't mean there won't be another occasion where the Western comes back and the superhero movie someday returns. Of course, right now the superhero movie is alive and thriving. I'm only saying that these cycles have a finite time in popular culture. There will come a day when the mythological stories are supplanted by some other genre that possibly some young filmmaker is just thinking about discovering for all of us.

His reaction to JURASSIC WORLD's numbers:

I'm back in the dinosaur business, it appears. We promised them more teeth and they rewarded us for it. I would have been ecstatic if we had done what the town was expecting, which was a $100 million three-day weekend. That would have just made my whole year. But the fact that it did over twice what the prognosticators were predicting, it just blew me away.

On NOT working with John Williams for the first time in 30 years:

Johnny Williams will be back to do THE BFG. We've only not worked together twice in 42 years. The first one was THE COLOR PURPRLE in 1985 and the second time was because Johnny had a small medical procedure that precluded him from writing and scoring my movie in the window that he was going to do it. He's fine, he's 100 percent back to work on STAR WARS but it sadly precluded him from working on BRIDGE OF SPIES. I was able to work with Thomas Newman, who I'm a huge fan of. This is just a blip and we're both sad about it, but we're excited to get back together for BFG now.

Steven Spielberg's next film, BRIDGE OF SPIES, hits theaters on October 16, 2015.

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Source: Yahoo! Movies

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10:46AM on 09/03/2015

As a foreigner, I have to point out that...

... there's a huge difference between westerns and superheroe movies: The former is an American genre in essence. Superheroes aren't that bound to a country.
... there's a huge difference between westerns and superheroe movies: The former is an American genre in essence. Superheroes aren't that bound to a country.
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12:14PM on 09/03/2015
The leader of The Avengers is called Captain America.
The leader of The Avengers is called Captain America.
11:33PM on 09/03/2015
Which is the name of a continent, not a country. :D
Which is the name of a continent, not a country. :D
9:52AM on 09/04/2015
I know it's a continent, but everyone calls the country America, so...
I know it's a continent, but everyone calls the country America, so...
9:32AM on 09/03/2015
Is it me or does Spielberg look like the Grimm fairytale version of Woody Allen in that picture?
Is it me or does Spielberg look like the Grimm fairytale version of Woody Allen in that picture?
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8:41AM on 09/03/2015
Westerns and Superhero movies aren't so different anyway - it's the lone warrior or posse that bands together, it's often going to extremes and taking the law into their hands against the odds to insure that evil doesn't win, it's sacrifice of the hero in the name of justice. Stories that have been told forever, because they inspire or give the average person a bit of release. Whether it's land owners and cattle rustlers or evil aliens coming through a rift in space, it's all essentially pulp
Westerns and Superhero movies aren't so different anyway - it's the lone warrior or posse that bands together, it's often going to extremes and taking the law into their hands against the odds to insure that evil doesn't win, it's sacrifice of the hero in the name of justice. Stories that have been told forever, because they inspire or give the average person a bit of release. Whether it's land owners and cattle rustlers or evil aliens coming through a rift in space, it's all essentially pulp entertainment, for which there will always be a market, and every now and then you get a storyteller who aspires to more and achieves something amazing within the genre. The fact that superhero films have made a sizeable dent in replacing other summer blockbusters is interesting - I can see them being around for a while yet because it's something you can keep reinventing. The dreaded reboot, but it's how comics have survived so long anyway.
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5:01AM on 09/03/2015
He's right. Remember all those Disaster Movies back in the 70s, namely Airport, The Towering Inferno, etc.? By the 90s I hardly saw them anywhere. But when Roland Emmerich made 2012, it sort of comes back alive.
He's right. Remember all those Disaster Movies back in the 70s, namely Airport, The Towering Inferno, etc.? By the 90s I hardly saw them anywhere. But when Roland Emmerich made 2012, it sort of comes back alive.
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10:44AM on 09/03/2015
What are you talking about? The '90s was the disaster genre's revival decade.
What are you talking about? The '90s was the disaster genre's revival decade.
10:34PM on 09/03/2015
By the late 90s, right? I can only think of Armageddon and Deep Impact.
By the late 90s, right? I can only think of Armageddon and Deep Impact.
9:51AM on 09/04/2015
TITANIC, INDEPENDENCE DAY, GODZILLA, MARS ATTACKS, TWISTER, DANTE'S PEAK, VOLCANO and TURBULENCE. You're right about it being the late '90s.
TITANIC, INDEPENDENCE DAY, GODZILLA, MARS ATTACKS, TWISTER, DANTE'S PEAK, VOLCANO and TURBULENCE. You're right about it being the late '90s.
2:50AM on 09/03/2015
It will be a relief for Marvel when Superhero movies are no longer popular because they won't have to pay some young actor a lot of money to recast Thor, Iron Man, Captain America or the Hulk. It will be a problem for DC if the superhero craze is winding down and they were just getting started. I do expect them to announce movies for The Black Widow and Hawkeye, War Machine and the Falcon and the Vision and the Scarlet Witch because the actors have already been cast and its a way that Marvel
It will be a relief for Marvel when Superhero movies are no longer popular because they won't have to pay some young actor a lot of money to recast Thor, Iron Man, Captain America or the Hulk. It will be a problem for DC if the superhero craze is winding down and they were just getting started. I do expect them to announce movies for The Black Widow and Hawkeye, War Machine and the Falcon and the Vision and the Scarlet Witch because the actors have already been cast and its a way that Marvel can basically just print their own money.
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2:25AM on 09/03/2015
I think it was Alan Moore's Watchmen who envisioned that a world full of superheroes will probably have pirates as the popular genre in comic books. Makes kind of sense, no? Maybe the superhero craze will die down, but it will probably begin by the declining interest for superhero comics in general. Which, I sometimes theorized, have already begun.
I think it was Alan Moore's Watchmen who envisioned that a world full of superheroes will probably have pirates as the popular genre in comic books. Makes kind of sense, no? Maybe the superhero craze will die down, but it will probably begin by the declining interest for superhero comics in general. Which, I sometimes theorized, have already begun.
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7:49PM on 09/02/2015
He certainly explains himself more conservatively than say Tarantino does & that's not a knock on either one of them. Hollywood has always been about trends, the superhero genre has been hot now for about 15 years & it's been very hit or miss. I was very happy that Jurassic World was such a huge hit, but I doubt it gives studios a reason to make more similar movies, I don't even think Jurassic World should get a sequel, it was released at the right time.
He certainly explains himself more conservatively than say Tarantino does & that's not a knock on either one of them. Hollywood has always been about trends, the superhero genre has been hot now for about 15 years & it's been very hit or miss. I was very happy that Jurassic World was such a huge hit, but I doubt it gives studios a reason to make more similar movies, I don't even think Jurassic World should get a sequel, it was released at the right time.
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5:32PM on 09/02/2015
Movies tend to reflect their time. Not all of them, but a lot of them. I think right now Captain America embodies what a lot of us want out of our country. We're in a moment like that. When The Dark Knight was reigning, it reflected (a little too well) a certain ambivalence about being a hero. When the show "24" was big, people were angry and afraid, and it was wish-fulfillment. The Western was mythmaking before superheroes came along. Later on it became more of an existential study of
Movies tend to reflect their time. Not all of them, but a lot of them. I think right now Captain America embodies what a lot of us want out of our country. We're in a moment like that. When The Dark Knight was reigning, it reflected (a little too well) a certain ambivalence about being a hero. When the show "24" was big, people were angry and afraid, and it was wish-fulfillment. The Western was mythmaking before superheroes came along. Later on it became more of an existential study of masculinity (think The WIld Bunch and The Man WIth No Name). Hell, even the rise of the blockbuster in the late '70s coincided with a post-hippie-Vietnam era.
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8:43AM on 09/03/2015
Superhero films, most likely, has already entered the zeitgeist of the 2010s. We'll see where it will end up a few years from now. Who knows, the next big thing may even be video game movie adaptations. You can't tell from how Hitman Codename 47 underperformed now, but with Fassbender on the upcoming Assassin's Creed it certainly isn't an impossibility.
Superhero films, most likely, has already entered the zeitgeist of the 2010s. We'll see where it will end up a few years from now. Who knows, the next big thing may even be video game movie adaptations. You can't tell from how Hitman Codename 47 underperformed now, but with Fassbender on the upcoming Assassin's Creed it certainly isn't an impossibility.
4:02PM on 09/02/2015
All types and styles of films have their hay-day and then a new version or just a total change of preference altogether is required or just happens. As one franchise dies or slows down another begins and that is how it has always an forever will be. Robots could have been the new big thing but Michael Bay ruined that so it never grew as it could have and now maybe Dinosaurs could be the new thing if Jurassic World an the follow up films are good but can't see the superhero film dying just yet.
All types and styles of films have their hay-day and then a new version or just a total change of preference altogether is required or just happens. As one franchise dies or slows down another begins and that is how it has always an forever will be. Robots could have been the new big thing but Michael Bay ruined that so it never grew as it could have and now maybe Dinosaurs could be the new thing if Jurassic World an the follow up films are good but can't see the superhero film dying just yet.
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4:00PM on 09/02/2015

Smart man...

And he makes a ton of sense. However, I do think there is a possibility that superhero movies might live on in a way that the Western can't be used as a comparison. I mean, these are essentially our Greek Myths for the modern age. I don't know if that will ever go away. But then again, he kinda said that too.
And he makes a ton of sense. However, I do think there is a possibility that superhero movies might live on in a way that the Western can't be used as a comparison. I mean, these are essentially our Greek Myths for the modern age. I don't know if that will ever go away. But then again, he kinda said that too.
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