Paul Dano thinks “quantity over quality” caused superhero fatigue

Paul Dano, who played the Riddler in 2022’s The Batman, blames studios’ push for “quanity over quality” when it comes to superhero movies.

Last Updated on March 5, 2024

Paul Dano

Are you one of many affected by superhero fatigue? Have you seen one too many computer-generated fights or explosions? Then you should call Paul Dano, because the Riddler has a thing or two to say about it, particularly how studios became all about “quantity over quality” as superhero movies grew more popular.

In a new interview with The Independent, Paul Dano said one of the problems with the constant barrage of superhero movies is that it became more about box office and streaming presence than compelling work. “It’s a larger thing, too…As soon as the word ‘content’ came into what we do – meaning making movies or TV – it meant quantity over quality, which I think was a big misstep. And I certainly don’t need that as a viewer or as an artist.”

But Paul Dano does seem a bit optimistic about the challenge to produce worthwhile works in Hollywood, adding, “It’s an interesting moment where everybody has to go like, ‘OK – what now?’ Hopefully from that, somebody either breathes new life into [comic book movies], or something else blossoms which is not superheroes. I’m sure there will still be some good ones yet to come, but I think it’s kind of a welcome moment.”

What that moment will bring is tough to say, but 2024 will be yet another year that sees plenty of superhero movies, ranging from flops like Madame Web to hotly anticipated entries like Deadpool & Wolverine to potential Oscar contender Joker: Folie à Deux.

Of course, Paul Dano had his own superhero outing in 2022, playing the main villain in The Batman. So was The Batman part of this “quantity over quality” argument? Not according to Dano, who said the material is far too good to be lumped into that category. “There are enough comic book movies where you just know what you’re gonna get. Reading the script for The Batman, you knew it was a real film. Every sentence…that’s just [writer/director] Matt Reeves.”

The idea of superhero fatigue isn’t exactly new, but good luck trying to find a consensus on it, as even directors with Marvel ties can’t agree whether it “absolutely exists” or if something else is at play in the realm of comic book movies.

Which recent movie would you cite as proof that superhero fatigue isn’t real? Drop your pick below!

Source: The Independent

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.