Phil Lord and Christopher Miller don’t believe in “superhero fatigue”

After a couple of decades of a dominant superhero film era, Phil Lord and Chris Miller maintain that quality is the issue, not quantity.

spider-verse, phil lord, christopher miller

2000’s X-Men started turning heads in Hollywood that superhero films can be taken seriously. Then, 2002’s Spider-Man broke all kinds of records at the box office, and studios started gobbling up all the properties they could to replicate that success. Then, 2008 saw the release of Iron Man and the shared universe of the MCU changed everything. We are 23 years deep into the superhero movie cultural dominance, and with such a lengthy era plus a couple of notable underwhelming performances of recent comic book flicks, people are starting to think perhaps the superhero fatigue is finally setting in.

Collider reports that the producers of the recently successful Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, aren’t buying into the whole fatigue notion. When discussing his view on the lesser impactful superhero movies, Miller tells Rolling Stone, I don’t believe it’s super superhero fatigue, I believe it’s ‘a movie that feels like a movie I’ve seen a dozen times before.’ If you’re using the same story structure and the same style and the same tone and the same vibe as movies and shows that have come before, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. It’s going to be boring to people.”

Miller and Lord cite Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as an example of well-written characters that connect with the audience and, thus, make us care. Lord explains, “The audience in the theater cannot be sustained on easter eggs and reveals. Or even these big, crazy multiverse stakes. They only care about, like, the relationship between Rocket Raccoon and Groot. And so this story is just so rooted in parents and kids. And Miles and his family. With the last movie we showed it to some friends early on, and they were like, ‘You have to get to like all these multiple Spider-People as quickly as possible. That’s the exciting thing.’ And we were like, we don’t think so. Because the thing that everybody seems to enjoy is the quieter scenes with Miles and his mom and dad. They can’t get enough of it. And I’m so glad we stayed true to what the audience was telling us.”

Hollywood has gone through a plethora of genre phases when studios chase trends, from the western to the space opera to the 80s & 90s action movies to superheroes. Additionally, when CGI advances made the larger-than-life set pieces possible, what best way to utilize it than in a fantasy/action story? The box office performances of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Shazam: Fury of the Gods have raised curiosities about a fatigue. However, with streaming and other distribution options, the ever-changing plane of entertainment will continue to evolve with the way audiences vote with their wallets.

Source: Collider, Rolling Stone

About the Author

1720 Articles Published

E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.