James Gunn on Superhero movies not taken seriously

By: Marv Castillo

Why are superhero movies not taken seriously? I’m one of the people who goes to the cinema all year to watch almost every movie that is out. I love the movies, I love storytelling, but the fact that independent films get more love that blockbusters and more popular movies, is a bit uncomfortable.

Filmmakers put the same amount of love in their projects. Nobody wants a movie to be bad. Maybe the studios care about the movie, but let’s remember that people who work in the industry want to make the best possible. It doesn’t matter if the movie is serious or mainstream.

I’ve seen indie films that are just plain boring, and bad. Same happens with some of the mainstream movies out there, some of them are just stupid. Never forget Transformers.

Movies are about storytelling, not about pretending to be the smart kid at school.

The Dark Knight not being recognized as the great movie it was at the Oscars is something I will never forgive to the Academy. That was not only a good superhero movie which set the bar really high. The second Batman film directed by Christopher Nolan was a great crime drama with amazing characters.

If there a chance to win if  The Dark Knight was nominated for Best Picture? Maybe not, I believe there’s some aspects of it that didn’t work for some people, but you can’t say that it was a bad movie… unless you’re a contrarian.

2014 was a great year for cinema, and it was a great year for comic book movies. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was an amazing film. X-Men: Days of Future Past gave life to the X-Men franchise. Guardians of the Galaxy was the movie I recommended the most in 2014, I loved that movie.

They were nominated for best visual effects and that’s great, but which Marvel movie doesn’t get a nomination for best visuals? There’s always one, at least.

I was saying since August that I wouldn’t be surprised if the Academy finally gives some recognition to superhero films, since they’re in the middle of an evolution. These movies are not only about the man who saves the girl in the third act. The Winter Soldier was a spy thriller. Guardians a great movie, period.

James Gunn didn’t get a nomination for best adapted screenplay, and I believe he did an amazing job. He took his Facebook, to write something about the subject with the best of the attitudes.

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.


Source: James Gunn


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