Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has been in the news a lot lately after comments made during the recent ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Blu-ray release event. One comment, prompted by a question from IGN, was in regards to Steven Spielberg’s belief that superhero movies will suffer the same decline as the western. Feige said in reply:
“In 2001, 2002, 2003 there were two Marvel movies, [then] 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.”
Feige makes a good point. The superhero genre can really only be defined as good people fighting bad people, usually in unorthodox clothes. Beyond that, Marvel has made a heist movie with ‘Ant-Man,’ a space-comedy with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ and a spy flick with ‘Captain America: Winter Solider.’ The possible sub genres of superhero movies are as plentiful as there are genres and as long as Marvel keeps mixing it up and developing good products, I see no reason why audiences should turn away.
Of course, Marvel isn’t the only one making superhero movies. The possibility of other studios cranking out inferior products could hurt the genre as a whole. I don’t mean to imply that DC is one of those other studios, but their Zack Snyder pretty much agreed with Spielberg’s assessment while simultaneously making ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.‘ Apparently he thinks that the superhero’s time is limited, but isn’t here yet. This would actually be parallel with the western analogy because the western genre lasted considerably longer than the current popularity of men in capes. More movies are being made today than there were at peak-western, so there is no reason the future can’t have more superheroes, more cowboys, and more slashers than ever before. The market will decide what is profitable and, ultimately, which of thesee studio big-whigs is right.