Now if the title doesn’t upset a few people I don’t know what will but recently Matthew Vaughn, the director behind “Kick-Ass” and the same man who is directing Super Hero movie “X-Men: First Class” has stated that he believes the current swash of Super Hero based movies will be coming to an end soon. He gives his reasons which include the quality of some of these movies and that he believes that audiences will grow tired of one Super Hero movie after another. But it has to be said that there is a sort of an irony here for a man who is directing a Super Hero movie to come out and say that basically the end is nigh.
But whilst it is ironic I have to say I agree with Matthew Vaughn and think the recent popularity for Super Hero movies could come to a crashing end within a year or two. Why, well let’s look at the facts.
Spoilt for choice
Super Hero movies are not something new, they have been around for decades going back to the 1940s with the likes of “Adventures of Captain Marvel”, “The Phantom” and “Superman”. When I was growing up during the late 70s and 80s there was Christopher Reeve in “Superman” and then came the “Batman” movies but that was really it. But never have we had so many Super Hero movies making their way on to the big screen.
Whilst many will probably be salivating at all these Super Hero and comic book adaptations it does mean that where as once you were loyal to just one Super Hero now your loyalties are being tested, forced to split between several and there is only so far your loyalties can be split. Because quite simply if you are a fan of Spider-Man, Superman, Wolverine and say Iron Man by the time you watch Thor, Captain America or Green Hornet you struggle to embrace them.
Much of a muchness
Now I know that by what I am going to say will enrage comic book fans but so many Super Hero movies are just too similar. Yes each individual character may have some special power, costume or back story but the storylines generally follow a very similar path which sees the creation of said Super Hero followed by a battle with a nemesis or in the case of some – multiple nemeses, all of which is embellished by bit action and CGI.
As such there is going to come a time when audiences grow tired of watching yet another one of these movies only to end up watching the same old story with just a different character and star. And this ties in that a time will come when audiences will grow out of movies which rely on special effects and big star names to entertain and start turning there back on movies which have no originality or fail to deliver a different angle on an old storyline.
Over the last decade the number of Super Hero movies being made has slowly increased and if we haven’t had a new one with a new character we’ve had remakes, reboots, re-imaginations, sequels and off shoots. But whilst there was a time when you would get a new Super Hero movie and then there would be a few months before another one rolled along the number being thrust upon the cinema going public is creeping up to stupid proportions with a lot of these movies scheduled for release over the next year, many of which are leading up to big collaboration Super Hero movies such as “The Avengers”. If you just take a look at proposed Super Hero/ comic book movies for next year there is Green Lantern, Captain America, Thor, X-Men: First Class, Priest and not to forget that “The Avengers” is in the pipeline as is “Batman 3”, a Spider-man reboot and also another Superman movie and I know I have barely scratched the surface of Super Hero movies either in production, ready for production or awaiting the green light.
Now whilst this list I am sure will excite fans of these sorts of movies it ends up becoming a turn off for those who up till now have only enjoyed the occasional one. And as such there is a huge possibility that with so many of these movies hitting the big screen in a relatively short period time audiences will drop off to a chorus of “We don’t need another hero”. The knock on effect is that those big collaboration movies such as “The Avengers” could even end up being shelved by studios when they see public demand for Super Hero movies dropping off.
All of which could be avoided if the studios didn’t go over the top in trying to capitalize on the popularity of Super Hero movies. If they spread all these movies out over a bit more time then there would be less chance of audiences, those who like a variety of movies, will grow tired of watching them and seeing them filling up the big screens. As it stands with all these movies going on there is a huge chance that they will burn out before some ever get made.
What this all means
Matthew Vaughn could well be right and he is not alone in thinking that the current popularity in Super Hero movies could be coming to and end. It all boils down to studios trying to capitalize on a popular trend but in doing so going over the top and in effect wrecking it’s longevity by throwing too many of these movies at audiences in a short period of time, rushing through inferior movies just to make money whilst the rush is on.
For me I actually won’t be sad to see the back of Super Hero movies, I actually grow tired of listening to comic book fans drone on about Super Hero movies as much as they probably tire of me droning on about the good old days of cinema. But for those who do love these sorts of movies, here’s a thought: 20 – 30 years ago we went through superman and batman movies, those who grew up on those are now the ones making movies and choosing to make these superhero movies. That means in another 20 – 30 years time, those who have grown up on this swash of Super Hero movies will be the ones in charge making movies and you can bet there will be another resurgence in these movies.