Captain America Disagrees With Steven Spielberg

Contrary to the legendary director’s belief, Captain America star Chris Evans says Superhero blockbuster’s are here to stay.

Chris Evans is quite invested in the costume caper
Chris Evans is quite invested in the costume caper

Last week, speaking to The Associated Press, Steven Spielberg said that superhero movies would “go the way of the western”, in that they would die out as something audiences are interested in.

“We were around when the Western died and there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western. I’m only saying that these cycles have a finite time in popular culture. There will come a day when the mythological stories are supplanted by some other genre that possibly some young filmmaker is just thinking about discovering for all of us.”

Interestingly these comments came while promoting his new cold-war era flick ‘Bridge of Spies’ starring Tom Hanks. Could it be that he’s giving a sly elbow to the ribs of viewers who might think ‘yeah I am sick of superheros, let’s go see something grounded completely in reality. Oh Spielberg has a new film out.’

Regardless of his motives he’s probably right. Nothing lasts forever in the world of popular culture, there’s always something new to subdue the crowds into mindlessly addicted beings. Incidentally his comments about cycles may be ringing true right now. Quentin Tarantino is attempting to bring the western back as we speak. He had the hugely successful ‘Django Unchained’ in 2012, and is soon to release another in the genre with the upcoming ‘The Hateful Eight’.

However, Chris Evans isn’t so agreeable. Evans spoke to Collider and had an interesting take that perhaps Spielberg didn’t stop to consider. He noted that technology would be the main reason why films like the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy would stick around.

“I certainly think that given the fact that technology has finally advanced, they’re always going to be looking for other films to match their technological accomplishments. Any film that can incorporate these larger-than-life characters and fantastical locations and plots, the technology wants to prove they can do it so whether it’s superhero film or fantasy in general, that’s going to surge for a while.”

He also said it depends on how you define the genre, and what approach you took to making a superhero movie.

“In terms of ‘superhero’ in general, existing properties that we know and love, it’s going to be a matter of the tone they strike. You could look at Jason Bourne as a superhero. You could take any superhero movie and if you ground it enough, if you make it real enough—that’s what I think [Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo] do really well.

“Certain superhero movies feel like ‘superhero movies.’ Russo movies almost feel like human stories with a little bit of superhero sprinkled in. So you might get exhausted of the larger-than-life powers I suppose, but as long as the filmmakers keep on reinventing the flavour and the approach and the tone, audiences are going to still go.”

Birdman was a very different take on a superhero movie. Credit:
Birdman was a very different take on a superhero movie. Credit:

Given that Marvel have dominated the landscape since the release of ‘Iron Man’ in 2008 and have blockbuster after blockbuster for the next five years mapped out, it doesn’t look like colourful costumes and strange characters are going away any time soon. It’s not the type of genre that is easily tired out either because the comics are timeless and there is always a fresh batch of kids and young adults who want to see them on film.

It’s hard to predict at this point what could displace and replace superhero films. Until someone can answer that query, then nothing much will change. In the meantime Chris Evans will back on screen in his most famous role early in 2016.

How do you feel about Superhero films? Do you think they’re getting tiresome or will they continue to last?