The “superhero burnout” (as its been dubbed) is a current feeling coming over the general public about superheroes in media. Basically, it’s main idea is that people are becoming bored of superheroes in media currently because of their constant presence and the feeling of “sameness”. I personally think the burnout isn’t real at this point, but I can feel it coming. So how can we stop it? Well first we’ve got to deal with the reasons behind the burnout.
The alleged reasons behind the burnout
A feeling of sameness
There really isn’t a feeling of sameness to the films and shows at this point. Some may share similar themes and looks, but they are all different. ‘Constantine’ is a supernatural show, iZombie is a horror crime show, Arrow is a dark action-drama, The Flash is a fun action-drama, ‘Legend s of Tomorrow’ looks to be a fun adventure story, Agents of SHIELD is a spy action-drama, Agent Carter is a feministic wartime action-spy-drama and Daredevil is a dark vigilante drama. All these shows are only connected by drama, but I use that term very loosely. They are inherently different. The movies are the same. From spy political- thrillers (Winter Soldier), to heists (Ant-Man), to space comedies (Guardians of the Galaxy), even to dark dramas (Batman vs Superman).
Too much of it
This reason is pretty self-explanatory. I've honestly ever really heard these arguments from people who only really discovered what Marvel and DC after the recent wave of superhero films. Nerd culture has become mainstream, as Simon Pegg recently attested to. Nerd culture isn't for everyone, but it has recently become mainstream, and not all people are nerds, but they still end up liking the products. With the current lineup of shows and movies, superheroes are everywhere. I agree with this, but only because of my next point
Why I personally think the burnout is occurring
Promotion and knowing what is ahead (Spoilers)
I just wrote about this in an article HERE. I think the fact that we know what is ahead is a major factor as we know what to expect. By the time Infinity War comes out, several cities could have read and passed on one copy of the comic to another person. Plus, the cast for that film is basically announced at this point. There was a teaser for it MONTHS before Age of Ultron came out. With the first Avengers it was something new and people expected it was the film that the Marvel Universe was leading to. There was no thought as to what would come after. With Age of Ultron we not only knew Infinity War was coming, but we had seen the teaser and we were looking for the hints in the film. The film’s only real “twist” was predicted because of casting news mere DAYS before the film premiered that Linda Cardellini was playing Laura Barton. Even the major death was predicted, not only because the trailer had clips that looked like Scarlet Witch in pain, but also because the cast for Civil War and Infinity War had already been revealed. The cast left one significant character out.
That’s right: Quicksilver.
Recently, a LEGO set spoiled the fact that
Hank Pym would be donning an Ant-Man suit in Ant-Man.
Suicide Squad has had almost every scene spoiled since it started filming because of photos being taken. This ruins the film because we will expect these sequences in their cinematic greatness and there will be nothing more. Thanks to recent recordings, we also might have an idea what Harley Quinn and Joker might sound like. What makes it worse is that it’s not even the full product. It diminishes from the final project if we get a half-quality product before the final product. Even on Agents of SHIELD, we knew Bobbi was going to survive Ward’s torture because a spinoff was announced with her allegedly in it. This spinoff was cancelled, so we just had that spoiled for nothing. These are only a few examples of how spoilers and promotions can ruin a product by giving away too much. I remember a few years ago, people would ask: “Have you seen such-and-such film yet?” but now people ask: “Have you seen such-and-such film’s set scene that reveals a crucial detail yet? Oh well I’ll just tell you because you’re bound to see it on the internet as soon as you get home”
So can we cut back on the photos being taken of sets? Maybe limit it? Because right now, I probably know the first 15 minutes of Suicide Squad and Captain America: Civil War and that’s only because those are the scenes that were just filmed. A few months from now, the whole film may be spoiled. One major death has already been spoiled for me, (even though it seems pretty natural for the story to progress that way). This of course being...
Peggy Carter. Coincidentally, I’m finally watching Agent Carter. I’m on the finale! It’s actually a lot better than I expected, but you don’t care about that, so I’m just going to go back to what I was saying.
So if you want to avoid the superhero burnout for yourself, then ignore photos taken on set and encourage others not to talk to you about or even check it out for themselves. Obviously I can’t stop photos from being released or stop people from viewing them, but to save superhero films for yourself, try to avoid set photos.