William Friedkin, the Oscar-winning US director known for The Exorcist and The French Connection, has spoken out against the overwhelming amount of superheroes featured in movies. The director's horror film The Exorcist is one of the most profitable horror films ever made. It follows a story loosely based on actual events of a girl being possessed by a demon. He won Best Director for The French Connection, cementing his reputation within, and intimate knowledge of, the film industry.
Take a look of this photo of Friedkin and a less scary looking Regan on the set of The Exorcist:
"Cinema is now all about 'Batman', 'Superman', 'Iron Man', 'Avengers', 'Hunger Games' in America"
Friedkin recently attended the Champs-Elysees Film and discussed with AFP his views on the evolution of movies and the direction which he thinks the industry is heading in.
"Films used to be rooted in gravity. They were about real people doing real things. "Cinema is now all about 'Batman', 'Superman', 'Iron Man', 'Avengers', 'Hunger Games' in America: all kinds of stuff that I have no interest in seeing at all."
He blames the shift in the industry towards superheroes for the decline in films like his being appreciated.
"That is when my films went like that -- out of the frame."
Friedkin believes that the best work for directors like him is on television:
"You develop character at a greater length and the story is more complex and deeper than cinema. Many of the fine filmmakers of today are going to long-form TV. It is the most welcoming place to work for a director today."
"Television today is better than cinema; it's deeper and more complex and it is for adults. They do not assume you are a child that just wants to watch video games and comic books on a screen. In cinema that is the assumption: You just want to see guys flying around with Spandex suit and a cape and a mask, solving crime everywhere.
This is 80 percent of American cinema … to me, much of it is like opium for the eyes. It does not go into your brain or make you think about it later. But cable television programs in America is what people talk about the next day, week and on and on.”
To read more of the interview head to this link.
Marvel and Netflix collaborated and created Daredevil, a dark and gritty series. Although it does feature superheroes it is definitely not a show for children and tackles adult themes. Daredevil, particularly looks at what is good and evil.
"I’m writing the script and trying to direct it for HBO"
So your probably wondering what television programs he will be working on next. Well this director has lots of plans in the pipeline and I cannot wait to see how they turn out.
He told Hitflix:
''I’m developing a television series based on Killer Joe and developing another series based on To Live and Die in LA with MGM. And so that’s being written by Bobby Moresco who wrote Crash and Mystic River. And the Killer Joe pilot’s being written by Neil LaBute, the playwright.
I’m also writing and planning to direct a film about three years in the life of Mae West. With Bette Midler playing Mae West, in the years 1926 through 29. I’m writing the script and trying to direct it for HBO.''
"The only thing I'm conscious of that the major studios are doing are these superhero films, about comic book characters, and that's about it. That's the life's blood of the major studios today, and they're doing well with it."- Moviefone
Friedkin is behind some of the most well known films and it is interesting to be able to get an insight into the way that he thinks the industry has changed for directors like him.
Although I am a huge horror fan and appreciate Friedkin's work enormously, I think his point of view is a little too simplistic. He is in no doubt correct that there has been a huge explosion of superhero movies over the past decade, but horror is still firmly in the blockbuster category. With films such as Annabelle and Insidious making a combined $352,282,963 at the box office, there is definitely space for the two genres to coexist on the silver screen.