Recently, my favorite and most respected director and film maker, Steven Spielberg, has come out with his opinion on the future of the superhero movie genre.
“We were around when the Western died and there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western."
The master director continues...
“It doesn’t mean there won’t be another occasion where the Western comes back and the superhero movie someday returns. Of course, right now the superhero movie is alive and thriving. 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.”
I somewhat agree with Spielberg's statements, that one day superhero's will become tiresome, but I doubt very much the superhero genera will go the way of the western for a number of reasons.
Firstly, all westerns, whether they be television or film, take place in the western era. They simply must in order to function and be known as a "western".
As long as a genera is confined to a specific time and place, it rarely will show growth as the future fades it out. This is why the western genera died out. Not because they were unable to put a new spin on an endlessly told story about some cowboys riding their horses down the street to then enter a saloon.
Westerns were and are confined to their era, while Superhero's are not.
Superhero type stories can be altered and modified to fit in either the past or the future and as well, the present. We already know how well comics and superhero films and television series are doing. Which is very.
Take the tale of Batman for example. Batman has a simplistic story and idea. Yet, the writers have taken Batman into the past to battle Jack the Ripper in the graphic novel 'Gotham by Gaslight'. They've brought him into the yet to be known future. His presence his timeless. The concept and story of Spider-Man is a great one. This is one case where the Hero is not as important a character as the person behind the mask. Peter Parker is a teenager. He has the same problems that we don't know the answers to ourselves. Yet he is more than any of us at the same time due to his overcoming of his struggles. He is a hero and...
...Hero's Are Needed Everywhere.
One day the Superhero genera may cease to be as great as it once was, but it will not go the way of the western, and superhero's will always be needed in the crazy and often depressing world we all live in. Regardless of city or state, country or culture, superhero's are there for everyone. It only takes the flip of a page to become inspired by the inspirational.