Now, one of the greatest things about the ever-increasing number of superhero movies making their way to the big-screen is the fact that we now get to watch and enjoy a veritable butt-load of heroic antics each and every year. What's more, it doesn't have to matter whether or not they arrive as part of Marvel Studios' connected universe, Fox's Merry Mutants, or Warner Bros/DC's newly emerging world - we can enjoy any of them as much as we like.
Sometimes, though, (seemingly artificial) divisions appear. We might question whether or not Marvel Studios should regain the rights to the Fantastic Four, say, or allow old Marvel versus DC rivalries to reemerge. Sometimes, those fires are even stoked by the key creative figures involved in the blossoming superhero industry themselves.
Like, for instance, last month, when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder followed up movie legend Steven Spielberg's comment that "there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western" with a pretty focused barb of his own:
"I feel like he’s right. But I feel like Batman and Superman are transcendent of superhero movies in a way, because they’re Batman and Superman...They’re not just, like, the flavor of the week Ant-Man — not to be mean, but whatever it is. What is the next Blank-Man?"
Now, while those comments may have been played up a little in the general media response, it's still difficult to read them as being anything other than a pretty clear swipe at Marvel Studios - suggesting that the likes of Ant-Man will fall away, while Superman and Batman will persist.
Which is Where Marvel Studios Head Honcho Kevin Feige Got Involved...in Awesome Fashion
Y'see, rather than directly engaging Snyder's comments when asked about them by IGN, Feige instead chose to offer up a passionate defense of superhero movies in general, and Marvel's in particular:
"Those are all very different movies. They all happen to be based on Marvel characters and Marvel comics, but from a genre and a cinematic perspective, they're all very unique. Civil War may as well be a different genre from Age Of Ultron. The way Winter Soldier was a political thriller, I think there is a more emotional and more geopolitical and real world through line through Civil War than there was in the broader Age Of Ultron with the killer AI Tony Stark invention. I think it's the same thing as saying, 'I don't know how many more movies can be made from novels. I think people are going to bored with novels being turned into movies. I don't know how long it's going to last.'"
Which, in so much as it can be read as a direct response to Snyder's comments, kind of comes across as something along the lines of: "You do you, we'll do us, and you don't have to worry about it."
Feige's Response to Spielberg's 'Western' Comments Was Pretty Much Completely Perfect
Feige, y'see, made the - noticeably factually accurate - point that:
"The Western lasted 40-50 years, and they still pop up occasionally...It's been, what, eight years since Iron Man 1, if we count that, which I do, as the beginning of our MCU? Maybe [the superhero genre] will only last another 42 years."
Noting, when pressed about whether he thinks superhero movies will actually go out of style any time soon, that:
"People have been asking me that for 15 years...In 2001, 2002, 2003 there were two Marvel movies, three Marvel movies, and I still believe the same thing, which is as long as the ones that we can control are as good as they can be, that's all that I care about. I think we've been doing pretty well. I'm very confident in the films we've announced that we have coming forward that they're going to be surprising and different and unique. I've said a lot: I don't believe in the comic book genre. I don't believe in the superhero genre. I believe that each of our films can be very different."
In which context, Ant-Man seems less 'flavor of the week,' and more an active attempt to avoid being bogged down in a single 'superhero' genre at all.
Nicely played, Mr. Feige... Nicely played...
What do you reckon, though?