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Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige Doesn’t Believe In Superhero Fatigue — Or the Superhero Genre

Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man

I don’t know whether the superhero genre is dead, but people talking about whether or not it’s about to die has definitely been done to death. Want to know what Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has to say in response to Spielberg’s controversial statements about the superhero film fad? Sure, why not?

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.

That’s a fun way to claim your studio’s films will be immune to genre fads: by denying they’re part of the superhero genre in the first place. Or, really, any genre, right? They’re different, says Feige:

[The Marvel films] 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.”

Okay. Fair enough. But surely Feige has noticed that a lot of these films follow very similar structures and plot beats, right? I’m just not sure I agree that Civil War was so different from Age of Ultron that the two would qualify as totally different genres. Even though I agree each Marvel film has been stylistically different (or at least, I can tell they’re all trying to be), that doesn’t mean they don’t still fall firmly within the “superhero genre,” in my opinion — and thus might subsequently be subject to superhero fatigue. If superhero fatigue exists, that is!

What do you think? Are each of the Marvel Studios’ films different enough that you wouldn’t necessarily put them all in the same genre? What even is the superhero genre? And is it possible to get fatigue about superhero fatigue? Because I think I have a case of that.

(via IGN, image via Teen.Com)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).