Steven Spielberg Thinks Super Hero Movies Are Due For A Decline


It’s trendy to give your opinion about the next three years of super hero movies right now, with some fans feeling that 2016 through 2018 will be a Golden Age for the genre and others worried that it might be a “Peak Oil” situation where the comic book bubble bursts. Even acclaimed director Steven Spielberg has weighed in during a recent interview, though with an unsurprisingly more nuanced take on the whole situation.

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Using an analogy to Westerns that others have brought up before, Spielberg told the AP that his belief is that all genres go through cycles of popularity, and that super hero movies probably won’t prove any different in that regard.

"We were around when the Western died and there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western. 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."

It’s probably worth pointing out that Westerns did have a bit of a second run of with modern films like Unforgiven, True Grit and Appaloosa, they never returned to a dominant role at the box office. It would be fascinating to ask Spielberg a follow-up question to find out if he foresaw that fate for super hero movies or if they could have a second wave of mass popularity once the current run they’re on ends.

One thing that can’t be argued is that one way or another, we’ll know by the end of 2018 if the public’s fascination with super hero movies has reached its limit. Spielberg’s answer at least gives us hope that even if it is, those fires can be stoked again someday.


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