“Everywhere you go,” wrote Tom Shone in 2004, “you will meet filmmakers who will cheerfully opine that there are way too many comic book adaptations/sequels/merchandising cash-ins before turning back to their mixing desks to put the finishing touches to Daredevil II: Double Dare or whatever else it is they are working on.”
Plus ca change plus ca meme chose, because over a decade later the only thing that has changed is the sheer volume of superhero movies being made and the number of filmmakers who express their distaste for them. So while DC develops its shared universe with Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Steven Spielberg predicts the genre will eventually go the way of the western, despite the movie’s $872 million box office haul.
From Joel Schumacher to Josh Trank, directors of superhero movies have poured scorn on their own films when the results failed to enthuse audiences, but far more insightful are the thoughts of directors who wouldn’t touch a comic book property for all the gold in Fort Knox. After all, doesn't everyone want a piece of a good thing?
Whatever their motivations, here are eight people with no ambition to be the next Zack Snyder.
8. John McTiernan
Prior to his indictment in a criminal wiretapping case, John McTiernan was one of Hollywood’s best action directors with two Die Hard movies under his belt as well as Predator, The Hunt For Red October and Last Action Hero. But if you think he’s be the go-to guy for a superhero movie you’re sadly mistaken.
Interviewed for the French edition of Premiere, the filmmaker had some harsh words for the genre as a whole and Captain America in particular.
“These are films made by fascists. Comic book heroes are for businesses,” he said. “The cult of American masculinity is one of the worst things that has happened in the world during the last fifty years. Hundreds of thousands of people died because of this stupid illusion. So how is it possible to watch a movie called Captain America?”
While we eagerly await Mr McTiernan’s first movie in nearly fifteen years, it’s safe to assume his phone won’t be ringing off the hook with job offers from Marvel Studios.