Captain America: The First Avenger

Chris Evans Discusses the Future of Superhero Movies

Steven Spielberg recently made a, for some, unpalatable predictive comparison about the currently ubiquitous superhero movie in Hollywood. He likened it to the western in that, for a while, westerns were the cornerstone of the American blockbuster and that cultural fascination eventually outgrew it, moving on to other genres and characters.

In response, Collider asked Captain America himself, Chris Evans what he thought about the longevity of the superhero genre.

Evans at least attributed the contemporary popularity of superhero movies to advances in cinematic technology.

“I certainly think that given the fact that technology has finally advanced, they’re always going to be looking for other films to match their technological accomplishments. Any film that can incorporate these larger-than-life characters and fantastical locations and plots, the technology wants to prove they can do it so whether it’s superhero film or fantasy in general, that’s going to surge for a while.”

As for how well they will endure, Evans says that it’s a matter of continuing to find approaches to the stories and characters that resonate with people, rather than focusing on the superficial or particular visual trappings of the genre.

Captain America Civil War Promo Art Divides the Teams

“In terms of superhero in general, existing properties that we know and love, it’s going to be a matter of the tone they strike. You could look at Jason Bourne as a superhero. You could take any superhero movie and if you ground it enough, if you make it real enough—that’s what I think [Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo] do really well. Certain superhero movies feel like “superhero movies.” Russo movies almost feel like human stories with a little bit of superhero sprinkled in. So you might get exhausted of the larger-than-life powers I suppose, but as long as the filmmakers keep on reinventing the flavor and the approach and the tone, audiences are going to still go.”

I agree with the gist of what Evans is saying, that focusing on relatable, fleshed-out characters and compelling stories will keep audiences coming back. Although I’m not the biggest fan of even him using the “superhero movie” to vaguely imply mediocrity. Haven’t we gotten to the point where we have great superhero movies now, not just great movies with superheroes? Spider-Man 2, The Avengers, The Dark Knight, Watchmen?

But, whatever. Evans absolutely sounds confident in the ability of filmmakers to keep making successful superhero movies for quite some time. And Captain America Civil War keeps looking better and better. We’ll see how the superhero genre is doing after it premieres May 6th, 2016. In the mean time, check out the Chris Evans interview clip for yourself below.


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