If you watched Sunday night’s 87th Academy Awards broadcast, you could not have missed – amid all the back-patting and self-love – a clear contempt for superhero movies, from host Neil Patrick Harris — y’know, the guy from the Harold & Kumar movies — to Jack Black‘s routine, there was a clear vibe that superhero movies are not art and not welcome.
Well, James Gunn, who directed last summer’s juggernaut Guardians of the Galaxy, had something to say on his Facebook page to the snooty crowd who look down their noses at films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier:
The truth is, popular fare in any medium has always been snubbed by the self-appointed elite. I’ve already won more awards than I ever expected for Guardians. What bothers me slightly is that many people assume because you make big films that you put less love, care, and thought into them then people do who make independent films or who make what are considered more serious Hollywood films.
I’ve made B-movies, independent films, children’s movies, horror films, and gigantic spectacles. I find there are plenty of people everywhere making movies for a buck or to feed their own vanity. And then there are people who do what they do because they love story-telling, they love cinema, and they want to add back to the world some of the same magic they’ve taken from the works of others. In all honesty, I do no find a strikingly different percentage of those with integrity and those without working within any of these fields of film.
If you think people who make superhero movies are dumb, come out and say we’re dumb. But if you, as an independent filmmaker or a ‘serious’ filmmaker, think you put more love into your characters than the Russo Brothers do Captain America, or Joss Whedon does the Hulk, or I do a talking raccoon, you are simply mistaken.
I know that was a lot to quote, but I totally agree with what he said. Gunn’s love for the Guardians was palpable in his production. I watched Winter Soldier twice last week, and I think it’s just about perfect. There’s no way Anthony and Joe Russo just churned that out for a paycheck.