What superhero fatigue? “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” blasted past projections and opened to a huge $120 million. The animated multiverse epic has already earned over $230 million worldwide in less than a week of release. With the “Spider-Verse” sequel off to a massive start and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” about to cross $800 million worldwide, it appears comic book movies are back on track after box office disappointments like “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and “Shazam: Fury of the Gods.”
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, “Spider-Verse” producers and writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller said “superhero fatigue” is not to blame for certain comic book movies falling below expectations.
“I don’t believe it’s super superhero fatigue, I believe it’s ‘a movie that feels like a movie I’ve seen a dozen times before’ fatigue,” Miller said. “If you’re using the same story structure and the same style and the same tone and the same vibe as movies and shows that have come before, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. It’s going to be boring to people.”
“And the audience in the theater cannot be sustained on Easter eggs and reveals,” Lord added. “Or even these big, crazy multiverse stakes. They only care about, like, the relationship between Rocket Raccoon and Groot.”
Miller and Lord credited “Guardians” writer-director James Gunn for crafting Marvel movies that prioritize characters over Easter eggs and big reveals. Miller said “you’re watching” these movies because of the family element. The duo think that’s also at the core of “Spider-Verse.”
“This story is just so rooted in parents and kids. And Miles and his family,” Lord said. “With the last movie we showed it to some friends early on, and they were like, ‘You have to get to like all these multiple Spider-People as quickly as possible. That’s the exciting thing.’ And we were like, we don’t think so. Because the thing that everybody seems to enjoy is the quieter scenes with Miles and his mom and dad. They can’t get enough of it. And I’m so glad we stayed true to what the audience was telling us.”
Gunn shared a similar view on superhero fatigue in his own Rolling Stone interview in April.
“I think there is such a thing as superhero fatigue,” Gunn said. “I think it doesn’t have anything to do with superheroes. It has to do with the kind of stories that get to be told, and if you lose your eye on the ball, which is character. We love Superman. We love Batman. We love Iron Man. Because they’re these incredible characters that we have in our hearts. And if it becomes just a bunch of nonsense onscreen, it gets really boring.”
“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is now playing in theaters nationwide.