Jodie Foster dismisses superhero movies as 'bad content'

Despite massive financial returns, not everyone in Hollywood is down with capes and cowls.

After years of critical and commercial success, with superhero movies drawing more and more established bona fide artists into their casts, some filmmakers are avoiding the genre entirely, treating it as a short-term boom that could lead to a long-term bust—and you can count Jodie Foster as a vocal member of their rank.

Speaking with the Radio Times (via Daily Mail), Jodie Foster took a stance against superhero movies and other blockbuster franchises, calling out the films as being lousy art. Instead of a cinematic experience, she said, "Going to the movies has become like a theme park."

Foster's comments were even and measured, taking issue with the proliferation of modern movies that demand the barest minimum from their audience. She compared the movie business' obsession with superhero movies to the energy industry's use of fracking, arguably causing more collateral damage than they're worth for the sake of immediate gains.

"Studios making bad content in order to appeal to the masses and shareholders is like fracking," she said. "You get the best return right now but you wreck the earth." 

Foster was unambiguous about the harms she has in mind regarding modern Hollywood practices. "It's ruining the viewing habits of the American population and then ultimately the rest of the world."

Foster, who has directed four movies including The Brave One, The Beaver and Money Monster, as well as a recent episode of Black Mirror, did leave herself an out for the future. The filmmaker implied that she would consider being involved with a superhero story if the main character possessed a "really complex psychology".

Whether or not you think your favorite comic book movies are really dumbing down the world to that worrisome of an extent, it's clear the current spate of comic book movies isn't slowing down anytime soon, and likely won't until a major bust happens—if it ever does. Only after the current boom is in decline will we really be able to see whether or not today's revolutionary "Marvel Moment" changed the industry—and its resulting art—for better or for worse.