James Gunn responds to Jodie Foster's criticism of superhero movies
James Gunn hears what Jodie Foster is saying about big-budget superhero movies, but he thinks her thinking is a little "old-fashioned."
Foster, who recently directed an episode of Black Mirror, told Radio Times that superhero flicks are ruining the cinematic landscape. "Going to the movies has become like a theme park," she said. "Studios making bad content in order to appeal to the masses and shareholders is like fracking–you get the best return right now but you wreck the earth. It's ruining the viewing habits of the American population and then ultimately the rest of the world. I don't want to make $200 million movies about superheroes… I feel like I make movies because there are things I have to say in order to figure out who I am or my place in the world, or for me to evolve as a person."
However, Gunn, who is behind Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy movies, took to Twitter to share a counterpoint. "I think Foster looks at film in an old-fashioned way where spectacle film can't be thought-provoking. It's often true but not always," he said. "Most studio franchise films are somewhat soulless–and that is a real danger to the future of movies. But there are also quite a few exceptions."
Gunn said it's up to filmmakers to bring heart and intelligence to big-budget movies. "For cinema to survive I believe spectacle films need to have a vision and heart they traditionally haven't. And some of us are doing our best to move in that direction. Creating spectacle films that are innovative, humane, and thoughtful is what excites me about this job."
Gunn also doesn't agree with Foster's apparent reason for making movies. "She seems to see filmmaking as something that's primarily about her own personal growth," he said. "For me, that may be part of why I do this, but spending many millions of dollars on a film has to be about more than that. It's communication, so my experience is merely one spoke on that wheel."
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was the fourth-biggest movie in North America last year, bringing in $389 million. It also has an 83 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.