As far as I understand, the Oscars were supposed to be a celebration of the art and craft of storytelling in the cinematic medium. However, during the 87th Academy Awards it seemed like they did an incredible job of ostracizing a certain genre of film: The Super Hero. From Jack Black’s line “Opening with lots of zeroes, all we get are superheroes: Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, Jedi Man, Sequel Man, Prequel Man, formulaic scripts!" and Liam Neeson’s comment: "Hollywood is often criticized for making too many movies based on toys, comic books and best-sellers. Perhaps that's true. But not of tonight's best film nominees.” During the Independent Spirit Awards, Director Dan Gilroy said, "Independent film, the foundation and everybody here today, I think are holdouts against a tsunami of superhero movies that have swept over this industry. We have survived and we have thrived and I think that's true spirit."
Why all the hate? Well, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn had this to say:
“As far as Dan Gilroy saying that attendees of the Independent Spirit Awards have survived against a "tsunami of superhero films" - well it seems a bit weird coming from a guy whose wife has acted in two Thor films - really, that seems like you've drowned horribly in that tsunami. But I know I just kind of makeup stuff as I go along on these awards shows, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
“Whatever the case, 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.”
Well said. And more to the point, I find it odd that all those who are drowning in this tsunami were present at the Oscars. First off all Liam Neeson, He played Ra’s Al Ghul in Batman Begins, A Jedi Knight in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and a voiced a fucking Lion in The Chronicles of Narnia. Jack Black was originally casted to be in a Green Lantern film and as Gunn points out, Gilroy’s wife Rene Russo was in two Thor films. Let’s not forget ‘Birdman’ nominees Michael Keaton was Batman (and still the best) Emma Stone was Gwen Stacy in two Spider-Man films, Fox Catcher’s Mark Ruffalo will return for this second time as the Hulk in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Benedict Cumberbatch will star in Doctor Strange. Oscar winning director Ben Affleck will star as Batman next year and American Sniper star Bradley Cooper was the voice of Rocket Fucking Raccoon for Guardians of the Galaxy.
Are all these talented actors not holding out or perhaps weighed down by the their ever increasing wallets in this tsunami of super heroes? Or maybe…just maybe they saw a story within these scripts that spoke to them and it was worth exploring? Not to sound too much Mr. Glass from Unbreakable but, the stories of bigger than life heroes has been around and popular since the dawn of time for a reason. I mean if they had camera's back in the day, Homer would be like Stan Lee making cameo appearances in live action adaptions of Iliad and the Odyssey.