Even as audiences gobble up salacious rumors about purported crises at Marvel, and perhaps an end to the dominance that superhero media has had on blockbuster moviemaking in the wake of a string critical and financial misfires, people love reading about people talking about comic book movies like they’re here to stay. People like reading about them talking about not talking about them, too.
Are Fans Tired of Marvel and DC? Superhero Fatigue at NYCC 2023
Such is the belief of Oppenheimer director—and, perhaps more important to some, former Batman director—Christopher Nolan. “If I start talking about comic book movies, that would be the only thing anybody pays any attention to in the article,” Nolan told Variety in the Hollywood trades’ latest cover story today, when asked if he had seen Matt Reeves’ successor to his own Bat-work. Two hours after the story went live, Variety posted the comment as a pull quote from the 3,500-word profile on social media. It immediately went viral.
It’s a fitting fate, in a year that has seen an almost cyclical discourse—a feverish back and forth between Martin Scorsese and Marvel fans (and, occasionally and embarrassingly, Marvel talent) engaging in a debate more befitting the matchup of a hydrogen bomb and a coughing baby. As some of the biggest superhero films of the year decline and the biggest box office hits—while still reliably franchise fare—skirt away from capes and Spandex, audiences are still fascinated by the world of superheroic cinema, whether it’s arguing over whether or not it’s dying, or still feverishly anticipating the years to come that have been laid out ahead of them by the likes of Warner Bros and Disney.
To pull back the curtain a little, as digital media wrestles with one of its toughest years in a very long time—especially in the world of entertainment culture reporting—posts about superhero movies still offer pretty reliable traffic. Whether the posts are trailers or behind-the-scenes drama, or celebratory or mockery, for all the talk of superhero fatigue, eyeballs are drawn to the genre time and time again. It’s no surprise Variety would have a sit-down with one of the biggest directors in Hollywood—the man behind one of the most lauded movies of the year—and still feel the need to draw attention to it by putting his name next to the word “Batman.” It worked, all you need to see to know that is the reposts.
Does it matter if folks like Nolan push back on being drawn into the discourse? Not really—a non-answer is still an answer. It doesn’t matter if Christopher Nolan has seen The Batman, it matters even less that he won’t tell us. We simply get to wonder, and the lingering air of the superhero genre’s survivability after a season of knocks at its perch remains.
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