As time passes and the style and marketing of Hollywood films change, there is a definite learning curve for those who remember different eras of filmmaking. Just as the advent of the summer blockbuster in 1975 with Steven Spielberg’s Jaws marked a tremendous division from everything that had come before it, so too has the advent of CGI-laden superhero movies.
With so many acclaimed actors and filmmakers now in the business of comic book movies, those who specifically choose not to join the party, so to speak, stand out. One such filmmaker is famed action director John McTiernan. Known for arguably some of the best action films ever with hits like Die Hard, Predator and The Hunt For Red October.
During a recent interview in France with Premiere (via The Playlist) McTiernan wasn’t pulling any punches when it came time to relay his feelings on one of 2015’s biggest hits, Mad Max: Fury Road, as well as the general state of Hollywood’s love affair with superhero movies. Regarding Fury Road, McTiernan revealed that he did enjoy the original Mad Max, but summed up George Miller’s latest effort with: “Pffff … corporate product.” He then directed his ire at superhero movies, specifically Captain America.
“…these are films made by fascists. Comic book heroes are for businesses. Captain America…The cult of American hyper-masculinity is one of the worst things that has happened in the world during the last fifty years. Hundreds of thousands of people died because of this stupid illusion. So how is it possible to watch a movie called Captain America?”
For his part, McTiernan is no stranger to controversy. Having gone to prison in 2013 over false statements he made to the FBI, the Die Hard director was released in 2014 only to wage war with First Interstate Bank over his financial debt. Since his release from prison, McTiernan has also been planning on directing a new action film, the profits from which he has hoped will help with his financial difficulties. That new film is very likely Thin Rain, which McTiernan plans on shooting in Europe with minimal dialogue in order to more easily market it in France. Thin Rain is reportedly a female-led action tale about an orphaned child and a woman, for which McTiernan is hoping to cast Cate Blanchett in the lead role. At present time there is no confirmation of talks with the Oscar winning actress.
McTiernan isn’t the first person to link fascism and superhero culture – the argument is certainly well examined in various levels of academia, but his comments about a much beloved genre as well as a massively successful franchise such as Captain America surely won’t do him any favors amongst Hollywood studio heads and audiences. It’s also somewhat ironic that McTiernan would refer to Fury Road as “corporate product” when the director himself has made a career off releasing corporate products.
Perhaps the future will bring big things for McTiernan and his upcoming film will see a return to form for the 65-year-old director. Should he find that he would rather work outside the ever changing big-money world of Hollywood, however, he will surely find it difficult to continue to finance the sort of films that his career has been known for. At any rate, it will be interesting to see what kind of end product he can deliver with Thin Rain.
Screen Rant will have more information for you on McTiernan's Thin Rain as details are made available.