Bruce Campbell talks about superhero movies, and how he feels bad for actors having to commit to multi-picture deals when signing up to play one on the big screen. There's no denying that superhero movies and franchises are the bread and butter of Hollywood at the moment. However despite their popularity, there are some people in the industry who have come out and expressed their concerns regarding the current climate of the movie-making business. Campbell is the latest to weigh in on the matter with his issues mainly regarding actors having to devote several years of their careers to playing one character over and over again.
The Ash vs. Evil Dead actor is no stranger to the superhero genre. He had small cameo roles in all three Sony Spider-Man movies directed by Sam Raimi, who is a frequent collaborator. But with more than a decade since Spider-Man 3 rolled out in theaters, the landscape when it comes to comic book-inspired films has drastically changed as several studios want to get on board with the cinematic franchise style upon seeing Marvel Studios' massive success with the MCU.
Speaking with ComicBook, Campbell opened up about what he thinks of superhero franchises regardless of his history with them. While he cited several points, his main concern about superhero cinematic universes is the fact that an actor can be tied to playing the same character for several years due to having to sign up for a multi-picture deal.
"That's Sam Raimi all the way. Big blockbuster movies, whenever I see an actor get cast in one of those, I wince, because I go, 'Oh, that poor son of a bitch is going to be in that suit for 10 years.' If shooting schedule's seven months of shooting, you get your one month in the Bahamas, and then you're promoting for three months, then you go right back to the next sequel, back in that same f-cking suit.'"
Campbell continued by also sharing his problems with superhero narratives, explaining that he finds them "not flawed enough." He said:
"My only beef with superheroes is that they're not flawed enough. Oh, Superman's got Kryptonite. Well, what the hell's Kryptonite? I don't know what that means. Give me Ash, the guy could be, he's a gas station attendant, you know? The guy's Mr. Nobody."
However, it's also important to point out that most of the studios adapting these comic book characters on the big screen are also updating their characterization in a way that they're more than just the one-dimensional heroes they were first known in print. For instance, despite all the criticisms on the DCEU's current iteration of Superman, he's not just the straight-up boy scout that he was initially known to be. He goes through internal struggles, especially in coming to terms with his origin and the role he plays on Earth.
As for Campbell's comments about the risk of having an actor tied to a property for years when signing up for a superhero role, he has a point. Both Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) and Chris Evans (Captain America) were skeptical about joining the MCU as they were afraid of committing to years of their career to playing one role. But with the Hollywood movie landscape populated with cinematic franchises, it's not only the superhero-centric movies that have this issue. It's just a matter of whether or not actors genuinely love what they're doing and they're sold on their characters.