Superhero movies are currently the bread and butter of Hollywood, but despite having their own comic book cinematic franchise, 20th Century Fox CEO Stacy Snider wants the industry to be cautious about having too many of this type of film. It's an ironic thing to say considering that earlier this year, amidst reports of a Fox and Disney merger, the former is planning three more X-Men films in both 2019 and 2020 - that's more than their usual two offerings per year.
Over the last few years, superhero films have dominated Hollywood alongside the rise of the cinematic universe. But before the golden years of comic book movies started with Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy, as well as the establishment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Fox launched their X-Men franchise in 2000. But as it turns out now, the studio's CEO isn't too thrilled about having too many "caped crusader" movies.
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As reported by Variety, Snider appeared at the ongoing European film exhibitors’ conference CineEurope in Barcelona, Spain, and discussed the state of Hollywood and the domination of "branded material," particularly superhero films. Citing the studio's projects such as Hugh Jackman's The Greatest Showman and The Martian, the executive said that "studios need to have a bigger appetite for big cinematic, tentpole-type entertainment" that isn't superhero-related.
“If we don’t continue to reach out to the folks that come more than just to see The Avengers, we are going to have just the weekend business. ... For the studios that expect that more of the same will always bring a result, there is folly in that. We want to continue, for example, with our X-Men movies and our Deadpool movies, but at the same time we have great success with a movie like Murder on the Orient Express or The Greatest Showman, where we are very mindful of speaking to this global audience, but not doing it in a way that in the past has homogenized all of the product. Where things fall off the cliff is when that bright consumer says, ‘I have seen this movie.’”
Snider further spoke about pushing diversity in movies, citing several recent films having cultural depictions embedded in their narratives, such as Black Panther and Coco. Interestingly, she also threw Deadpool into the mix, which was odd considering that the Ryan Reynolds project doesn't directly tackle diversity and proper representation in Hollywood as the previously mentioned flicks. But Snider explained that it's because the Fox-produced movie has a diverse cast.
“There are plenty of examples out there that signal that including diversity and including a local perspective in these larger movies is great business. When you look at a movie like Black Panther or Coco, or in the case of Deadpool - it is led by Ryan Reynolds, an American Caucasian, but we have a diverse cast that surrounds him - I would venture to say that Zazie Beetz is as popular in the film as he is. We are mindful that these big franchise films need to be original, need to respond to local cultures, and local diverse casts.”
It's important to note, however, that the Avengers franchise comes from a studio - Marvel Studios - that was established purely to adapt comic book narratives onto the big screen. With an extensive and diverse catalog of characters and countless stories, it's highly unlikely that studio head Kevin Feige that will branch out to make non-comics related movies, at least in the foreseeable future. In fact, Marvel Studios is even gearing up for a presentation this week at the same event where Snider openly singled out the Avengers films in her statement. Disney, which owns Marvel Studios, on the other hand, has come out with a myriad of other projects outside of the superhero genre. The same can be said with DC Films owner Warner Bros.
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020