James Gunn Vs. Jodie Foster: Who’s Right About Superhero Movies?

James Gunn has responded to Jodie Foster’s recent comments about comic book and blockbuster movies ruining Hollywood. Foster has been a major talent in the industry for a long time, first as an actress and later as a director, but she is not a fan of superhero and comic book movies, which have been the biggest movies in Hollywood for a long time now. Some recent comments made by Foster have prompted a response by Gunn, who directed both Guardians of the Galaxy movies. In case you missed it, here’s what Jodie Foster had to say.

“Going to the movies has become like a theme park. Studios making bad content in order to appeal to the masses and shareholders is like fracking, you get the best return right now but you wreck the earth.”

There’s no denying that superhero and comic book movies, or massive tentpole franchises in general, have hurt smaller movies getting made. And even if those smaller, original movies do get made, they’re often made for much smaller budgets and rarely manage to make a lot of money at the box office. In light of these comments, a fan asked James Gunn about his thoughts on Twitter. Here’s what he had to say about it.

“I think Foster looks at film in an old-fashioned way where spectacle film can’t be thought-provoking. It’s often true but not always. Her belief system is pretty common and isn’t totally without basis. I say not without basis because most studio franchise films are quite soulless, and that is a real danger to the future of movies. But there are also quite a few exceptions. For cinema to survive I believe spectacle films need to have a vision and heart they traditionally haven’t. And some of us are doing our best to move in that direction. Creating spectacle films that are innovative, humane, and thoughtful is what excites me about this job. But, to be fair, at least from Foster’s quotes, she seems to see filmmaking as something that’s primarily about her own personal growth. For me, that may be part of why I do this, but spending many millions of dollars on a film has to be about more than that, it’s communication, so my experience is merely one spoke on that wheel. But I respect Foster and what she’s done for films and I appreciate her different way of looking at Hollywood’s landscape.”

James Gunn has certainly tried to do something different in the landscape of superhero movies, given his work on Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. While the sequel wasn’t quite as well-received as the first, he was definitely trying to do some unique things with it and isn’t trying to do a paint-by-numbers version of a summer blockbuster. He manages to acknowledge Jodie Foster’s understandable concerns while respectfully pointing out why her comments may be a bit overdramatic.

These comments by Jodie Foster, whose directorial effort Money Monster bombed at the box office last year, have been met with resistance by many superhero movie fans. However, James Gunn’s response has been praised by man, including Logan director James Mangold, who said in response on Twitter, “Well said, James. And happy New Year!” You can check out James Gunn’s response tweets for yourself below.

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