Gladiator director Ridley Scott is not one to sugarcoat when he calls out superhero movies for lacking any good script writing and being boring. The statement came out in an interview with Deadline, where the director was asked what he learned from Stanley Kubrick’s approach to Napoleon. But instead of answering what was asked, Scott went into a whole new direction and tackled his hatred toward comic flicks instead.
“Almost always, the best films are driven by the characters, and we’ll come to superheroes after this if you want because I’ll crush it. I’ll fucking crush it. They’re fucking boring as shit. Superhero movie scripts are not any fucking good,” Scott told Deadline. “I think I’ve done three great scripted superhero movies. One would be Alien with Sigourney Weaver. One would be fucking Gladiator, and one would be Harrison Ford (Blade Runner).
The director continued by apologizing that he went off the rail, admittedly missing the point of the question at hand, but went on to discuss what he hates about the superhero genre. Scott explained that superhero movies lack good storytelling and are mostly saved by special effects to gain meaning, which he then emphasized are what makes them dull.
Scott is known for making frank remarks on films in today’s entertainment industry. In October, he previously stirred the press for criticizing the upcoming television adaptation of his Alien film franchise, saying, “Wherever [the television series goes], whatever they do, it’ll never be as good as the first one.”
The iconic director directed two films this year: The Last Duel and House of Gucci. Coming from Scott, both films are already generating a buzz as the next big things at the Oscars. Scott will also be busy directing Kitbag, a Napoleon epic starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jodie Comer. “The thing that really makes Napoleon tick is, why was he in so much need of Josephine. There was a need for each other. And we think we’ve pinpointed what that was,” Scott told Empire. He is also working on a sequel to his Oscar-winning film Gladiator.
Besides Scott, there are a number of other Hollywood directors who have expressed their distaste for superhero movies over the last couple of years. Some of whom were superhero movie directors themselves. James Gunn, director of The Suicide Squad, stirred controversy when he called comic book-based films “dumb” and “boring.”
Martin Scorsese, revered director, also called out Marvel films for having no “revelation, mystery, or genuine emotional danger” when he penned a New York Times op-ed last year. Scorsese even remarked that Marvel is not “cinema” quality.
And perhaps one of the most iconic critics for superhero movies, Alan Moore, director of Watchmen, said, “Superhero movies have blighted cinema, and also blighted culture to a degree.” Moore even called audiences for being so gullible to be lining up in cinemas to watch something intended for children.Superhero movies have generated billions in revenue over the years, being one of the most popular genres in Hollywood films. To date, Avengers: Endgame, released in 2019, ranks at the top with over $2.7 billion worldwide gross.