Why Jared Leto Encourages The Creative Rivalry Between Marvel And DC

There’s been no shortage of superhero content over the past few years, especially within the world of cinema. Amid the plethora of films though, a rivalry of sorts has developed between those who enjoy Marvel movies and those with a passion for DC movies. That animosity hasn’t expanded to the studios’ themselves, as both seem to be supportive of one another. New Marvel star Jared Leto, however, actually encourages a creative rivalry between the two comic book entities and has some interesting thoughts to back up his reasoning. 

Feuds of any kind can get messy, and that’s especially true when it comes to giant film studios. But Jared Leto, who recently made his superhero debut in Morbius, can see a silver lining within a rivalry. While speaking with CinemaBlend, he explained that such a situation could push employees of both superhero studios to work harder to produce great work:

You know, a rivalry is not such a bad thing. A little competition goes a long way, and it really pushes people to work harder, to dig deeper. I think that audiences probably benefit from that. I hear people talk about Marvel and DC, but I think there are great actors, great directors, great writers, great artists, great creative people on either side and a lot to enjoy with either side.

It’s true that friendly competition can be a positive thing at times, as it can indeed encourage people to put their best foot forward. Jared Leto also makes a fair point that, in this context, such a thing could be a major benefit to audiences. Someone could argue, though, that both comic book companies have already released or will drop entertaining features without one. After all, in the last five years alone, fans have seen flicks like Avengers: Endgame, The Batman and Spider-Man: No Way Home

When it comes to the idea of a legitimate feud between the two studios, their creatives have essentially shot down the notion. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige addressed it back in 2017, saying that the actual “rivalry” is amongst the press. At the time, the super producer also mentioned his friendship with longtime DC writer and producer Geoff Johns while discussing the positive feelings between their two corporations. 

For his part, Geoff Johns even tried to unite the two fandoms alongside James Gunn. A few years back, the two shared a pleasant exchange after the Guardians of the Galaxy director expressed his love for DC (which is now more than evident since he’s helmed The Suicide Squad). Gunn has even expressed interest in a crossover between the two cinematic universes. Also, Shazam! producer Peter Safran downplayed the idea of a rivalry, calling it “bullshit.”

Given these comments, it’s safe to assume that DC Films is rooting for Sony, Marvel Entertainment and Jared Leto, as Morbius opens in theaters. It’s probably unlikely that the audience reaction and financial receipts of the movie will influence any of Warner Bros.’ plans for the DCEU. At the end of the day, I’m honestly just happy to see both studios showing each other love. 

Sony’s Morbius, one of the year's biggest new movie releases, is currently playing in theaters.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.