The Incredibles Director Has Some Surprising Thoughts On Modern Superhero Movies

Brad Bird has slightly nibbled the hand that fed him by criticizing just how popular the superhero genre has become. The Incredibles director believes that the sheer amount of superhero movies out there right now means that the market has become very saturated; so much so that there’s not a lot of room left for a filmmaker to leave their artistic imprint.

Bird made his comments during his discussion with Little White Lies after being probed about his script for The Incredibles 2. First noting that he has no interest in coasting off the success of the first film, he then explained:

I would say that the superhero movie turf right now is very trodden over – it’s kind of like a field that’s had too many games on it, and it’s just dried up dirt at this point.

Now there are two ways to take Bird’s remarks. You might completely agree with the Tomorrowland filmmaker, especially since over the forthcoming years DC, Marvel, and 20th Century Fox each have superhero franchises that they hope will grow into their own cinematic universes. Or you could believe that Bird should really have kept his opinion to himself, especially since he helped to build upon the success that X-Men and Spider-Man had achieved within the genre during the early ‘00s with 2004’s The Incredibles - and the fact that we are regularly seeing new and inventive comic book fare hitting theaters.

I actually equally agree and disagree with Bird’s remarks. There’s no denying the fact that the superhero genre is going to be pushed to its limit with the amount of movies that are scheduled for the next few years. There are 28 superhero movies from Marvel and DC’s cinematic universes, X-Men and The Fantastic Four due out over the next five years, and it remains to be seen whether audiences will simply become weary of the genre as each of these films are released into cinemas, or if the clamor will simply grow and grow.

However, at the moment, the superhero genre still feels a vital and fertile cinematic ground and writers and directors continue to create entertaining, exhilarating and thought-provoking new installments, despite how competitive the field is. From Bryan Singer’s time-traveling epic X-Men: Days Of Future Past, to James Gunn’s sci-fi space-opera Guardians Of The Galaxy, there’s plenty to savor and enjoy from the genre and each effort feels different to the last.

Of course, it will be hard for these movies to continue on this impressive trajectory, but the writing’s not on the wall yet. In fact, it’s not even close. Brad Bird was talking to Little White Lies to promote his latest foray into the live-action feature film field Tomorrowland, while he recently confirmed that he’s already starting writing the follow-up to The Incredibles, which is due out in 2016. Fingers crossed Bird is able to think of an original take on the genre, otherwise the much hyped sequel might be very tedious indeed.

Gregory Wakeman