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Valerian Director Luc Besson Calls Captain America Propaganda, Fires Back At Superhero Movies

Captain, Scarlet Witch, And Bucky in Civil War

Between the DC Extended Universe, Marvel Cinematic Universe, and X-Men franchise, there are innumerable superhero movies being produced or developed at any given time. This has led some critics to coin the term "superhero fatigue", whereas the genre will become so saturated and predictable that they'll all blend together for a stale blob of people in capes. And while filmmakers seem to be aware of this and are attempting to create unique projects, iconic director Luc Besson is taking umbrage on the entire genre, especially Marvel's Captain America. The Fifth Element director simply can't believe that the franchise was produced at all, believing the the very name of the character to be offensive. He said,

What bothers me most is it's always here to show the supremacy of America and how they are great. I mean, which country in the world would have the guts to call a film Captain Brazil or Captain France? I mean, no one! We would be like so ashamed and say, 'No, no, come on, we can't do that.' They can. They can call it Captain America and everybody think it's normal. I'm not here for propaganda, I'm here to tell a story.

Ouch. It looks like Luc Besson believes the superhero genre portrays a sense of American nationalism, and goes on to even accuse the Captain America franchise of being propaganda. Those are some pretty strong words, especially considering Besson has just directed a comic book adaptation of his own with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Of course, that particular series of graphic novels is French, and not DC or Marvel made.

Luc Besson's controversial statement to CinePop may be able to be refuted, given how the MCU is currently being expanded. Black Panther will be set in the fictional country of Wakanda, and the franchise as a whole seems to be more focused on space adventures moving forward. And it's unclear if the Captain America franchise will even continue after the events ofAvengers 4, as Chris Evans' contract is up over at Marvel.

The visionary director also described how convoluted the business of producing superhero films has become, which is a far more universal statement. With so many studios in play and negotiating the rights to various comic book properties, it certainly feels like a mess if you aren't cued into the inner workings of each shared universe.

It was great 10 years ago when we see the first Spider-Man and Iron Man. But now, it's like number five, six, seven; the superhero is working with another superhero, but it's not the same family. I'm lost.

How do you really feel, Luc? Overall it seems like the man who brought films like Lucy and Valerian to the screen is over the superhero craze. Unfortunately for him, DC and Marvel's studios don't seem to be showing any signs of slowing.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is still in some theaters, and you can check out our 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.