The superhero movie genre has evolved over the years, gradually increasing its prestige as filmmakers have brought their own sense of authorship to these stories. That idea hit an apex last year with the release of James Mangold's Logan, which some even hailed as a potential Oscar contender. That said, not everyone was totally impressed with the X-Men franchise film, as Training Day star Ethan Hawke recently opened up about the film and noted that it was merely a good superhero movie. The actor explained:
Now we have the problem that they tell us Logan is a great movie. Well, it's a great superhero movie. It still involves people in tights with metal coming out of their hands. It's not Bresson. It's not Bergman. But they talk about it like it is. I went to see Logan cause everyone was like, 'This is a great movie' and I was like, 'Really? No, this is a fine superhero movie.' There's a difference but big business doesn't think there's a difference. Big business wants you to think that this is a great film because they wanna make money off of it.
So, it doesn't necessarily sound like Ethan Hawke has any significant issues with Logan or the people who made it. In fact, his remarks to The Film Stage note that he actually did think it was a good superhero movie when he saw it. However, his comments also show that he believes there has been some hyperbolic praise towards the movie, and that it does not necessarily deserve to be hailed in the same regard as other legendary films and filmmakers.
Of course, this issue has popped up consistently over the years and has only become more pronounced as the superhero genre has gone more and more mainstream. Many have begun to wonder when the genre will win its first Oscar, but Ethan Hawke generally seems to think that these commercial films shouldn't trick the masses into thinking that they are high art, rather than solid business opportunities.
With all of that in mind, we're left to wonder how awards institutions will evolve to assess the artistic merit of superhero movies and blockbusters in general. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made headlines recently for the decision to include a Best Popular Film Oscar, and that could be a category for superhero films to dominate going forward. No matter what, all we know for certain is that the superhero world (for all of its success) hasn't received complete, universal acceptance just yet.
CinemaBlend will bring you more updates related to all of the films on the horizon, superhero or not, as further news is made available to us. Until then, head over to our 2018 movie premiere guide to read up on all of the films that are set to hit theaters this year!