Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is the latest Hollywood name to weigh in on the idea of superhero movie fatigue. The conversation started with Steven Spielberg saying superhero films were "going the way of the Western," meaning that they would soon be headed for a downturn. Feige didn't dismiss Spielberg's theory, but gave it more context for a better perspective.
"It could, but the Western lasted 40-50 years, and they still pop up occasionally," Feige told IGN. “It's been, what, eight years since Iron Man 1 if we count that, which I do, as the beginning of our MCU? Maybe [the superhero genre] will only last another 42 years."
"People have been asking me that for 15 years," Feige elaborated. "In 2001, 2002, 2003 there were two Marvel movies, three Marvel movies, and I still believe the same thing, which is as long as the ones that we can control are as good as they can be, that's all that I care about. I think we've been doing pretty well. I'm very confident in the films we've announced that we have coming forward that they're going to be surprising and different and unique. I've said a lot: I don't believe in the comic book genre. I don't believe in the superhero genre. I believe that each of our films can be very different."
Feige also responded to comments from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder that called Marvel's films "flavors of the week," saying "Those are all very different movies. They all happen to be based on Marvel characters and Marvel comics, but from a genre and a cinematic perspective, they're all very unique. Civil War may as well be a different genre from Age of Ultron."
"The way Winter Soldier was a political thriller, I think there is a more emotional and more geopolitical and real world through line through Civil War than there was in the broader Age of Ultron with the killer AI Tony Stark invention," he continued. "I think it's the same thing as saying, 'I don't know how many more movies can be made from novels. I think people are going to bored with novels being turned into movies. I don't know how long it's going to last.'"
Looking to Marvel's immediate future, Feige was optimistic about the studio's performance in 2015, and had high hopes for 2016.
"The year went very well for us, the way we wanted it to: big giant movie with huge expectations that met those expectations with Age of Ultron, and a crazy movie that no one had heard of with a character that people were dubious of that also became a big hit with Ant-Man. That had happened the year before with Winter Soldier and Guardians, so for us that very much is in keeping. Next year, we hope same thing for Civil War and Doctor Strange. It is, as it often is with us, sticking to the plan and continuing to follow through on what we've laid out."
Marvel's next film, Captain America: Civil War, hits theaters May 6, 2016.