Doctor Strange - Benedict Cumberbatch

Wonder Woman is unquestionably the movie of the moment, but when you take a step back and look at the larger film industry, Marvel Studios is still sitting pretty. They already released Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to great acclaim last month, they have Spider-Man: Homecoming (which is technically a Sony release) coming out soon, and the exciting-looking Thor: Ragnarok is on deck for November. Oh, and don’t forget about Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and another Avengers movie next year. There’s no doubt that they’re in a creative groove right now.

But director John Landis isn’t impressed. In a new interview, the man behind National Lampoon’s Animal House, The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London, and Three Amigos says he’s “bored shitless” by the MCU films. Read the John Landis Marvel comments below to find out why.

Speaking with the Entertainment.ie (via Yahoo UK), Landis was asked for his thoughts on cinematic shared universes. Here’s part of his answer:

I’m just… truthfully, I’m bored shitless with the Marvel Universe now. All the superhero movies tend to be interchangeable, you always have these mass destruction of cities and huge computer-generated extravaganzas to the point where you could take a reel from any of the Marvel superhero movies and put it any of the others and nobody would notice. They’re very well-made, it’s just they’re the same thing over and over again. But, I don’t know, people are showing up. One of the reasons Wonder Woman has been received so well by the critics is that it doesn’t destroy cities! [Laughs] Even the superhero stuff is on a very human scale, it’s the gods! We’re not seeing skyscrapers tumbling! [Laughs]

I think there are some valid criticisms about modern superhero filmmaking in that statement and I know it’s a common thing to slag Marvel movies for destroying cities and repeating the same formula over and over again. However, if you really stop and look at what they’re doing, it’s not nearly as cut and dried as Landis makes it out to be.

Guardians Vol. 2 is a personal story about fathers, sons, and legacies, and it doesn’t destroy a city. Doctor Strange, while it shares a similar plot structure with the first Iron Man, expands the MCU into multiple dimensions by introducing magic into the equation (and it ends with magic repairing a city). Sure, these movies may share some visual hallmarks, but I think Marvel has gotten a lot better about diversifying their storytelling both in front of and behind the camera. I expect that will continue with films like Black Panther and Captain Marvel moving forward.

And as Landis points out, DC deserves props for course correcting with Wonder Woman, especially after all of the monotonous destruction in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Yes, she fights in a big CGI battle at the end, but it’s contained and the film makes a point to show how its central hero is willing to go out of her way to save human lives – something that wasn’t clearly established in the heroes of Man of Steel or BvS.

In any case, the whole interview is worth a read, because Landis has a lot of thoughts about Universal’s Dark Universe franchise (sample excerpt: “…If you’re gonna make a movie of The Mummy, why the fuck do you need Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe?!”), the business side of marketing films, how difficult it is to make comedy and horror films, and much more.

What do you think of Landis’s comments about Marvel movies?

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