At No Film School, we are always following the latest discourse in the film community. This week, we found a tweet that some of our team found to be “so asinine and downright stupid.”

While you can check out Jason’s post on being sick of superhero movies by following this link, I encourage you to see why I am not completely tired of the genre. 

Here's the tweet in question. 

So, why do I agree with this post?

Sure, the genre is oversaturated and lacks original ideas a good majority of the time, but the films still serve a purpose. Superhero movies are just another genre in filmmaking, and it just so happens that studios have fallen in love with them because of how profitable they are.

While, yes, being fed the genre over and over again can get boring, I am not truly sick of the genre or its place in Hollywood. Rather than being upset because a genre exists, we should celebrate the genre’s ability to reach a larger audience, ability to give a blockbuster platform to up-and-coming indie filmmakers, and bring more diversity into the industry that is severely lacking it.

Martin Scorses said that the superhero genre is like a rollercoaster and not cinema, and there is nothing wrong with being entertained, especially in our current society. Sometimes, I want to take a mental break and be entertained.

That being said, I am a conscious viewer and understand the pitfalls of the superhero genre in our filmmaking community. I will always go out and support indie films or filmmakers with original ideas in theaters before I choose a franchise movie, and I know that not everyone is like that. That, unfortunately, is a systematic failure of the studio system and audience behavior.

It’s a weird time to be someone who has to make a conscious choice about everything we do or enjoy. Yet, everyone seems to poke their sticks at the bloat genre and say that it’s the problem when it isn’t. Instead, superhero films from Marvel, DC, Sony, and other studios and filmmakers making superhero films and TV shows are thriving at the right place and at the right time.

I’m going to give you three reasons why I’m not tired of the superhero genre, and why this Twitter user isn’t wrong to be annoyed with the “sick of superhero movies” complaint. 

Let’s get into it! 

Why I am not sick of superhero films or TV shows'The Boys'Credit: Sony Pictures Television Distribution/Amazon Studios

3 Reasons I'm Not Sick of Superhero Movies

Superhero movies and TV shows have been around for years, but have become increasingly more popular over the past decade thanks to franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DC Extended Universe, and the X-Men franchise.

Overall, the superhero genre of film offers a unique combination of nostalgia, escapism, technological advancements, shared universes, and diverse representation, which has helped to make it incredibly popular with audiences around the world.

I will admit that studios have started churning out new films and sequels faster than most audiences could keep up. I don’t think I’ve seen every superhero movie or show that has come out in the last 15 years because there are too many to keep track of. But of all of these projects, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The dominance of the superhero genre is hard to ignore and hasn’t been ignored. It’s almost natural to say that superhero movies are bad. But why are they bad?

Jason gives a few great reasons, which you can read here, but I struggle to see these films as bad for the film community when there is a lot of good coming from them. 

Why I am not sick of superhero films or TV shows'Werewolf by Night'Credit: Disney Platform Distribution

Reason 1: Escapism for Everyone

I can’t be the only person who is feeling the pressures of life weighing them down.

There are a lot of serious crises and disasters happening around the world right now. For many of us, we turn to film and TV as a form of escapism from real life. This is where superhero movies thrive.

Superhero movies and shows are made with everyone in mind. While there can be an issue with movies made for everyone, it is nice to want to go to the movies with your parents, children, or nieces/nephews and enjoy watching a movie together. It’s family entertainment at its finest.

Let’s be fair and honest. A majority of us are not going to see the latest animated movie in theaters despite its emotional complexity because we are under the impression that these types of movies are made for children. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we are not attending adult-aimed content because we have children with us or because we want to escape those heavy themes for two hours and can’t do that with those types of films.

So, live-action family friend entertainment becomes the choice.

Live-action family-friendly entertainment doesn’t have to ask difficult questions or deliver complex emotions through a riveting story because we are there to be entertained. It's why I watch and enjoy M. Night Shyamalan's movies (and if Shyamalan made a superhero movie, I'd be the first one in line to watch it).

We want entertainment, and that is what superhero movies supply.

Sometimes, there are superhero films that give us a little more. There will always be story beats that need to be hit, but there are complex themes and ideas at work beyond those beats.

There is substance in these stories if we are willing to do a little bit of work.

In all honesty, when I saw Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, I was expecting something very very different from what Marvel was known for around the Infinity War saga. Admittedly, the screenplay was not very strong, but the moral messaging did tug on this bizarre feeling deep in my heart. At the heart of the film’s bizarre visuals, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is about comforting the evil and good within yourself and learning that you can’t always control the world around you.

I’m always shocked when a movie or show that I watch that is made for everyone turns out to be very meaningful, but I shouldn’t be surprised. While there are predictable outcomes and plot points to these stories, the themes that are tackled just outside of the main plot are very interesting to pay attention to. They are not trying to comment on a grand idea, but are instead finding comfort in the inevitable outcome.

So, Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, and James Cameron can bash the superhero genre for being low-art, but they are partially wrong

Right now, I am at a point in my life where I want the option to feel some sort of comfort when I watch a film or TV show. 

Why I am not sick of superhero films or TV shows'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness'Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Point 2: The Push for Diversity and Inclusion

While I want comforting entertainment that I can watch with my entire family, I also strive to watch films and shows that feature a diverse and inclusive in front and behind the camera. 

Diversity and inclusion have become increasingly important in the superhero genre in recent years. There has been a growing recognition among creators, studios, and audiences that representation matters, and that including a wide range of diverse characters can help to make these stories more relatable and appealing to a wider range of people.

In terms of gender representation, there has been a notable increase in the number of female superheroes appearing on screen in recent years. Films like Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel have been major box office successes, and have helped to pave the way for more female-led superhero films and TV shows in the future. Additionally, TV shows like Supergirl, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,Harley Quinn, Watchmen, and Jessica Jones have also been successful in featuring complex and powerful female superheroes. 

There has also been an increase in the representation of people of color in superhero films and TV shows. Characters like Black Panther, Cyborg, Shang Chi, Sam Wilson, Ms. Marvel, and Namor have become popular among fans for their unique perspectives and diverse experiences, and have helped to demonstrate the importance of including diverse voices in these stories. Similarly, LGBTQ+ representation has also become more common in recent years, with characters like Batwoman and Valkyrie being portrayed as openly queer.

Why I am not sick of superhero films or TV shows'Thor: Ragnarok'Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

As for behind the camera, diversity and inclusion in superhero films and shows are fairly high in comparison to other genre films in the industry. 

In terms of women working on superhero films, there has been a growing number of female directors, writers, producers, and other key creatives involved in superhero films and TV shows. Some prominent examples of female filmmakers working behind the camera include Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman 1984), Chloe Zhao (The Eternals), Cathy Yan (Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey), Victoria Alonso (executive producers on many of the MCU films), Autumn Durald Arkapaw (cinematographer on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Jessica Gao (She-Hulk: Attorney at Law), and Ava DuVernay (Naomi). 

Similarly, there have been many people of color who have contributed to superhero stories in various capacities. For example, Ryan Coogler directed Marvel's Black Panther, which featured a predominantly Black cast and crew. Other notable people of color who have worked on superhero projects include Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok), Nia DaCosta (The Marvels), Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), and Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Luke Cage). 

While there is still work to be done to improve diversity and inclusion in front and behind the camera of superhero genre films, it is great to see that they are leaps and bounds ahead of the majority of Hollywood. 

Diverse groups of moviegoers are seeing themselves on screens as the heroes in these big-budget movies, and that matters. It is hard to discredit an entire genre that is pushing for inclusivity when a majority of Hollywood hasn’t seen much progress in diversity or representation since…well, forever. 

While indie filmmaking has always been a beacon of light for diversity, blockbuster filmmaking has always been and is very male-centric and white. I mean, the superhero genre was very much that until recently, and is trying to an effort to give underrepresented communities a place on the screen.

This might be a stretch, but perhaps the superhero genre’s profitability is largely due to its inclusivity and representation. If this is the one place where you can see someone who looks like you saved the day, why wouldn’t you want to watch it?

While there is still work to be done to improve diversity and inclusion in superhero films and TV shows, there has been a significant shift towards more representation and inclusion in recent years. This has helped to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for fans of all backgrounds and has opened up new opportunities for diverse voices to be heard in the entertainment industry.

Danai-gurira-and-director-ryan-coogler-on-the-set-of-black-p_5z1zDanai Gurira and director Ryan Coogler on the set of 'Black Panther'Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Point 3: Giving Indie Filmmakers a Broader Audience 

The superhero genre’s representation goes beyond what someone looks like. It also reaches a level of professional success, too.

Many indie filmmakers make successful indie features and break into the blockbuster level of filmmaking through superhero films. Both Chloe Zhao and Cathy Yan made one or three indie feature films for under $5 million before Marvel and DC respectively asked them to make a big-budget superhero movie. Is that not the dream for all of us?

We shouldn’t forget that James Gunn, who started off making B-horror movies and wrote the Craig Mazin-directed superhero comedy The Specials, was an indie filmmaker turned co-head of DC Studios. That’s an amazing success story for an indie filmmaker, and it gives me hope.

Indie filmmakers are given the tools and platform to reach the mainstream and embed a bit of their style into a larger universe. I am excited to see how the DCEU changes after Warner Bros. Discovery decided to shift away from the Snyderverse, and MCU is offering a lot more diverse tones, visuals, and themes as new directors tackle these projects.

While these studios need to learn how to work with indie filmmakers who are working on their first big-budget movie and are not familiar with working with CGI, I think superhero movies offer filmmakers like us a chance to break into the big-budget feature world and flex our creative muscles in a universe bigger than one single person.

Why I am not sick of superhero films or TV showsJames Gunn behind the scenes of 'The Suicide Squad'Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Summing Everything Up

Look, there are many reasons to not like superhero movies, but you have to look at the other side of the coin.

Those great American filmmakers that we all love and cherish are getting older, and a new generation of filmmakers is trying to navigate a system that those older generations of filmmakers are gatekeeping. Maybe superhero films are the only way to break into the industry.

For those of you who read through my points and are itching to tell me why I’m wrong, I get it. I know that there are negatives to the system, but guess what? The Hollywood system is good and evil. It’s bigger than you and me. All we can do as filmmakers and cinephiles is make the films we want to make and go out to theaters or buy the physical copies of movies made by the people we want to support.

No matter what, people will go and watch a superhero movie.

So, rather than be a big grump about the success of superhero movies in our industry, be active members of the community and find ways to support your local theaters playing international films or indie films. Hopefully, we can work towards seeing fewer superhero movies fill up the screens at theaters without trying to kill the genre completely.

In the meantime, watch what you want to watch and support who and what you want to support. Don't turn your nose at something just because you don't like it.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with me in the comments below!