Steven Spielberg is Interested in Doing a Superhero Franchise, Doesn't Think His Sequels Are Good

Steven Spielberg is Interested in Doing a Superhero Franchise, Doesn't Think His Sequels Are Good

May 16, 2016

There's no greater brand name in directors than Steven Spielberg. And he's got another "Spielbergian" movie on the way, The BFG, which just debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. There, he talked to New York Times critic Manohla Dargis about how he still tries to keep things fresh in his career, and these are some of the more interesting points:

 

He Admits His Sequels Are Inferior

"My sequels aren’t as good as my originals because I go onto every sequel I’ve made and I’m too confident," he says. "This movie made a ka-zillion dollars, which justifies the sequel, so I come in like it’s going to be a slam dunk and I wind up making an inferior movie to the one before. I’m talking about The Lost World and Jurassic Park."

But is he not also talking about his Indiana Jones movies, of which he's set to make a fifth one very soon? Most fans would agree that none of the sequels have been as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it'd be interesting to hear what his confidence will be like on the next one, following the disappointment from many with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

 

Jaws Was His Least Favorite Movie to Make

"For a movie that became awesomely successful and gave me complete personal creative freedom," he says of his first blockbuster hit, Jaws, "I still look back at it and even now say it was my most unhappy time in my life as a filmmaker because whole days would go by and we wouldn’t get a shot."

It's not weird to learn that one of Spielberg's best movies was the hardest to make and therefore the worst experience for him -- many other filmmakers also hated working on what turned out to be their greatest masterpieces. But it is good to hear that he continues to take on projects that are hurdles in his career, even now. 

 

He Wants to See More Women Directing Movies

"We have a lot of diversification in front of the lens, but we don’t have diversification behind the camera," he admits. "We don’t have women directors. We have more women directors in television -- they’re doing great work -- than we have on soundstages or on location making movies. That needs to change. And I don’t believe in the quota system, either. That’s tokenism."

Of course, he should be able to make that happen as a movie producer, and he has in fact worked with women filmmakers in the past, but he claims there needs to be more of an effort to scout through TV, like Hollywood does with actors, to find diverse talent, not just in terms of gender but also race and religion.

 

He Would Do a Huge Superhero Franchise

"If I had a chance to make a superhero movie, I’d do it because it’s good business to do it right now," he says. "If I could find a huge superhero franchise -- I’ve got one called Transformers -- why not?"

Spielberg admitted to interest in superhero movies, even if apparently solely for money reasons, when asked about his comments last fall about the genre being a trend and how it would soon die out like the Western did. He also clarified this time, "I don’t believe that the superhero genre has the legs of the Western genre, I don’t even think it has the legs of the sci-fi genre."

 
 
He Prefers Superhero Movies That Don't Take Themselves Seriously
 
As for what sort of superhero franchise he'd want to do, that's not certain. But in another interview at Cannes, he revealed his favorites of the genre, including one in particular that he likes the most. Translated by Collider, here is what he told the Brazilian site Omelete:
 
"I love the Superman of Richard Donner, The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan, and the first Iron Man, but [the] superhero film that impressed me most is one that does not take itself too seriously: Guardians of the Galaxy. When his projection was over, I left with the feeling of having seen something new in movies, without any cynicism or fear of being dark when needed. There is a difference between heroes and superheroes. The hero is an ordinary person who is faced with a serious fact and acts to modify it. A hero is a person who, walking down the street, see[s] a car on fire and runs [to] help the person who is in the driver’s seat, attached to the seat belt to loosen. [A] superhero is a person who, on the same scene, would fly to the car and try to turn it upside down and shake it using his super strength, until the driver is released. I identify more with the first example. Film[s of] everyday heroes."
 

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