Steven Spielberg probably regrets saying anything about superhero movies, because his comments that the trend was a phase that will eventually fade as a new trend emerges, have been twisted into the director stating comic book movies are dead. And certainly, from a guy who has been in the game for decades, and not only ushered in the blockbuster landscape, but saw it evolve, he knows what he’s talking about. At any rate, perhaps comic fans will be a bit heartened to learn that there are superhero movies Spielberg does like.
Sitting down with The New York Times, Spielberg was once again asked about the state of comic book movies. “I wasn’t giving the thumbs down to the genre, ’cause I go to all the movies. My favorite of all the superhero movies are the ‘Iron Man‘ movies,” he said. “I love Tim Burton’s Batman films and then — jump-cut way into the future — everything Chris Nolan has touched in Batman, because of the darkness, of what would motivate a character like that, a very rich character, to do the kind of public service work he does.”
So, does Spielberg get his comic book cred now? Meanwhile, the filmmaker also shouted out the TV shows he enjoys, and just like many others, he can’t get enough of “Homeland.”
“The film business has always been competitive with television, and in the early age of television, some of the greatest writers worked in television. Paddy Chayefsky, Stirling Silliphant, Rod Serling. Then television became very formulaic. But something has happened in the last seven or eight years. Some of the greatest writing today is for television,” Spielberg said. “Look at series like ‘Transparent,’ ‘Bloodline,’ ‘Wolf Hall,’ and ‘Downton Abbey.’ A wonderful series I’m hooked on, ‘Homeland.’ “
And like everyone else in the industry, Spielberg is also bearing witness to the boundary pushing storytelling on the small screen, and thinks it would be wise for the movie industry to pay attention.
“Television has allowed the audience to take bigger risks on where they’re spending money when they go to the movies. Because if they can get something like that in a movie theater, where that particular story is only playing in a movie theater, it might get more people out to the movies,” he said. “…the studios can take more of a risk and allow filmmakers to tell stories that are self-contained and don’t even promise a sequel. I think television has helped the independent cinema and that the independent cinema has inspired long-form television. This is the second golden age of television, absolutely.”
Spielberg’s latest, “Bridge Of Spies,” opens this weekend.