“Watchmen” creator Alan Moore shared his belief in 2017 that superhero movies’ impact on popular culture was “tremendously embarrassing,” and the comic book icon remains just as critical of Marvel and DC films three years later. In a new interview with Deadline to tout his feature film “The Show,” Moore says he remains retired from writing comic books in part because “most people equate comics with superhero movies now.”
“I haven’t seen a superhero movie since the first Tim Burton ‘Batman’ film. They have blighted cinema, and also blighted culture to a degree,” Moore said. “Several years ago I said I thought it was a really worrying sign, that hundreds of thousands of adults were queuing up to see characters that were created 50 years ago to entertain 12-year-old boys. That seemed to speak to some kind of longing to escape from the complexities of the modern world, and go back to a nostalgic, remembered childhood. That seemed dangerous, it was infantilizing the population.”
Moore believes there is a connection between the enduring popularity of superhero movies and current political events, saying, “This may be entirely coincidence but in 2016 when the American people elected [Trump] and the UK voted to leave the European Union, six of the top 12 highest grossing films were superhero movies. Not to say that one causes the other but I think they’re both symptoms of the same thing — a denial of reality and an urge for simplistic and sensational solutions.”
When asked by Deadline if he has any interest in watching contemporary superhero films, Moore responded, “Oh christ no I don’t watch any of them. All of these characters have been stolen from their original creators, all of them. They have a long line of ghosts standing behind them…I have no interest in superheroes, they were a thing that was invented in the late 1930s for children, and they are perfectly good as children’s entertainment. But if you try to make them for the adult world then I think it becomes kind of grotesque.”
Moore’s “The Show,” directed by Mitch Jenkins and starring “The Souvenir” breakout Tom Burke, is being launched in hopes of jumpstarting a new film and/or television IP for the writer. The feature exists in the same world as several short films Moore scripted, and the writer already mapped out three to five seasons worth of episodes for a TV continuation of “The Show.” The film was set for a SXSW premiere in March but will now debut at the Spanish genre festival Sitges this month.
Head over to Deadline’s website to read Moore’s latest interview in its entirety.