Just recently, Director Matthew Vaughn (X-men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service) stated that he feels that the superhero films should stray away from the serious, realistic, and grounded tone that was made very popular due to the success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman film trilogy. He believes that audiences do not want that kind of experience anymore for superheroes.
About the current trend in superhero films:
People want fun and escapism at the moment. Look at the success of Guardians of the Galaxy. I think Nolan kick-started a very dark, bleak style of superhero escapism, and I think people have had enough of it.
On his newest film “Kingsman: The Secret Service”
The studio was like, ‘What is this — Austin Powers?’ It was a balancing act, but I think we pulled it off. It’s not a comedy, but it’s full of laughs. It’s got everything. It’s what we did with Kick-Ass — it’s a proper movie, but we’re allowed to have a bit more fun with it. Its aim was to be entertaining but not silly.
In my opinion, comic book movies shouldn’t be any different than anything else. It’s a genre within itself.
For example, look at two of the most successful franchises of all time, and the tones that they carry. Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Star Wars is a little more light-hearted and fun (kinda like Marvel) and Lord of the Rings is more serious and dramatic (DC films so far). Yes, the Hobbit movies were a little more lighthearted but so was the book. And that’s cool to me, that even within that same franchise, the Hobbit has a different tone to Lord of the Rings. Even James Bond movies have had different tones throughout the years much like the character of Batman (ranging from Adam West levels of cheese to the dark and gritty Christian Bale).
Matthew Vaughn may be half right in that not all comic book movies should focus on being realistic and serious toned. But we do have many light-hearted ones. If DC wants to make their movies in a more dramatic manner, let them! At least that gives them something to distinguish themselves from Marvel. If every one of these superhero franchises feel different, then the genre doesn’t run the risk of getting stale so quickly.
Like I said, it’s no different than any other genre and sub-genre. For every drama, you have a drama/comedy. For every romantic movie, you have a RomCom. Superhero films should take different approaches as well. These are just my thoughts, and I really do hope that studios and directors continue to set a variety of tones to their superhero films, just as every genre in film making has done so over the years.