Robert Downey Jr. is easily one of the biggest stars in the world today, thanks in large part to his role as Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a series of movies that have almost always been financially successful – The Incredible Hulk notwithstanding – the films that Downey has appeared in (The Avengers and Iron Man 3) have made the most.
And yet, in a recent interview about his life, his new movie The Judge, his work in the Marvel movies, and so on, Downey Jr. talked a little bit about superhero movie fatigue. Might the Iron Man star be signaling his own increasing disinterest in the genre?
After being asked whether or not he gets jealous when there’s another superhero movie (Batman, Spider-Man, what have you) – courtesy of The Telegraph – RDJ said:
“Honestly, the whole thing is just showing the beginning signs of fraying around the edges. It’s a little bit old. Last summer there were five or seven different ones out.”
This statement is no doubt being interpreted any number of ways all across the Internet. It comes at an interesting time – Robert Downey Jr. is currently negotiating with Marvel to appear in more Marvel movies than his current contract requires.
In fact, the word on the street is that Captain America 3 will kick-start the Marvel Civil War – based on Mark Millar’s comic book crossover from a few years back – and that Downey will appear prominently in the Captain America threequel, which is what the recent negotiations have been about.
It’s worth noting that the interview this comes from is very sobering and in-depth, so there’s reason enough to believe that Downey Jr. means what he says here. It’s also worth noting that he’s responding to a question about the competition, so perhaps he’s saying that he’s not worried about, say, Spider-Man because Sony’s just rehashing what Marvel’s been doing since 2008. (Or something.)
Then there’s the possibility that RDJ is just playing a little hardball with negotiations. Maybe he’s talking about how bored he’s getting of superhero movies to secure his $40 million (plus backend participation).
Anything’s possible, but regardless of Downey Jr.’s intentions, is what he says true? Are superhero movies getting a little old – are they fraying at the edges?
While the Amazing Spider-Man movies and Man of Steel are divisive among fans and critics, the recent X-Men movies have been both critically and financially successful, and the Marvel movie universe is probably the most successful film experiment ever. In fact, Marvel is such a powerful brand name at this point that they can make even obscure, quirky properties like Guardians of the Galaxy a major hit. It’s obvious that, at least at this point, audiences have yet to tire of superheroes on film.
But that could all change. There was a time when Westerns were the biggest thing in America. Now they’re basically box office poison. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know what fickle filmgoers the world over will enjoy in perpetuity, though you can pretty much guarantee that blockbuster comic book movies have at least a few years left in them.
What say you, Screen Ranters? Do you think superhero movies are getting “a little bit old“? Drop us a line in the comments.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters May 1st, 2015. The Judge is in theaters now.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.