James Gunn Defends Superhero Films Amid Dismissal at Oscars

In the opening minutes of this year’s Academy Awards, a funny jab was thrown at the expense of superhero movies by Jack Black. The night before at the Independent Spirit Awards, Nightcrawler director Dan Gilroy called out the “tsunami of superhero movies” in Hollywood, but yesterday Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn leaped to the defense of the films. His post:

The truth is, popular fare in any medium has always been snubbed by the self-appointed elite. I’ve already won more awards than I ever expected for Guardians. What bothers me slightly is that many people assume because you make big films that you put less love, care, and thought into them then people do who make independent films or who make what are considered more serious Hollywood films.

I’ve made B-movies, independent films, children’s movies, horror films, and gigantic spectacles. I find there are plenty of people everywhere making movies for a buck or to feed their own vanity. And then there are people who do what they do because they love story-telling, they love cinema, and they want to add back to the world some of the same magic they’ve taken from the works of others. In all honesty, I do no find a strikingly different percentage of those with integrity and those without working within any of these fields of film.

If you think people who make superhero movies are dumb, come out and say we’re dumb. But if you, as an independent filmmaker or a “serious” filmmaker, think you put more love into your characters than the Russo Brothers do Captain America, or Joss Whedon does the Hulk, or I do a talking raccoon, you are simply mistaken.

As we wrote last week, superhero movies don’t have to win Oscars as long as the fans and filmmakers love and appreciate them, a sentiment that Gunn echoed in the comments of his post saying: “You are my people, and I love you all. We are Groot.”

Guardians of the Galaxy was nominated for two Oscars, Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling and Achievement in Visual Effects (a nomination it shared with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and X-Men: Days of Future Past), but lost out to The Grand Budapest Hotel and Interstellar.