By Darren Franich
Updated August 16, 2012 at 10:35 PM EDT
  • Movie

In the last decade, it’s become very common for studios to snag a hotshot indie director — Bryan Singer, Christopher Nolan, Marc Webb — and hand them the reins of a big-budget superhero movie. But there’s one independent director who decidedly would not like to make the leap into comic book filmmaking. In an interview with Next Movie, director David Cronenberg — sitting alongside his Cosmopolis star Robert Pattinson — openly disagrees with the notion that good directors have brought a new maturity to the superhero genre. “I don’t think they are making them an elevated art form,” he says. “I think it’s still Batman running around in a stupid cape.” Cronenberg presses his point by specifically addressing Dark Knight Rises:

Christopher Nolan’s best movie is Memento, and that is an interesting movie. I don’t think his Batman movies are half as interesting though they’re 20 million times the expense… superhero movie, by definition, you know, it’s comic book. It’s for kids. It’s adolescent in its core. That has always been its appeal, and I think people who are saying, you know, Dark Knight Rises is, you know, “supreme cinema art,” I don’t think they know what the f— they’re talking about.

Cronenberg makes a point of calling out Hollywood: “Anybody who works in the studio system has got 20 studio people sitting on his head.” It’s understandable that Cronenberg — a famously independent-minded director — wouldn’t be too impressed with superhero movies, which have become the primary product of the studio system. Also, the director specializes in hard-R arty weirdness — miles removed from the four-quadrant sanitized PG-13 environs of superhero cinema.

In conclusion, Cronenberg probably just took his name off the shortlist for the third Hulk reboot.

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The Dark Knight Rises

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 164 minutes
  • Christopher Nolan