'Maybe [the superhero genre] will only last another 42 years,' says Kevin Feige
Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Robert Downey Jr.
Credit: ©Marvel 2015

It’s fun to dump on superhero movies, because they’re big and expensive and they make lots of money. They’re easy to blame for “everything” that’s “wrong” with “Hollywood.”

Just ask Steven Spielberg and Zack Snyder, who made headlines in recent weeks by taking shots at comic-book movies and specifically Marvel Studios. Spielberg said that the genre would eventually go the way of the Western, and Snyder criticized Marvel for watering down the genre with “flavor of the week” superheroes like Ant-Man.

But now Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is hitting back, though not in the perfectly saucey way that Sebastian Stan responded a few days ago. At a recent press event for the Avenger: Age of Ultron Blu-ray release, IGN asked Feige for his thoughts on the remarks, and his response was rather sensible.

“I’ve said a lot: I don’t believe in the comic book genre,” Feige said. “I don’t believe in the superhero genre. I believe that each of our films can be very different.”

This mentality really does speak to Feige’s approach in keeping the Marvel Studios movies distinct. The stories can slip in and out of established genres, like heist movies and political thrillers, while featuring people who can fly and lift heavy things.

The same thinking applies to Westerns — just sub in cow wranglers and sprawling vistas — and Feige jumped onto that logic when responding to Spielberg. “The Western lasted 40-50 years, and they still pop up occasionally,” he said. “It’s been, what, eight years since Iron Man 1 if we count that, which I do, as the beginning of our MCU? Maybe [the superhero genre] will only last another 42 years.”

Point: Feige.

Avengers: Age of Ultron
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  • 150 minutes