Watchmen Creator Alan Moore Says Superhero Movies Have Ruined Cinema
Watchmen creator Alan Moore says superhero movies have ‘blighted cinema’.
The legendary comic book scribe, the mind behind V for Vendetta and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, has aired his feelings on the sub-genre before, saying superhero films have had a ‘tremendously embarrassing’ impact on pop culture.
While promoting his new project The Show, the writer has once again taken aim our big screen heroes and adults’ infatuation with them. According to Moore, they’re for children.
Moore’s seminal work, Watchmen, was most recently adapted for an Emmy-winning HBO series. Talking to Deadline, Moore, 66, explained that he hasn’t seen a superhero film since Tim Burton’s Batman, released in 1989.
He continued: ‘They have blighted cinema, and also blighted culture to a degree. Several years ago I said I thought it was a really worrying sign, that hundreds of thousands of adults were queuing up to see characters that were created 50 years ago to entertain 12-year-old boys.’
Moore said it ‘seemed to speak to some kind of longing to escape from the complexities of the modern world, and go back to a nostalgic, remembered childhood. That seemed dangerous, it was infantilising the population.’
Moore’s comments have resurrected one of 2019’s most tiresome quarrels. Martin Scorsese earlier said Marvel movies weren’t cinema and closer resembled ‘theme parks’, encouraging retaliation from fans and reinforcement from other filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola, the latter of whom dubbed them ‘despicable’.
When asked if he watches modern superhero efforts, Moore candidly replied:
Oh Christ no, I don’t watch any of them. All of these characters have been stolen from their original creators, all of them. They have a long line of ghosts standing behind them.
I have no interest in superheroes, they were a thing that was invented in the late 1930s for children, and they are perfectly good as children’s entertainment. But if you try to make them for the adult world then I think it becomes kind of grotesque.
Moore also cited the correlation between today’s political climate and the escapism of superhero movies. ‘This may be entirely coincidence but in 2016 when the American people elected [Trump] and the UK voted to leave the European Union, six of the top 12 highest grossing films were superhero movies,’ he noted.
He then posited: ‘Not to say that one causes the other but I think they’re both symptoms of the same thing – a denial of reality and an urge for simplistic and sensational solutions.’
Moore has retired from writing comics, because ‘most people equate them with superhero movies now’. He’s even declined to receive any profits from adaptations of his work, something he estimates has cost him millions of dollars.
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