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Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Director James Gunn Talks "Superhero Fatigue"

"I get fatigued by most spectacle films, by the grind of not having an emotionally grounded story."


The box office has been ruled by superhero movies for over a decade now, with several franchises raking in billions of dollars in ticket sales. Not every film is guaranteed to be a smash hit, and with Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and DC's Shazam: Fury of the Gods struggling at theaters, it looks like superhero fatigue may be setting in. But it's not that simple, says Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn, as he believes that some films focus more on spectacle instead of story.

"I think there is such a thing as superhero fatigue," Gunn explained in an interview with Rolling Stone. "I think it doesn’t have anything to do with superheroes. It has to do with the kind of stories that get to be told, and if you lose your eye on the ball, which is character. We love Superman. We love Batman. We love Iron Man. Because they’re these incredible characters that we have in our hearts. And if it becomes just a bunch of nonsense onscreen, it gets really boring. But I get fatigued by most spectacle films, by the grind of not having an emotionally grounded story.

Gunn added that when a film is basically "just watching things bash each other" at the expense of the story, that's when audiences will grow tired of what they're seeing on the big screen. "No matter how clever those bashing moments are, no matter how clever the designs and the VFX are, it just gets fatiguing, and I think that's very, very real."

This idea is echoed in statements that Gunn has made for the threequel, which is focused on Rocket. Gunn described the surly character as the heart of the film, as telling Rocket's story was the most important thing to him. "The most important thing for me was Rocket's story--and then, following that, everybody else," Gunn said. "Rocket is the secret protagonist of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and has always been the center of it for me, and this is really fulfilling that.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 releases in theaters on May 5, but you can watch the film a few days early by attending a special IMAX event that will show all three films in the series in a seven-hour block. Once Gunn is done with his final Marvel movie for the foreseeable future, he'll be focusing on his work as co-head of the new DC Universe of movies, series, and video games. Not just one of the key creative figures in the DCU, Gunn will also direct Superman: Legacy, and with the script for the film finished, the hunt is on to find the next Man of Steel.

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