“Candyman” filmmaker Nia DaCosta is making her superhero directorial debut with Marvel’s upcoming “The Marvels,” a sequel to “Captain Marvel” that teams Brie Larson’s eponymous superhero with Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau from “WandaVision” and Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan from “Ms. Marvel.” It’s been a shaky year for comic book tentpoles, with Marvel’s own “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and other films like “The Flash” and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” flopping at the box office. Marvel is surely hoping “The Marvels” pans out more like “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” ($845 million worldwide), and DaCosta is highly aware that superhero fatigue is very real right now.
“I think superhero fatigue absolutely exists,” DaCosta told Total Film magazine. “The biggest difference from the other MCU movies to date is that [‘The Marvels’ is] really wacky, and silly. The worlds we go to in this movie are worlds unlike others you’ve seen in the MCU. Bright worlds that you haven’t seen before.”
“‘The Avengers’ movies are these epic conclusions to chapters of storytelling, whereas this is a team-up within the narrative that we didn’t necessarily expect for Marvel,” producer Mary Livanos added about what makes “The Marvels” stand out. “Usually, you wait for characters to show up all together in ‘Avengers’ movies. We were excited to design a team-up featuring characters that women from all walks of life could relate to.”
While the word “superhero fatigue” has been thrown around a lot this year due to several comic book movie flops, the genre has also hit high points this year with “Guardians Vol. 3” and Sony’s animated “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” which brought in $684 million worldwide. “Spider-Verse” producers and writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller told Rolling Stone earlier this year that “superhero fatigue” is not to blame for certain comic book movies falling below expectations.
“I don’t believe it’s super superhero fatigue, I believe it’s ‘a movie that feels like a movie I’ve seen a dozen times before’ fatigue,” Miller said. “If you’re using the same story structure and the same style and the same tone and the same vibe as movies and shows that have come before, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. It’s going to be boring to people.”
“And the audience in the theater cannot be sustained on Easter eggs and reveals,” Lord added. “Or even these big, crazy multiverse stakes. They only care about, like, the relationship between Rocket Raccoon and Groot.”
“Guardians” trilogy writer-director James Gunn, who is now spearheading the new DC Universe, made similar comments in his own Rolling Stone interview in April.
“I think there is such a thing as superhero fatigue,” Gunn said. “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.”
“The Marvels” is set to open in theaters Nov. 10 from Disney.