It’s no secret that I have a massive crush on superstar Chris Pratt, a crush that only started because of the wacky angle director James Gunn took when putting Guardians of the Galaxy together. It was a nice refreshing tone that separated it from other Marvel movies, movies that took themselves a little too serious. With rather risky humour and character that are all as unhinged as each other Gunn created a nice space for himself, a space that eventually led to emulation, copycat attempts and basic regurgitation by others seeking to cash in on his success. So it’s no surprise that after the smash hit success of Deadpool (directed by Tim Miller) the director took to social media to scream bloody murder after Deadline Hollywood quoted an exec as saying:
The film has a self-deprecating tone that’s riotous. It’s never been done before. It’s poking fun at Marvel. That label takes itself so seriously, can you imagine them making fun of themselves in a movie? They’d rather stab themselves.
Now you may be asking yourself what on earth is he going on about? The exec has a point, it is poking fun at Marvel and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Well let’s look at Gunn’s Facebook post in its entirety to get a better understanding, the original can be found here.
That’s a quote from Deadline Hollywood, attributing it to a Hollywood “suit.” I love Deadline and get a lot of my film business news from them. And I love Deadpool even more – the film is hilariously funny, has lots of heart, and is exactly what we need right now, taking true risks in spectacle film – but COME THE FU*K ON. That’s no reason to rewrite history. This quote has to have been said by the dumbest fuc*ing Hollywood exec in the history of dumb fuc*ing Hollywood execs.
Let’s ignore Guardians for a moment, a movie that survives from moment to moment building itself up and cutting itself down – God knows I’m biased about that one. But what do you think Favreau and Downey did in Iron Man? What the fuck was Ant-Man??!
Come on, Deadline.
After every movie smashes records people here in Hollywood love to throw out the definitive reasons why the movie was a hit. I saw it happen with Guardians. It “wasn’t afraid to be fun” or it “was colorful and funny” etc etc etc. And next thing I know I hear of a hundred film projects being set up “like Guardians,” and I start seeing dozens of trailers exactly like the Guardians trailer with a big pop song and a bunch of quips. Ugh.
Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
Deadpool wasn’t that. Deadpool was its own thing. THAT’S what people are reacting to. It’s original, it’s damn good, it was made with love by the filmmakers, and it wasn’t afraid to take risks.
For the theatrical experience to survive, spectacle films need to expand their definition of what they can be. They need to be unique and true voices of the filmmakers behind them. They can’t just be copying what came before them.
So, over the next few months, if you pay attention to the trades, you’ll see Hollywood misunderstanding the lesson they should be learning with Deadpool. They’ll be green lighting films “like Deadpool” – but, by that, they won’t mean “good and original” but “a raunchy superhero film” or “it breaks the fourth wall.” They’ll treat you like you’re stupid, which is the one thing Deadpool didn’t do.
But hopefully in the midst of all this there will be a studio or two that will take the right lesson from this – like Fox did with Guardians by green-lighting Deadpool – and say – “Boy, maybe we can give them something they don’t already have.”
And that’s who is going to succeed.
Have a great day.
Wowza, he must have been juiced up on way too much caffeine there! But he has a very good point. Hollywood does tend to just cut and paste successes like a CoD franchise. They do it to the point where the same TOPIC is copied, whether that be meteors heading to earth or the White House being attacked they jump on board the gravy train and cling to what they hope will be a cash cow.
What do you think? With the recent scandal of the ‘White Oscars’ Hollywood has promised to change the way it does things, perhaps they will start innovating more than copying? Or is that being too optimistic?
Last Updated: February 16, 2016